Satan’s Four Strategies – Colossians 2:4

by Pastor John Fredericksen

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When John Lennon was at the height of popularity, he put out a song saying: “Imagine there is no heaven. It’s easy if you try. No hell below us, above us only sky…I’m not the only one (who thinks this way)…I hope some day you’ll join us, and the world will be as one.” John Lennon didn’t realize it, but he was being used of Satan to spiritually lead many astray.

Colossians Chapter Two reveals four sinister, but effective, strategies of Satan to pull people in the wrong spiritual direction. The first is to “beguile you with enticing words” (Colossians 2:4). The word “beguile” means to entice with a deceitful parallel logic. It is somewhat like two sets of train tracks running side by side that seem to be going in the same direction. However, somewhere down the line those tracks separate, taking participants to different places. In the spiritual realm, Satan seeks to get us to board the wrong train of doctrinal beliefs that will lead ultimately to ruin. Satan’s messengers are often great orators whose words sound good but are designed to lead you astray. Their strategy is man’s “philosophy” (vs. 8). Once individuals are derailed onto the wrong path, where will Satan take them? He wants them to follow man’s sinful way of thinking instead of God’s way. If that strategy doesn’t work, Satan attempts to use what may be scripturally, but not dispensationally, correct. In verses 16-17, Paul corrects the believers at Colossae for returning to a practice of being under the bondage of the Mosaic Law. We are to understand those things given to Israel were only a “shadow,” or illustration, of all we now have in Christ without the Law. We’re not to place ourselves under Israel’s previously-required legalism. We are to live in the new truths and liberty of grace. When the previous strategies don’t work, Satan seeks to use the most extreme of all tactics. He seeks to place us under the influence of extra-biblical, so-called revelations. Some at Colossae were influenced to voluntarily practice the worshipping of angels, doing so from their “fleshly [or carnal] mind” (Colossians 2:8). More common examples today would be to follow the Apocrypha, Book of Mormon, New Age practices, or Scientology literature, which may satisfy the flesh, but do not satisfy God.

It is important for us to be alert to these four strategies of Satan. Look today for songs and conversations with these tactics, but stay focused on the truths in Paul’s letters.

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Start each day with short, devotional articles taken from the book Daily Transformation by Pastor John Fredericksen. As Pastor Fredericksen writes in the introduction:

"We welcome you, as you journey with us..., to not only learn information, but to benefit from examples of faith and failure, and seek to apply God’s Word to every day life. Together, let’s transition from only studying theories of doctrine, to applying God’s truths in a practical way every day. May God use these studies to help you find daily transformation."