Peacock Butterfly. Image by đź‘€ Mabel Amber from Pixabay

If you’re out for a walk in nature, you may not realize how much you’re being tricked.

You may think you’ve got an accurate picture of the natural world around you, but in many cases, you’re being fooled.

That’s because some creatures are masters of deception.

Stick insects camouflage themselves by mimicking the shape and colour of twigs on a tree. Moths may blend in so well with the bark pattern of the tree they’re resting on that you’d never know they’re there.

The killdeer bird fakes having a broken wing to make a predator think she will be an easy meal, thereby luring it away from the vulnerable chicks in her nest. Then she suddenly flies away, to the surprise of the predator.

Even beautiful butterflies get in on the act of trickery. Some species have markings on their wings that look like huge eyes. The eyespots may discourage a predator from attacking by making it think the insect is in fact a much larger animal.

These false eyes may serve another purpose: to encourage an attacker to aim for the wrong target. The markings deflect an attack away from the butterfly’s head or body to parts less vital for survival, such as its wing margins. By using this deception, the butterfly outwits its enemies and is able to fly away with a torn wing at worst, but otherwise relatively unscathed.

Butterflies aren’t the only creatures to use misdirection in this way:

Satan does, too, and we need to be wise to his tactics. We may not realize how much he’s tricking us.

Scripture tells us that Satan is the father of lies, a schemer and a deceiver. He can even disguise himself as an angel of light. One of the ways he fools us is to stir up trouble and then tempt us into blaming the wrong party for the ensuing problems in our lives.

Just as a butterfly’s eyespots misdirect an attacker, Satan’s subterfuge diverts us from the true source of many of our trials. His schemes encourage us to pin the blame on the wrong person, even on God, and to mistakenly aim off target in retaliation.

When we face problems in life, they may be due to our own failures or simply because we’re living in a fallen world. But we often zero in on a certain person as the instigator of our woes. It may be our spouse, a parent, our boss, an in-law or a co-worker. These people may indeed have done us wrong, and need to be held accountable for their actions.

But it may be the case that they aren’t the true source of our misery at all. The Bible tells us that Satan comes to kill, steal and destroy. This means that he might be the ultimate culprit when disaster strikes us and our health, relationships, reputation or livelihood are threatened.

Is there an enemy hiding in your midst? Image by Ă…sa K from Pixabay

Satan is a master at “false flag” operations: committing acts with the intent of disguising the actual source of responsibility and pinning the blame on another party. The ruse of flying an incorrect flag has been used in naval warfare for centuries, notably by pirates, to deceive other ships. Likewise, Satan’s favourite tactic is to fly a false flag and get us to blame others, especially God, for the suffering in our lives, when in fact Satan himself may be responsible.

Our enemy deceives us by presenting false targets for us to aim at. He makes us waste our time in going after the wrong foes. He camouflages his presence in our lives so that we don’t even suspect he’s there.

Worse, he tries to damage our faith by fooling us into thinking God is being unjust or unloving toward us.

Don’t be fooled by Satan’s deceptive schemes. Lashing out at the people we think have done us wrong usually gets us nowhere, because they aren’t our true enemy. Neither is God.

So aim your arrows at the proper target, and don’t let yourself be distracted by your enemy’s diversionary tactics!

“For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.”

Ephesians 6:12

© 2021 Lori J. Cartmell. All rights reserved.

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