Discover the Book - May 12, 2009

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Our Unseen but DANGEROUS Enemy-Satan

 

While the crowds were singing praises to Jesus that first Palm Sunday—unseen and dangerous spiritual beings were at work. By Thursday evening of the Passion Week Satan himself had entered Judas to carry of the greatest crime of all—the unjust condemnation and execution of Christ. Unseen but dangerous 

Every year millions of Americans buy and use millions of gallons of germ-killing, 99.7% effective, anti-bacterial substances—because we fear physical sickness and bodily disease from unseen but dangerous germs.  

Yet at the same time many of those same Americans walk blithely through life surrounded by countless evil, soul-threatening, spiritual beings known as Satan and his demons that are also unseen but dangerous, but they take no precautions against them at all. 

Rather than protect their lives spiritually from deadly spiritual infections, viruses, and contaminants—many people deliberately infect themselves with agents that cause spiritual sickness. Deadly spiritual influences through unseen but dangerous beings that should be avoided, yet they read them, listen to them, think about them, buy them, hoard them, store them, collect them, and meditate upon them regularly. 

Are you aware that this morning Satan, the incredibly powerful, unseen but dangerous god of this world wants to poison your thoughts and emotions away from the purity of God's truth? The super-powerful, fallen angelic crown prince against whom not even Michael the archangel dared to face off, has focused his attacks upon us in two areas: our thoughts and our emotions.  

If we stay unaware of Satan's unseen but dangerous plan, he will start using the unguarded pieces of life; each little area that we fail to guard, Satan grabs, reconfigures for evil against us and makes another base to attack us.  

There Is A War Swirling Within Us 

In C. S. Lewis' The Screwtape Letters, Uncle Screwtape offers his nephew a little advice on the goal and strategy of Satan’s attacks. 

‘You will say that these are very small sins; and doubtless, like all young tempters, you are anxious to be able to report spectacular wickedness.  But do remember the only thing that matters is the extent to which you separate the man from the Enemy.  It does not matter how small the sins are, provided that their cumulative effect is to edge the man away from the Light and out into the Nothing.  Murder is no better than cards if cards can do the trick.  Indeed, the safest road to Hell is the gradual one—the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.’ 

How true. Don’t yield any ground in your life to the Devil. Nothing in life is neutral, nothing in life is harmless. Everything in life is either for God or against Him. Everything is either promoting God’s Glory or opposing it. Nothing is neutral when it comes to God; never forget that as you assess the daily patterns and habits of your life. 

Pleas listen to Paul’s impassioned plea to all believers in 2 Corinthians 10:1-6

Now I, Paul, myself am pleading with you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ—who in presence am lowly among you, but being absent am bold toward you. 2 But I beg you that when I am present I may not be bold with that confidence by which I intend to be bold against some, who think of us as if we walked according to the flesh. 3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, 6 and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled. 

This morning I urge you to re-examine what you are doing each day in life and why. Hold up all of your habits, desires, hobbies, spare time, recreation, sports, pursuits, collections, appetites, and all else to the scrutiny of God's Word.  

To help us all to do that spiritual check-up, think with me through how God has revealed Satan and what that implies as to his attacks upon us. Here are the top dozen or so ways that Satan is at work against us as believers… 

1.  Satan the father of lies (as he is revealed in John 8:44 "You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.) wants to snatch the Word of God from your mind. Do the pursuits and activities you have chosen help Satan snatch God's Word from your mind? Is it hard to read the Word after you watch certain movies? Is your music collection more precious than your Bible? Do you seem to NEVER get anything out of the Bible or church anymore? That is Satan the father of lies snatching God's Word from your mind!

2.  Satan as the evil one (as he is revealed in Matthew 6:13 NASB 'And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one [For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.]’) wants you to think little-by-little that sin is not so bad. Do the movies you watch, the TV shows you watch, the music you watch and listen to, the web explorations you make, the books and magazines you read make you think little-by-little that sin is really not that bad? That is Satan the evil one tampering with your thinking!

3.  Satan the unholy one (as he is revealed in I John 2:13 ‘wicked one’ I write to you, fathers, Because you have known Him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, Because you have overcome the wicked one. I write to you, little children, Because you have known the Father.) wants you to slowly learn to laugh at sin on television and in the movies. Do you laugh at shows and movies where there is sexual innuendo, and God’s absolute holiness and righteous standards are mocked? That is Satan the unholy one teaching you to laugh at sin!

4.  Satan the deceiver (as he is revealed in II Corinthians 11:3 But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.) wants to destroy your conscience bit-by-bit so it will no longer warn you. Did words that used to offend you no longer offend you? Do images that used to trouble your conscience as displeasing to God no longer trouble you? Do places you used to feel dishonored the Lord no longer feel that way? Do immoral, godless activities no longer make righteous indignation rise? Are you sitting in the gates of Sodom like Lot with evil just playing out in front of your eyes—without your righteous soul being vexed? That is Satan the deceiver destroying your conscience bit-by-bit!

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