Tag Archives: Satan

May 28; The Right To Resist

Proverbs 5-7

Yesterday we remembered the sacrifices so many men and women have made to insure the freedoms we enjoy here in the United States. Our freedom is a privilege bought at a great price. But those freedoms are a blessing – and a curse.

Because the freedom of free speech has turned into an entertainment industry of violence and depravity, a news and social media full of lies and hate. The freedom to pursue happiness has resulted in aborted babies, mutilated bodies, and an unprecedented demand for individual rights at the expense of the rights of the majority. The abuse of our rights and freedoms have rendered us slaves.

It didn’t happen overnight. Solomon warns us that the “adulteress,” (sin), entices, woos, comes innocently enough until she leads her victims down to the chamber of death. Her victims go like deer stepping into a noose.

Does one drink cause an alcoholic? Does one look at pornography cause an addiction, or rapists and child molesters? Does one glance cause an affair?

No. But hear Solomon’s warning. One leads to two, to three until the “adulteress” has you in her clasp. What starts as innocent curiosity, winds up enslaving her victim in sin.

I’m glad I live in the Unites States of America. I’m thankful for the freedoms that are ours at the costly price of the lives of men and women who wore the uniform of our armed forces. I’m sorry we’ve abused the rights their injuries and deaths insured. And I pray that Christians will heed Solomon’s warning, recognize the temptation to misuse our freedom, and be the people God intended us to be. May we see the “adulteress” for what she is, Satan, the enemy who wants nothing more than to destroy us.

And may we exercise our right to resist her.

March 18; Modern Day Mediums

Deuteronomy 15-18

From the title of this post you might think I’m going to talk about fashion. I just saw where a women’s size 14 is now considered plus size. So, no. I’m not going to talk about or even think about size medium. It’s too depressing.

But if you are up watching TV late enough at night, I imagine you’ve seen those advertisements for “the best psychic reading ever.” Are you ever tempted to try it – just once – out of curiosity. I mean, the people giving testimony say, “She told me things she couldn’t possibly know.” (which is probably the only true statement in the whole ad.) I can confidently say, after reading these chapters today that if you are tempted to make that call, don’t.

I knew a lady who lost her husband suddenly. She was desperate to speak to him again. It was a source of great pain not having said goodbye. So she went to someone who claimed to be able to speak to the dead. It took several visits and quite a bit of money, and people said what a touching expression of her deep love for him it was.

If you are a Christian, I hope you consider what God says about these things. He calls these practices detestable. He calls people who who do these things detestable. (18:12) As a Christian, I certainly don’t want to do or be anything close to “detestable” to the One who died for me.

I believe God would have us understand that speaking to a medium or spiritualist, dabbling in witchcraft, spells, potions, and the like are sin. Forgivable. But none the less sin. If you have called that number, or gone to see a medium, even for the fun of it, I would encourage you to pray about it. God will probably convict you, if you aren’t already convicted. Ask Him to forgive you. You know He will.

And, dear one, if you think you might have these detestable powers yourself, confess it as sin. Toss Satan out on his ear. God is not going to gift you with anything he considers detestable.

Moses reminds us in verses 13, “You must be blameless before the Lord you God.” He’s specifically talking about being or using people who consider themselves mediums or sorcerers. Don’t mess with the spirit world. It’s detestable.

February 4; A Pretty Good Imitation

Exodus 7:14-9:35

I find it interesting that Pharaoh’s magicians could perform some of the same miracles Moses and Aaron performed. They turned a staff into a snake, water into blood, and made frogs come up on land. I’m not so interested in figuring out HOW they did, just the fact that they did.

Here’s the thing: Satan has been imitating God since the beginning. And he’s pretty good at it. He’s even wormed his way into some of our pulpits, and can quote Scripture with the best of them.

It would be easy to spot the difference between Jesus followers and Satan followers if all non-believers wore black hats and scowled all the time, and all believers wore the white hats and were happy, peaceful, lovely people. It would be easy to tell truth from lies if every time a lie was told, the liar’s nose would grow.

But Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. His lies sound plausible, his twisting of Scripture sounds God-like. And if we aren’t careful, we can easily fall into his trap. After all, it sounds Christian to believe God is love, love, love, that God creates some people to be homosexual, that God rewards good people, or that god can be anything you want him or her to be, just so you are happy. It seems god-like to believe everybody goes to a better place when they die, or that there is only peace and nothingness after death.

You get the picture. I could go on. Do you recognize Satan’s lies when you hear them? Satan does a pretty good imitation of God. But he never has been, and never will be God. Let’s determine to recognize the difference. Let’s be in God’s Word so we know the Truth when we hear it, and can recognize the frogs that come from God and those that come from Satan. The difference is eternally important.

