Devious Devilish Devices
"For we are not ignorant of his [Satan's] devices."1
To defeat an enemy it is imperative to understand his modus operandi. Satan, our archenemy, is the father of lies and a liar from the beginning. One of his most dangerous devices is to keep us in denial—to keep us from seeing the truth about God, about ourselves, about God's plan and our need of salvation, and above all to keep us from seeing the truth about the totally destructive nature and effects of sin.
To give us a clearer picture and understanding of sin, the Bible uses three words to describe sins' various facets.
First, is the word "transgression" which means to rebel against and/or disobey God's laws, to make up our own rules and go our own way. Rebellion can be willful and deliberate or it can be passive and even unconscious.
Second, is the word "iniquity" which is the expression of our sinful nature. For instance, we are not sinners because we sin, but rather, we sin because we are sinners. It is our nature to do so.
The third facet of sin is to "miss the mark"—God's mark or target of holiness. As Paul wrote, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory [standard or target] of God."2 God's mark is the perfection or wholeness he envisioned for us. Therefore, anything in my life that falls short of God's standard is sin. Besides obvious external acts such as stealing, lying, adultery, murder, etc., etc., it also includes failing to resolve hurts from the past, sins of resentment, pride, anger, bitterness, denial, failing to resolve my pockets of immaturity, and so on.
Once we understand the nature of sin and Satan's devices, with deep honesty and God's help, we are free to work on overcoming the sins and problems that so easily beset us.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, give me the courage to face my total 'dark side' and confess every secret and known sin. Help me to see wherever I fall short of your standard so I can bring these areas of my life to you for your healing and recovery. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus' name. Amen."
1. 2 Corinthians 2:11 (NIV).
2. Romans 3:23 (NIV).