3 Satanic Traps You Must Avoid at All Costs

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James W. Goll

As we know, Satan has established an evil spiritual kingdom as a rival to God’s kingdom. He rules over fallen angels and demonic spirits and incites them to seek to establish footholds in our minds and hearts.

Here are three common satanic traps we need to both discern and avoid:

1. Disguises and masquerade parties. Falseness and deceit are part of the fallen human condition. Scripture warns us against status-seeking people within the church who claim to be more anointed and righteous than they really are. These people masquerade as men and women of strength and integrity, but if you scratch the surface, they are nothing like that.

“For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds” (2 Cor. 11:13-15, NASB).

Believers who begin to live behind a false front soon lose their discernment. It happens with the shifting of their boundaries between truth and error. As soon as a person sees that they have managed to fool others—and the first time often feels so good—the boundaries of their conscience begin to shift. Truth becomes a relative thing. They reason their way into more deception without realizing what they’re doing.

The only way we can discern good from evil and light from dark is to reject our role-playing and be so in tune with the real truth and source of light that, as a result, we can see, hear, feel, taste, smell and know the difference. God’s light exposes the darkness. When we walk closely with the Holy Spirit, He helps us to detect disguises in ourselves and others, and He shows us how to be set free. He will enable us to distinguish the true light from the false version.

2. The Spirit of Leviathan (pride). The spirit of Leviathan partners with the political spirit, the religious spirit, the antichrist spirit and other spirits to twist the truth and make it palatable to susceptible saints. Pride can also interfere with communication by preventing hearers from understanding what someone is trying to say. Additionally, pride causes offense and breeds fear and overreaction. Prideful Leviathan is a formidable foe indeed. (See Job 41:1-10 and Isaiah 27:1.)

As the Scriptures tell us, pride always comes before a fall (Prov. 16:18, NKJV). Yet sometimes it seems to take a long time for the fall to come. How does the Lord kill the dragon named Pride in us? It is best that we invite Him to search our hearts so that the fall may be prevented and we can regain a clear spirit before Him. (See Psalm 139:23-24.)

Let us cooperate with God to kill this dragon named Pride. I pray, “Send Your light and grace, Lord! I humble myself before You. Help! I cannot help myself.” James 4:6 (NIV) tells us, “But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says, ‘God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.'” God always shows grace-filled favor to those who are humble (1 Pet. 5:5). This is the opposite of the fear and intimidation that come from the spirit of pride.

3. The Spirit of offense. The word translated “offend” comes from the Greek word skandalon. It originally referred to the trigger of a trap, to which the bait was attached. Anything that offends us is, in fact, a trap that we must watch out for. Offenses pile up and become quarrels. We usually don’t notice the trap early enough to avoid it, although we can learn to discern more clearly in order to walk more carefully.

People who are quarrelsome or adversarial have tripped the trap and become ensnared. What’s worse, as the offenses control them and their behavior toward others, they may not recognize the fact that they are being held prisoner to do the devil’s will (2 Tim. 2:24-26, NKJV).

Offended people fall into two major categories: (1) those who have been treated unjustly, and (2) those who believe with all their hearts that they have been wronged, judging by assumption, appearance and hearsay. Either way, we cannot effectively escape from the trap through more agitation or argument, but only through forgiveness—total forgiveness.

This is why I pray the Lord’s Prayer almost every day, and when I come to the line “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us,” I think about my current relationships.

Forgiveness works wonders to straighten me out. Only when I forgive can I overcome the enemy, hear God’s voice clearly again and walk in the fullness of His will. Forgiveness, humiliating and even weak as it can seem, is a potent antidote to the demonic toxins that would otherwise bring us down to the enemy’s level. {eoa}

Dr. James W. Goll is the founder of God Encounters Ministries. He is an international bestselling author, a certified Life Language Coach, an adviser to leaders and ministries, and a recording artist. James has traveled around the world ministering in more than 50 nations, sharing the love of Jesus and imparting the power of intercession, prophetic ministry and life in the Spirit. He has recorded numerous classes with corresponding curriculum kits and is the author of more than 50 books, including The Seer, The Prophet, The Discerner, The Lost Art of Intercession and Praying with God’s Heart. James is also the founder of GOLL Ideation LLC, where creativity, consulting and leadership training come together.

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