Satan is a schemer. Consequently, when we contrive a deceitful plan, we are sinning against God and the victims of our conspiracy. Whether in dating, an affair, marriage, family, politics, business, sports, nonprofit work, or even ministry, Solomon warned: “Whoever plots evil will be known as a schemer. The schemes of folly are sin, and people detest a mocker” (Proverbs 24:8-9).
Solomon taught that Satan’s prey is our: hearts, mouths, eyes, and feet (see Proverbs 4:23-27), and Scripture exposes his strategy (see 2 Corinthians 2:11). Just remember the fishing analogy: bait, hook, line, and sinker. Satan baits us with temptation (see Matthew 4:3). He hooks us in the deceit of dissatisfied desires (see 2 Corinthians 11:14). He lifts the line from the water with the accusation of evil before God and others (see Revelation 12:10). He sinksus in destruction (see 1 Peter 5:8; John 10:10).
Satan is a tempter. He lures us with a shiny bait. This temptation does not come from God; rather, it stems from the evil one to entice our sinful desires. While temptation is not a sin, falling prey to it is (see James 1:13-14). Jesus was tempted in every way that we are, and yet, He did not sin (see Hebrews 4:15; Matthew 4:3-11). He was alert to the enemy’s patterns: “With narrowed eyes, people plot evil; with a smirk, they plan mischief” (Proverbs 16:30 NLT). We must keep in mind that, by definition, we cannot be tempted unless we know what is right.
Satan is a deceiver. He masquerades as an angel of light (see 2 Corinthians 11:14). Although, the temptation, or bait, looks really good, it is all part of his charade, which conceals the danger inside the temptation. Within every bait, he disguises sin’s hook of dissatisfied desires. Whereas Satan’s bait falsely promises to satisfy, the hook holds us captive when we fall prey to the temptation and sin. This deceitful hook of dissatisfied desires makes us even more vulnerable to falling to the same temptation again.
Satan is an accuser (see Revelation 12:10). Just like a fisherman pulls the line from the water to show everyone what he caught, so Satan lifts up his line to show God and others what he has snagged. He uses the line of accusation to convict us of sin against the Holy One. Have you ever noticed how an accuser typically practices the act which he accuses another of doing? Satan is the origin of the evil he accuses humanity of committing.
Satan is a destroyer (see 1 Peter 5:8; John 10:10). The sinker that took the bait, hook, and line down is designed to take us down with it. Although the bait of temptation appears to be attractive, the hook of dissatisfied desires is disguised inside to keep us returning to the bait. The line of accusation presents us before God and others as fallen prey to Satan whose intent is to destroy us.
The Bible makes it clear that the bait, hook, line, and sinker are all the work of a defeated being, one who has already lost and desires to take down anyone he can. Jesus was not only victorious over the temptation of Satan, He also defeated Satan through His life, death, and resurrection (see Hebrews 2:14-15; 1 John 3:8).
People detest schemers and mockers who follow Satan’s pattern. Perhaps, you are caught in an evil web that began with good intentions. Repent. Turn to Christ who will forgive you, restore you, and set you free. Through His Word, His people, and His Spirit, He will make you new again.