Is it possible that there are dark, spiritual forces trying to get you into a bad relationship or keep you out of a good relationship? According to Ephesians 6:11-12, yes! It states:
Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”
Don’t assume everything that happens in your life is a direct result of a spiritual attack. But don’t ignore the truths of Scripture that ultimately our real enemy is “the cosmic powers over this present darkness.
By reversing the advice in Ephesians 6:10-20 that God has given us to fight the enemy, we can also see 7 common schemes the enemy will try to use against us in life, including when it comes to relationships.
Also, the deadline to enroll in AGW University is just a few days away. These courses help Christian singles get unstuck, heal from past relationship hurts, and meet the one God may have for them. And if you enroll before the deadline, which is February 27th at 11:59pm, I’m also offering a $50 scholarship and three months of email coaching with me at no additional tuition cost. For more information, click here.
Scheme 1. Giving Up in a Sinful Way
Ephesians 6:13 states, “Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.” God tells us to stand firm because the enemy always wants us to do the opposite.
Perhaps you are in a sinful relationship where you keep falling to premarital sex. The enemy will tempt you with lie, “Stop repenting. It’s no use. You can’t break up and can’t stop having sex. So just give in and stop fighting.” Or perhaps you have met a godly person God does want you with, but the “getting to know you phase” is a lot harder than you thought it would be. Perhaps the enemy is saying, “This isn’t worth your time. Give up. It’s too hard.”
If you are being tempted to give up in a sinful way because of something that is happening with you and this person, this is a sign spiritual forces are deceiving you.
Scheme 2. Accepting Lies or Telling Lies
Ephesians 6:14 states, “Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth . . . .”
Sometimes you want someone so bad you are willing to lie to win them. Any time you are tempted to sin to get a relationship or keep a relationship, you know the enemy is against you. False gods demand a sacrifice. You will sacrifice your own character when you are worshiping an idol.
Additionally, sometimes you are willing to accept the lies of someone else if you want them too badly. Never allow someone to tell you lies just so you can stay together. A relationship built on lies is what the spiritual forces of evil want for you.
Scheme 3. Compromising on Righteousness
Ephesians 6:14 states, “. . . and having put on the breastplate of righteousness . . .”
Righteousness is the opposite of sinfulness. God loves righteous living from his people because this accurately reflects his righteousness. Satan wants you to compromise on God’s standards so you will look more like the world and less like Christ.
If you need to change who you are in Christ to be with someone, this is a strong sign the enemy is leading you down a dangerous, painful path.
Scheme 4. Fruitless Relationship Conflict
Ephesians 6:15 says, “. . . as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace . . .”
Not all problems in a relationship are bad. It’s healthy to address issues and have fruitful conflict. God will use conflict just as iron scrapes against iron to sharpen the blade (Proverbs 27:17).
But notice that word I keep using, “fruitful conflict.” The enemy wants you to have unfruitful conflict that results in nothing but harm for you and this other person.
Scheme 5. Doubting God’s Goodness
Ephesians 6:16 says, “In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one . . .”
God works through faith. The devil works through doubt. I’m not saying you should have faith that this person is the one. Satan can trick you into staying with the wrong person by tricking you that this is the right person. In other words, when you believe someone is the one when they are really not, you are actually keeping yourself away from the real person God wants you with. So you should have doubts in a relationship until those questions are answered with facts, not just feelings.
But if you are beginning to doubt the goodness of God and losing faith in him because of something that is happening between you and another person, this is a sign Satan is using this relationship to deceive you. This person is not the answer to all your issues. They could be a blessing to you. But God is “the blessing” we need most.
Scheme 6. Feeling Lost or Condemned
Ephesians 6:17 says, “. . . and take the helmet of salvation . . .”
Satan wants you to make a person into your god. When you do this, you will link your salvation to how your relationship with this person is going. When things are going well, you will feel “saved.” But when things are going bad, your world will crumble and you will begin to feel condemned.
God is the only true God, and therefore he alone can bring us the salvation we need through Jesus Christ. If you feel condemned or lost because of something that is happening with this person, this is what the enemy wants. Turn to Christ and remember the true path to salvation (Romans 8:1).
Scheme 7. Neglecting Prayer and Scripture
Ephesians 6:17-18 states, “. . . and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.”
While human love is a blessing from God, it’s not God’s desire for us to spend more time and emotional energy focusing on another person compared to the amount of time and emotional energy we are focusing on Christ.
If you are not grounded in Scripture and connecting with Christ in prayer, you will be pulled away by a relationship (or even just by a desire for a relationship). Satan wants you to try fill your heart with the love of another person rather than the love of God.
For more information about my biblical relationship training courses, feel free to click here. The deadline to enroll is February 27th at 11:59pm.