Evil Schemes

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. – Ephesians 6:10-11.

In the news again on Wednesday (2007), was the pizza deliveryman who was killed by a bomb collar around his neck in 2003. Federal prosecutors now are saying, that the deliveryman was involved to some extent; but no information, or evidence, was provided to substantiate this claim. We do know of two people who were involved, and would have benefited from the bank robbery. Marjorie Diehl Armstrong is in prison for the murder of her boyfriend, James Roden. It is alleged that she killed Roden, to prevent him from revealing the details of the bank robbery plot. Armstrong asked Kenneth Barnes to help with the plot, so that she would have the money needed to have her father killed. Barnes is currently in prison for a drug conviction. What a twisted evil scheme!

Only the devil could come up with something so twisted, and evil; but he is constantly scheming, and planning to tear apart the lives of everyone that he can. Ephesians 6:11 says, “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” Some other translations render “wiles of the devil” as:

NIV: “devil’s schemes.”

New Living Translation: “strategies of the devil.”

Amplified Bible: “strategies and the deceits of the devil.”

Contemporary English Version: “devil’s tricks.”

Holman Christian Standard Bible: “tactics of the Devil.”

New Life Version: “traps of the devil.”

Wycliffe New Testament: “ambushings of the devil.”

I originally memorized the verse in the New International Version many years ago. For years, I would recite the verse from memory as I went through my verses, and instead of “devil’s schemes” I would say, “devil’s evil schemes.” Reading through Ephesians one day I paused to ponder the verse, and discovered I had been adding a word all these years. However, after thinking about it I decided to leave in the “evil”, because all of the devil’s schemes are evil.

The devil has so many evil schemes, which include things the whole range of addictive behavior from substance abuse to pornography. Then there are the twisted things like Marjorie Armstrong came up with that ended so badly. The spiritual fact is that the devil is constantly seeking to draw you into one of his evil schemes in whatever way that he can.

How can we avoid being a victim of the devil’s scheming? “Put on the whole armor of God” and make your stand. Gird your “waist with truth…having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints (Ephesians 6:14-18).”

We should also “…be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.” Because He, the Lord Jesus, has the resources that we need to make our stand. In Psalm 32:8 in the New Living Translation, it is made even more clear about how being strong in the Lord applies to defeating the evil schemes of the devil. We are told, “The Lord says, ‘I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.'” We seek the Lord, and He will guide us, and advise us, and watch over us. When we are filled up with the wisdom of the Lord, advised by the Lord, watched over by the Lord, and on the pathway of the Lord; it will be very hard for the devil to trick us into falling for one of his evil schemes.

(Watch out for the devil’s evil schemes.)

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