By Grant Phillips
My previous article was called “Reboot.” In it I discussed the fact that we can’t change the bad things we have said and done, even if we could give our right arm and make it happen. To follow-up, I would like to look behind the reason we do “stupid stuff.”
Also, I am addressing this article to true Christians, but anyone who would like to become a Christian and join us is welcome. How?
“For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.” (1 Corinthians 15:3-5)
“On the contrary, what does it say? The message is near you, in your mouth and in your heart. This is the message of faith that we proclaim: If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. One believes with the heart, resulting in righteousness, and one confesses with the mouth, resulting in salvation. For the Scripture says, Everyone who believes on him will not be put to shame, since there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, because the same Lord of all richly blesses all who call on him. For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Romans 10:8-13)
As a Christian, we should constantly remind ourselves that we are in a spiritual war. Satan is always seeking to destroy, not just us, but any influence we may have on others to hear the Gospel and know Christ. Please read Ephesians 6:10-20.
Also, there is another passage I have used often, as have others, but it drives home the point.
“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” (1 Peter 5:8-9)
Any Christian who has spent much time in studying the Bible is aware that Satan cannot be but in one place at a time. He is not God, who is omnipresent. However, he has an untold number of demonic angels, his army, that work for him. We cannot see them, but they are all around us, and they know us intimately. Let us understand that a Christian cannot be indwelt by a demon, but they certainly can be influenced by them.
So how does this “roaring lion” prowl around looking for someone to devour. First of all, allow me to differentiate between those of us who know Jesus as our Savior and those who do not. Does Satan, by proxy through his army, attack both the saved and unsaved, or just one or the other? He attacks both.
Those without Jesus Christ can be indwelt by demons. In my personal opinion, I believe that demon possession is increasing significantly today as we draw closer to our Lord’s return.
Satan will attack these folks by indwelling them or influencing the decisions they make in life. Obviously, he does not want any unsaved person to be saved. Because of this, he will use every tactic at his disposal to keep them either from hearing the Gospel or to influence their decision towards the Gospel.
He will use drugs, alcohol, sex, greed, jealousy, ignorance, and ANYTHING else to drive them from the Truth. Remember, he is the father of lies.
“You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” (John 8:44)
Would you like to know why this world is in such a mess? Why is there so much hate? Why is there such widespread perversion of sex? Why so many murders and thefts? Why are so many relying on illegal drugs and alcohol? Why are there so many suicides? Why are families being ripped apart? Why are so many individuals mentally warped about their sexuality? Why are so many children suffering because of the environment they are forced to live in? These are just a few of the questions we might ask, but what is the answer?
Mankind is being flushed down the toilet because of a devil named Satan that hates men, women, boys, and girls almost as much as he hates God. His goal is to destroy their lives, keep them from coming to Christ and have them spend eternity in hell. He knows that hell is his future eternal home and he wants to take as many of us with him as possible. Maybe, somehow (he thinks) he might defeat Jesus after all.
Since he cannot indwell a Christian, since we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, how does he attack us, again by proxy? Satan is a supernatural genius profiler. We’ve all heard of criminal profilers. Satan and his fallen angels, demons, cannot be matched in their ability to profile us. He knows our weak points and our strong points. He knows what buttons to push to confuse us and get us off course.
When Paul and Peter warn us of spiritual warfare, perhaps we should take note that this is real. It is serious.
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Ephesians 6:12)
“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)
All Christians, because we still have the old sin nature, have weaknesses, and Satan will attack us as often as possible in our weak areas. I’ll list just a few to clarify.
Do you have a tongue you can’t control? Maybe you gossip, for example. Satan will use that weakness against you and others to kill your effectiveness for Christ.
Is laziness your weakness? If so, he’ll keep you from what the Lord is leading you to in your life.
Is it pride? Satan is very familiar with pride, since he is eaten up with it. Again, he will use it against you.
Do you have a problem with illicit sex? Satan has destroyed many lives by ignoring what God says about sex.
The point is, whatever your weakness is, and you do have one or more, Satan knows what it is and he will use it against you to defeat your Christian influence with others.
Let us also take note that we can’t defeat Satan, BUT he is no match for God. This is exactly why all Christians should be in the Word and in prayer constantly. I’m sure this is why Paul wrote in 1 Thessalonians 5:17, “Pray without ceasing.” We should always be in prayer, because the closer we stand to Him, the less victory Satan can have against us.
Don’t think it will be easy. Jesus said in Matthew 16:24, “… If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” We can’t defeat Satan in our power, but we can defeat him in the power of our omnipotent God.
In conjunction with this, the more we try to live for Jesus, the harder Satan will fight against us. If we are one of those Christians who look and act so much like the world, it’s hard to tell us apart, Satan won’t spend much effort against us. Why? We’re already producing nothing, so why should he waste his time. He’ll spend his time more wisely on those who are trying to glorify their Savior by obeying Him.
Other areas, not associated with our weaknesses, Satan can and will attack us, for example, in our home and our job. He may bring dissension in our marriage or with our children. We may have problems at work that drag us down, or we may even lose our job. There could be problems which arise with our friends, neighbors or relatives that he may have instigated. This isn’t to say that everything that happens to us is caused by Satan or his influence. It is only to say, he “may” use these or he will at least take advantage of these opportunities to defeat us.
As Satan prowls the earth, we must remain alert to his schemes against us. Peter says to, “Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” (1 Peter 5:9) How do we resist him? Our best offense is to stay close to our Lord, by being in His Word constantly and pray without ceasing. Even though the spirit of evil is always against us, the Spirit of God is our Comforter and is always there for us.
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)
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Pre-Rapture Commentary: http://grant-phillips.blogspot.com