A certain Wolf could not get enough to eat because of the watchfulness of the Shepherds. But one night he found a sheep skin that had been cast aside and forgotten. The next day, dressed in the skin, the Wolf strolled into the pasture with the Sheep. Soon a little Lamb was following him about and was quickly led away to slaughter. In the same way the Bible says, “and no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14).
Satan does not appear with an overt plan, he strategizes subtly. He utilizes foot-in-the-door strategy. That is a tactic that salespeople use to prolong conversations with potential clients. In such situations a salesman walks up to your door and knocks or rings the doorbell. Once you open, he places one foot between your opened door and the threshold. Any decent person would find it hard to shut the door, injuring the foot in the process. With that act, the salesperson finds time to make his pitch. In the same way, Lucifer looks to place a foot-in-the-door in your life, and when he finds it, the stage is set as the first link to bring you down. However, as you will see later, that is only the first of his 3-step process to destroy.
As the sheep and wolf story demonstrates, Satan will employ various types of foot-in-the-door strategies to enter your life and that of your family – even fake friends. Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character”(1 Cor 15:33). He may also come to you through appetite, or like Balaam’s story, he may present wealth (Numbers 22-24). For Samson, sexual appeal was the crack-in-the-door; for Judas, it was 30 pieces of silver. Whether you know it or not, he will find your crack and plant his foot right in the middle of it.
Vulnerability to start the chain of deceit
Sometimes his entry point may be bad company, lustful desire, or greed. Even so, the devil is competent in finding time of vulnerability as an opening into your life, and trust me, he will attack. He looks for time of emptiness, periods of isolation; even times of hunger could be the hole that he finds. One thing one can never dismiss is his use of anger. He uses it masterfully to capture your soul (Ephesians 4:26-27 26).
Exhaustion is another weapon he leverages: Have you ever tried to do the right thing at work when you are already tired? How much power do you have to resist when you are already sapped of energy? He attacked Jesus at the time when our saviour was hungry, tired, and weary. He tackled Moses in anger. And conquered David when he was isolated and alone.
What have we learnt here? Never allow yourself to get too tired, too angry, too isolated or in extreme cases of physical need, because that is just where he wants you. He wants that foothold.
Three links in Satan’s chain of deceit
No matter what method he employs, an opening is all he needs to begin his three-step process for the destruction of your life, demolition of your family, or dislodgement of a relationship with your God. So here is his plan: First, he wants to capture your attention; second, indulge your desire; and finally urge you to act on your desire. And like you will see in the story of David, once he sees a crack in the door, that three-step plan springs into action:
“In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, David sent Joab out with the king’s men and the whole Israelite army. They destroyed the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained in Jerusalem. One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful, and David sent someone to find out about her. The man said, “She is Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite.” Then David sent messengers to get her. She came to him, and he slept with her. (Now she was purifying
herself from her monthly uncleanness.) Then she went back home. The woman conceived and sent word to David, saying, “I am pregnant” (2 Sam. 11).
Satan used the complete plan to entrap and ensnare David, but David provided the opening (Crack-in-the-door): David was not where he was supposed to be and not surrounded by the support he needed. (The things that sustain us spiritually must always be present with us). Verse two of 2 Samuel chapter 11 says David should have been with his soldiers and with the king’s men away on the battlefield. But he was alone without support – the crack in the door.
He further went onto the roof where he saw the woman – captured attention.
He watched long enough to describe how she looked – indulged his desire.
He sent for her – acted on his desire.
And those of us who read the bible and that story knows the destruction and death that followed.
But it all started by making himself vulnerable in a place and situation that should have never been.
Do not present and easy first link
Do not tread on the devil’s ground. The bible says in Ephesians 4: 27 “In your anger do not sin and do not give the devil a foothold.” Job says I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a young woman – a potential first link. “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Pet. 5:8). To paraphrase, beware that the devil by default is looking for you, why open the door. Watch out in time of weakness and vulnerability because that may be the open door for which he is yearning.