Psalms 133-141; Get ‘im, God

Satan is my enemy. And when the psalmists talk about their’s, I can’t help but think of mine.

Please don’t read the psalms and picture your ex, or that person at work who makes your life miserable. They are not your enemies. We live after the cross where Jesus taught us to love those people, do good to them, pray for them. If we are reading psalms and thinking, “Yeah, God, crush that person who hurt me,” we are not praying according to Scripture.

I am struck this morning how often psalmists, when talking about their enemies getting what they “deserve,” express a determination to keep their eyes on God, to praise Him, to bow down before Him.

Can you pray that someone for whom Christ died suffers physical or financial ruin, and look Jesus in the eye at the same time? Can you pray that God will cause pain in someone’s life, and honor the Savior, too?

But I can pray that God will crush Satan, that God will defeat Satan in my  life and yours, that God will show no mercy on my spiritual enemy, and that Satan will experience the fullness of God’s wrath.

As I read these psalms, I replace any reference of an enemy with the name of Satan. And I can know that is a prayer that God hears and answers. When I pray, “Get him, God,” the ‘him’ is Satan, my enemy and yours.

Nehemiah 4-6; Fighting the Good Fight

The Jews worked fervently to get the wall built. But they never took their eyes off the enemy, and were always armed for battle. They recognized the enemy’s cunning attempts to thwart God’s work. But the wall was built in 52 days, in spite of the enemy’s best effort to stop it.

I think Christians working in churches are doing a pretty good job of getting things done. Outreach programs, inviting atmospheres, Bible studies, and child-care. I’m not so sure we’re doing a great job at arming ourselves against the enemy.

Read these chapters in Nehemiah and you will see Satan’s tactics; the offer of friendship, deception, fear, lies, etc. The enemy even “got in” to the inner circle by marrying the daughter of a prominent Jew. The Jew’s enemy was relentless.

And so is ours. God seems to be asking me to check my own battle stance. Am I busy doing things for the Lord, with one eye on my enemy? Or am I assuming that the enemy can’t touch me as long as I’m working for God? Have I put on the armor of God, do I wield the Sword of the Spirit? Am I studying God’s Word so that I understand Satan’s battle plan, can recognize his tactics, and fight when his arrows are pointed at me?

I must remember that Satan’s goal is to destroy the Church one soul at a time. May I fight the good fight as I do the things God asks of me. May you do the same.

2 Kings 1; Who’s To Blame?

I’ve heard it said a lot lately, that this world is corrupt, and it’s only going to get worse, that evil people will continue to gain momentum. I’m telling you it doesn’t have to be that way.

Did you read about how Elijah spoke to the men King Ahaziah sent to get him? A captain and fifty armed soldiers told Elijah, “The king says, come.” Seems harmless enough. But remember who Ahaziah’s parents were. Ahaziah knew exactly who this man of God was: the prophet responsible for the death of his parents, Ahab and Jezebel. I doubt their offspring wanted to invite Elijah to tea.

Elijah would have nothing to do with Ahaziah or his men. In fact, to demonstrate that Elijah was a man of God, he said fire would come down from heaven and consume them. Fire from heaven came down and consumed them.

Ahaziah sent another fifty soldiers to go get Elijah. They died, too. It wasn’t until the third captain humbled himself before Elijah, and in turn before God, that God told Elijah to go with them. Then, standing before the king, Elijah did not back down. He stayed true to God’s Word. No compromise here!

Thirty or so years ago, there was a trend for churches to hire outsiders to come into their fellowship, survey members, talk to people in the neighborhoods, learn the “demographics,” then recommend changes the churches needed to make to grow their attendance. As a result we’ve got “contemporary” worship styles, the removal of pulpits, altars, hymns, and organs. We’ve come up with clever little names for our fellowships because being identified with a denomination “turned people off.” We’ve adopted a casual approach to worship so everyone feels comfortable, a laid back atmosphere so people don’t feel threatened, entertaining worship services so people go away feeling good, and Starbucks in the foyer.

We’ve also seen the word, “sin” replaced with “lifestyle” or “tolerance,” “acceptance,” and of course, “God’s love.”

Many churches did see a marked growth, more bodies in the chairs each Sunday, or Saturday night if that’s more “convenient.” The mega-church was born. We may have compromised a bit. But numbers don’t lie.

Or do they?

Let me ask you this: Is our world better than it was thirty years ago? Is there less crime, less evil, a mega turning to God since the church implemented these changes? I’m not asking if there are people coming to your church. I’m asking what impact your church has had on our world. Are drug dealers, thieves, child molesters, drunks, soccer moms, and CEO’s coming to the Savior because your church is out there actively winning souls?

I would say, after reading the news, I doubt it. Now, if you are involved in a church that IS making a difference and seeing people repent of sin and come to the Lord, understand I know I’m preaching to the choir. But, from what I see in our country and the world, the Church is failing in our mission to go and make disciples.

Here’s why my thoughts went here today. Read what J Vernon McGee had to say about 2 Kings 1, and Elijah’s firm stand:

There is much talk today about the fact that we should learn to communicate and learn to get along with everybody. May I say to you that this is not God’s method. The compromise of the church and its leaders has not caused the world to listen to the church. As a matter of fact, the world is not listening at all. They pass the church right by. Why? The world will not listen until the church declares the Word of God. If the church preached God’s Word, there would be communication. (p 157, Through the Bible commentary, I & II Kings)

Dr. McGee wrote those words in the middle of the trend I spoke about earlier. His words were prophetic. If the world didn’t listen to the Church back then, it laughs at the Church today.

Do you know why I believe what Dr. McGee said is true? God has said that His Word would not return void. (Isaiah 55:11) Our world is not in the shape it’s in because Satan is so strong. It’s because the church is so weak. We refashioned ourselves to look like the world, to the point they don’t see their need to change. We have neglected God’s Word, and in turn, have harnessed His power to save souls. And we read about the result of this in the news every day.

And don’t even tell me it’s God’s will. Jesus didn’t tell us to go into the world and preach the gospel until things got tough, then sit back and let evil take over because He’ll rapture the church before things get really bad. We’ll dodge that bullet, too bad for everybody else. If that theology makes me mad, I can imagine God’s opinion of it.

Our world is in bad shape. But it doesn’t have to stay that way. I pray that the Holy Spirit will revive the Church, that Christians will see sinners through Jesus’ eyes, that we will stand firm on the Truth of Scripture, and proclaim it from the mountaintops, in our churches, and in our neighborhoods. I also pray that Christians will live lives that attract people to their Savior.

Oh, dear Christian. Don’t sit back and blame Satan, or the media, or a president for the state of things in our world. We have the God of the Universe ready and eager to step in. We have no one to blame but ourselves.

 

2 Samuel 13-15; Don’t Run

Absalom was a rat. You know he murdered his brother, don’t you? Then, for forty years he weasled his way into the hearts of the Israelites. He would sit at the gate of the city, and corner the people coming in to have an audience with the king (that would be Absalom’s dad, King David). He’d pretend to be sympathetic to their needs and suggest he, Absalom, would help them if he could:

“Oh, that someone would appoint me judge. I’d take care of you,” he’d say.

Slowly, calculatingly, intentionally, he eventually won the hearts of the people. He was patient. He played the part of a good guy for forty years. Then, when he had everyone exactly where he wanted them, he pronounced himself king.

Where was David while all this was happening? Scripture doesn’t say. We can assume he went about life as usual, ignoring what was happening right in his own back yard. I have to believe someone in those forty years told him what Absalom was up to. Certainly someone close to David warned him about his son. But it seems as though David ignored it all. Maybe he thought if he didn’t say anything, nothing bad would come of it.

But when Absalom had enough followers to make himself king, what did David do then? He ran. He picked up and fled, allowing Absalom to steal his kingdom right from under him.

Christian friend, let this be a warning. Satan has been sitting at the city gate for quite some time, drawing people to himself with the same lies Absalom told. He’s wearing a coat that looks like truth, love, tolerance, spirituality. And slowly, he’s winning the hearts of people. He’s winning the hearts of good, sincere people. What are we who know the Truth doing while Satan is stealing those hearts right from under us?

I think we, like David, are too often ignoring it, too often running from it. Recently, a very popular Bible teacher said there will never be a revival, or a turning to God in this country; that God is done with the USA, and judgment is inevitable. She said instead of praying for a revival in the nation, we should be praying that Christians have the strength to endure what is up ahead.

In other words, the ship is sinking. Save yourselves. Or, Absalom wants to be king, run for your lives.

Shame on us if that is our attitude. Or don’t you believe the Bible?

2 Chronicles 7:14 says:

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I WILL HEAR from heaven, and I WILL FORGIVE their sin and WILL HEAL THEIR LAND. (Emphasis mine)

Satan has made cowards of Christians. And, if what this Bible teacher has said, many are throwing in the towel. But if there is no revival in this country, it won’t be because Satan won. It will be because Christians gave up.

“Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world,” is not just something that used to be true. God is still on the throne. He still wants to save souls, to reveal Himself to a lost world. I don’t believe He’s going to give up until we do, until we are no longer willing to be used by Him to share the Gospel with people who need Him.

If you are tempted to throw up your hands in defeat, that isn’t from God. You are a pawn of Satan. If you are tempted to throw up your hands, instead fall on your knees, repent of sin in your life. Do not run!

Allow God to strengthen you to confront Satan in this world while there is still time. I believe there can be a revival in this country because I believe God means what He says.

Period.