Satan has schemes! He wants to stop you coming to Christ in the first place and render you ineffective if you do. So like Paul we need to be “Not unaware of his schemes.” 2 Cor 2:11.
He is a liar. The first time we encounter Satan he is lying to Eve, twisting God’s words in Gen 3, so Jesus calls him the Father of lies. He blinds the minds of unbelievers. “The god of this age has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ”. He lies and he tries to hide the truth. He masquerades as an angel of light. 2 Cor 11:13-15 shows us that Satan and his demons know enough truth to look good at times. He can do signs and wonders. Miracles do not prove someone is from the Lord. In 2 Thessalonians 2:9, the last days are described like this: “The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power, and false signs and wonders.”
Satan tempts people. Satan tried to tempt Jesus off mission in Matt 4:111 and successfully tempted Judas to betray Jesus in Luke 22.
Satan causes some sickness and disease. In Acts 10:38, Peter described Jesus as one who “went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil.” In other words, the devil often oppresses people with illness.
These schemes call for discernment. That comes in two ways. Firstly, knowing your Bible. Jesus answered every one of Satan’s misquotes of Scripture with Scripture (Matthew 4:1-11). Secondly test every spirit to see if it is from God. Will it acknowledge that Jesus is Lord?
Pray: Ask the Lord to help you in the battle of life for discernment and power.
Recommended extra reading
Demolishing Strongholds (David Devenish)
a lot of books on spiritual warfare and the devil can be a bit bonkers and notreally based on what the Bible teaches. This one shines out as a solid helpful biblical book on the whole subject.