Satan’s playbook isn’t new. In fact, it is predictable for those aware of his schemes. Unfortunately, most are ignorant of his tactics and the spiritual war waged against them daily. Since the time of Adam and Eve, Satan’s playbook has not changed. I mean why would he change it up, seeing as it has been so successful. 1 Corinthians 2:11 implores us to not be ignorant of Satan’s devices, lest he should gain an advantage over us. We have deviated so far from The Almighty’s path that we know not when or where we veered off course. A perpetual state of sin is where we are, and that’s right where Satan wants and needs us to be. The lust of the flesh; the lust of the eyes and the pride of life is how he ensnares us. To best our Enemy, we must study his playbook found in God’s Word.
The Most High God said to Lucifer:
”You were anointed as a guardian cherub, for I had ordained you. You were on the holy mountain of God; you walked among the fiery stones. You were perfect in your ways from the day that you were created, till iniquity was found in you. By the multitude of your merchandise they have filled the midst of you with violence, and you have sinned: therefore I will cast you as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy you, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty, you have corrupted your wisdom by reason of your brightness: I will cast you to the ground, I will lay you before kings, that they may behold you.” (Ezekiel 28:14-17)
“How are thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how are you cut down to the ground, which did weaken the nations! For you have said in your heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like The Most High.” (Isaiah 14:12-14)
Lucifer’s Fall From Grace Due to His Pride
Lucifer had it all. He was “the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty” (Ezekiel 28:12). One of the highest-ranking angels; he dwelt in the throne room of God. He saw the glory, honor and praise due The Almighty and wanted it for himself. Lucifer went from worshiping The Most High to desiring to be The Most High. It was only a matter of time before he rebelled and would seek to put his plan into action. His pride got him and 1/3 of the Angels cast out of heaven. Yes, pride was the sin that did him in, and it is what he uses to entice us to sin. Whether people know it, accept it, or reject it, Satan has a plan for us, and we have been complacent. We have aided the Enemy and have been co-conspirators in our own demise.
“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” (1 John 2:16)
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour:” (1 Peter 5:8)
“For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that you cannot do the things that you would” (Galatians 5:17)
Subduing the Flesh is an Uphill Climb
Attempting to subdue this flesh is a fight we will endure until the day we die or Christ returns. “For all go unto one place; all are of the dust and all turn to dust again“ (Ecclesiastes 3:20). Our five senses (touching, tasting, hearing, smelling and seeing) dominate our flesh. Satan, our Enemy has had ample time to study and to deceive mankind. He uses our senses to manipulate, to gain a stronghold over our minds, bodies and souls, all to his advantage. The lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes encompasses our five senses; and the pride of life has us believing that we are more than we really are. That we are somehow special and that what we have came by our hands, our power, our strength.
The enemy uses these three things in his playbook: the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, to entice us to sin. Scripture shows us Satans’ playbook in both the Garden of Eden and in the Desert where Christ was Tempted of the Devil.
Playbook at Work #1 – The Garden of Eden
The Serpent aka Satan was the most subtil beast of the field (Genesis 3:1), and still is. That is why we must always be vigilant and sober-minded, because the Enemy will not stop. The Most High commanded Adam that he could freely eat of every tree in the garden, except for one. Adam and Eve had the entire garden at their disposal, including the tree of life. However, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was off limits. God said that in the day he should eat of it, he would surely die (Genesis 2:16-17). The pair had everything they would need and more but instead focused on the one tree they couldn’t have. Isn’t it like Satan to get us to take our eyes off the big picture and focus on the one thing we cannot or should not have?
The Playbook Exposed
Satan approached Eve and beguiled her by twisting and contorting God’s warning. “You shall not surely die, for God knows that in the day you eat of it, your eyes shall be opened, and you shall be as gods, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:4-5). The forbidden became enticing and “Eve saw the tree that it was good for food and was pleasant to the eyes and a tree to be desired for making one wise” (Genesis 3:6). Satan pulled her right into his web. She was no longer operating in the spirit, but in her flesh. She saw that the forbidden tree was good for food (lust of the flesh), that it was pleasant to look at (lust of the eyes) and that it was good for making one wise (the pride of life). It was over! It was only a matter of time before she would partake.
Playbook at Work #2 The Temptation of Christ
Satan had been so successful with running his playbook, that he thought for sure he would have another feather in his hat. He sought to run his game on Christ, but it didn’t quite go as he had planned. In Matthew 4:1-2, “Christ was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by Satan. There, He fasted forty days and forty nights and was hungry”. So, how do you think Satan came for Christ? Using the same tactics he used in the garden because he has nothing else! “If you be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread”, he said. Christ had a comeback for him, “It is written, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:3-4). By speaking God’s Word, Christ successfully shut down “the lust of the flesh”.
Satan Fails For a 2nd Time
Satan was persistent and would not give up so easily. He took Christ and set him on a pinnacle and said to him, “If you be the Son of God, cast yourself down for it is written He shall give his angels charge concerning you and in their hands they shall bear you up, lest at any time you dash your foot against a stone”. Christ’s reply was succinct. Unlike Eve, He gave Satan no wiggle room from which to operate. “It is written again, thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God” (Matthew 4:5-7). Satan’s scheme to get Christ to fall for the “pride of life” did not work. Side note: This proves unequivocally that Satan knows God’s Law but convinces man to be lawless. He will stoop at nothing to get us out of order and will use our ignorance of the law against us.
Third Strike, You’re Out!
Then, “Satan took Christ up into an exceedingly high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them (which you cannot do on a spinning ball of water). All these things will I give you if you will fall down and worship me” (Matthew 4: 8-9). Satan enticed Christ to operate in the “lust of the eyes”. However, Christ said, “Be gone Satan, for it is written, you shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve” and Satan left him (Matthew 4:10-11). Satan had to do just that, for James 4:7says, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you”. Oh, the power we have in God’s Word.
“And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:” (Ephesians 6:17).
“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds” (2 Corinthians 10:4)
“The thing that has been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9)