Understanding Satan’s Strategy. So Peter taught the churches to be on constant guard for Satan’s attacks. This morning what exactly can Satan do? Paul warned in 2 Timothy 2:23-26 that Satan could “snare” believers. Turn there with me to see one way that Satan is at work every day among believers, trying to snare them.
2 Timothy 2:23-26 (NKJV) But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife. 24 And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, 25 in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, 26 and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.
Satan is the Master Trapper
The word God uses for “snare” is pagis, which means primarily: “anything which fastens” or “holds fast”, especially as in a “noose,” “snare,” or “net.” Satan is at work setting snares. He wants to get us fastened onto anything except God’s Word, God’s will, and God’s plan.
As believers, we can become ensnared by false doctrines (ones that are not grounded in the Word). We can also get ensnared by any of the “sins that so easily beset us”. But however Satan snares us, Paul says that we can get stuck onto that snares and become trapped in our minds, intoxicated by the devil. Here is what one pastor explains this condition:
It is only through God’s gracious provision of repentance and knowledge of His truth that anyone, including sinning believers, may come to their spiritual senses.
Ananēphō (come to their senses) literally means to return to soberness, indicating that falsehood and sin produce what might be called a type of spiritual inebriation, a stupor resulting in loss of judgment and proper control of one’s faculties. The destructive effect of false teaching and sin numbs the conscience, confuses the mind, erodes conviction, and paralyzes the will.
Each of us needs to be constantly vigilant, always watching and on guard against any snares the devil places in our path, because:
Any Believer Can Get Snared by Satan
Who can get snared? Back up to 1 Timothy 6:9 and see Paul’s earlier warning: