The devil is thrilled with the current scepticism with which he’s viewed. The more we doubt or downplay his existence, the more he’s free to hurt and hamper us. Jesus never doubted the reality of the devil. The Bible says, ‘Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.’ (Matthew 4:1 NKJV) But Jesus was victorious. And He proved that God uses Satan’s schemes to strengthen us.
Times of testing are actually times of spiritual training. ‘My friends, consider yourselves fortunate when… trials come your way, for you know that when your faith succeeds in facing such trials, the result is the ability to endure. Make sure that your endurance carries you all the way without failing, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.’ (James 1:2–4 GNT) God loves you too much to leave you undeveloped and immature. ‘Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as His children… If you are not disciplined… then you are not… true sons and daughters at all. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us… How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! … God disciplines us for our good… that we may share in His holiness.’ (Hebrews 12:7–10 NIV)
Paul says, ‘We are not ignorant of [Satan’s] schemes.’ In the film Patton, the American general counterattacks Field Marshal Rommel’s troops during World War ll. In the thick-of-battle scene, Patton shouts, ‘Rommel… I read your book!’ Patton had studied Rommel’s Infantry Attacks. He knew the German leader’s strategies and planned his moves accordingly. And when you become acquainted with Satan’s moves you can stop him cold in his tracks.