Sun, 2017-07-16 12:39
If I were the devil …
Ephesians 6:11 (AMP) Put on God’s whole armor [the armor of a heavy-armed soldier which God supplies], that you may be able successfully to stand up against [all] the strategies and the deceits of the devil.
2 Corinthians 2:11 (AMP) To keep Satan from getting the advantage over us; for we are not ignorant of his wiles and intentions.
Many Christians are very ignorant of satan’s strategies and deceits, and quite unaware of his methods and intentions.
The devil’s main strategies to take (or keep people) down are:
1. Ignorance (keep people in the dark)
2. Deception (tell people they are already in the light)
Ø Ignorance is “know not” and “understand not”
Hosea 4:6 (AMP) My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge …
Ø Deception is to believe that something is right when it is actually wrong
Revelation 12:9 (AMP) And the huge dragon was cast down and out—that age-old serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, he who is the seducer (deceiver) of all humanity the world over; he was forced out and down to the earth, and his angels were flung out along with him.
If I were the devil …
1. I would deceive you into believing that he does not exist
John 8:44 (ESV) You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, forhe is a liar and the father of lies.
Satan is the master deceiver. The biggest lie he ever told is that he doesn’t exist.
If people don’t know of the existence of satan they automatically blame God for all their troubles.
2. I would try to keep you away from the local church as long as I could
1 Timothy 3:15 (NKJV) But if I am delayed, I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
The local church is where the truth of God’s Word is proclaimed and taught, week after week, sermon after sermon. Teaching people how to:
a. How to get saved
b. How to get healed
c. How to make their marriage work
d. How to raise their children
e. How to become successful and prosperous
If you were already a Christian …
3. I would deceive you into believing that you don’t need to be at church every Sunday
Revelation 1:10 (NKJV) I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice …
a. God has designed that there be a weekly day called “the Lord’s Day”
b. The preaching of God’s Word every Sunday should be the “loudest voice” we hear for the whole week
c. The Sunday sermon is most Christians’ main source of teaching
d. God’s Word is typically taught in series of messages – if you miss every other Sunday, at best, you have only got half the story
e. Since faith comes by hearing the preaching of God’s Word, if you miss one Sunday, your faith is already compromised
4. I would deceive you into “analysing” sermons instead of “internalising” God’s Word
1 Thessalonians 2:13 (NKJV) For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of Godwhich you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe.
a. God’s Word doesn’t work in us when we analyse it with our mind
b. It only works in us when we receive it deeply into our heart
c. Satan doesn’t mind us discussing God’s Word
d. But he hates it when we obey God’s Word
Luke 8:15 (NCV) And the seed that fell on the good ground is like those who hear God’s teaching with good, honest hearts and obey it and patiently produce good fruit.
5. If I were the devil I would drive a wedge between you and your pastors
a. Your pastors are Jesus’ representative to the church
(Vicar – one who stands in the place of another)
2 Corinthians 5:20 (Msg) We’re Christ’s representatives. God uses us to persuade men and women to drop their differences and enter into God’s work of making things right between them. We’re speaking for Christ himself now: Become friends with God; he’s already a friend with you.
b. Your attitude towards your pastors reveals your attitude toward Jesus
1 John 4:20 (NASB) If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen.
c. If your attitude toward your pastors is not right, your attitude toward Jesus isn’t right
1 Thessalonians 5:12–13 (ESV) We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, 13 and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves.
d. Any lesser attitude towards your pastors than love and high esteem hinders the flow of God’s blessing towards you
Hebrews 13:17 (NKJV) Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.
6. If you were the pastor, I would cause you to feel the fear of man stronger that the fear of the Lord
Proverbs 29:25 (NKJV) The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe.
a. The fear of man has turned church pulpits into popularity stands
b. It has turned preachers of righteousness into politically correct puppets
c. Preaching truth has been replaced with politically correct speeches
d. Preaching for conviction and life change has been replaced with preaching for popularity
Proverbs 14:26 (NKJV) In the fear of the Lord there is strong confidence, and His children will have a place of refuge.
2 Timothy 3:16–4:2 (NKJV) All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. 1 I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: 2 Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.
Jeremiah 23:29 (NKJV) “Is not My word like a fire?” says the Lord, “And like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?"
Sadly, in many churches they have replaced the hammer of God’s Word with a feather to gently stroke the people.
Let’s return to the fiery preaching of revival days. Let’s allow the hammer of God’s word to smash attitudes and mindsets which hinder the moving of God’s Spirit.