The Bible teaches that we wrestle not with flesh and blood, but with spiritual forces of evil (Ephesians 6:12). One of the enemy’s tactics against the Church uses reverse psychology. It’s important to recognize this when it happens to know whether to respond at all, rather than allowing it to have access to our lives so we live in a way that we’re constantly reacting to the latest drama, rather than being pro-active in the love of God.
To witness all the fear-based control of our societies is to learn some things about how the enemy works. Quite often the events we witness are not just random situations but are pre-planned to provoke an expected response. Then there are already plans in place for how to manipulate those responses to continue advancing a certain agenda. Most often they involve scaring people one way or another, then manipulating them through their own fear.
It makes a huge difference to stick with Biblical precepts in how we relate to others during such situations. The nonbelieving world is full of people who will return insult for insult, or fight for their rights as they understand them when those rights are infringed upon. The Bible teaches us to weigh our responses carefully so as not to be baited into circumstances that make things worse, not better. A sense of self-righteousness will always take the bait but a righteous relationship with God brings revelation about how to facilitate peace and order amidst such challenges. It prompts us to refuse to simply react, and to get proactive in the love of God by seeing every scare-mongering event as an opportunity to reach people for Him.
The current pandemic crisis is one example of how fear is manipulated to provoked expected responses, with plans already in place to take things further based on those responses. Fear and anger are natural emotions to feel when bullies attempt to overstep their authority, or when our rights are denied, but it doesn’t mean they bring any solutions that work. It just means it gives them more ammunition to use against us if they’ve already planned to do so.
Rather than being quick to react a better option is to get alone with God and pray for wisdom and revelation from Him, about how to handle each situation. Sometimes it’s the case that He allows His people to be challenged so they’ll draw closer to Him, and learn to walk with Him one day at a time. As the Kingdom of God manifests among us it displaces the ways of this world with His Presence. We learn to take up residence in who He is so that we hear His voice guiding us in how to move through our circumstances in ways that represent who He is.
So we may witness the dismantling of certain aspects of life in this world that really don’t represent His Kingdom at all. If we’re so accustomed to things being the way they are then we may feel we can’t handle the change. We may think we’re being robbed of our rights or forced into situations we don’t want to be in. We may be quick to fight back when in fact, God is allowing some of it to draw us closer to Himself. When we seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness He may show us how to best use our circumstances to draw others to Himself and to be part of the solutions in the lives of others.
In order to do that we need to recognize the reverse psychology of the enemy when it manifests, and resist. It often comes through the voices of accusers who are guilty themselves of doing what they accuse us of doing. They do this to throw up a smokescreen and hide their own evil behaviour. It’s a waste of time trying to defend ourselves. Rather, simply recognize it’s often the case that the accuser is also the real perpetrator. No reaction is needed but the real enemy is disarmed by a gracious pro-active expression of God’s love. Returning curses with blessings over-rules the powers of darkness that seek to rule over us with fear.
Understand that when masses of people are thrown into fear, it doesn’t help to be fearful with them. Pray for wisdom and understanding about how to serve as part of God’s answer to the fear, and look for opportunities to make situations better. Refuse to be baited into getting angry at perceived injustices and offer forgiveness and grace to expose the real enemy who is not even human, and give the people involved space to change their way of thinking.
The true Church has the authority of Christ to over-rule every power of darkness at work in our nations. It doesn’t happen when we lack spiritual discernment to recognize the bait prodding us to be self-righteous. It happens when we meet fear-mongering and accusations with NO reaction at all, and instead overpower the enemy of our souls with the love of God.
To be able to have enough faith to bless our perceived enemies while they curse us and plot against us, is to receive the victory over them. It demonstrates to them that we are walking in a higher authority which they might not otherwise know about. It might be the only chance they have to realize they don’t need to behave as they do, and they can join us in living for the Kingdom of God which produces a government of peace without end.
Otherwise, to always be in reaction mode is to feed the fears that keep many people in darkness and torment. The Bible says the joy of the Lord is our strength and that when we endure trials to ‘count it all joy’. Consider it a challenge to get proactive in love and joy during the most trying circumstances for the benefit of everyone affected. Then be ready to share the good news of the gospel with those who ask about the source. In this way we over-rule the enemy’s attempts to manipulate us mentally with reverse psychology, and fear.