At the end of Ephesians 6, Paul reminds us that we find out place in a larger spiritual battle. It is a battle that existed since Satan's fall. One thing we should be aware of in this battle is that Satan is our enemy and we should be aware of his schemes. His methods are predicable.
In the 1600s,Thomas Brooks, a Puritan preacher wrote a great book titled... Precious Remedies against Satan's Devices outlining some of the schemes of the enemy. Here are some of those.
a. HE SHOWS YOU THE BAIT AND HIDES THE HOOK
He gets us to look at the short term pleasure of sin and hides the long term misery. You know the short term pleasure of venting your anger, but then you forget the long term hurt it will create. He shows you the short term pleasure of sharing a piece of gossip, without seeing the hook of how it can potentially destroy a relationship.
B. GETTING YOU TO RATIONALIZE SIN AS VIRTUE
Other times Satan will get us to rationalize our sin. We tell ourselves that we can't be greedy, but we are thrifty. Or we are good savers. Or we don't over drink, we are just sociable. Or we aren't nosy. We are just concerned people. He tricks us into believing our sin really has virtue.
C. HE GETS YOU TO FOCUS ON THE SINS OF OTHERS SO YOU THINK THAT YOU ARE ALLOWED AS WELL.
Sometimes the enemy gets us to look at what others do and rationalize that since they did it we can do it too. He loves to point out the imperfections of others and makes us think that is ok for us.
D. HE GETS US TO COMPARE ONE AREA OF OUR LIFE WITH ANOTHER
We can easily look at our life and see that because we are good in one area, we should be able to compromise in another. We are faithful at serving Jesus, so we are allowed to compromise in another area. Don't you see this on TV with mafia hit men? All the movies show them as great family men. They love their families. They are good to their mamas. They love their kids, but they kill people. They think it is ok to kill people because they do so many other good things. We do that to a lesser degree. We look at parts of our life and rationalize that God can tolerate sin in a different area of life because it will all balance out towards good.