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Topical - Strategy of Satan

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Introduction:

HOW TO DETECT AND DEFEAT HIM

I.             The Deceiver

"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. (John 8:44 NKJV)

So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. (Revelation 12:9 NKJV)

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. (2 Corinthians 11:3 NKJV)

For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. (2 John 1:7 NKJV)

Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, "Has God indeed said, `You shall not eat of every tree of the garden'?"

And the woman said to the serpent, "We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden;

"but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, `You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.'" 

Then the serpent said to the woman, "You will not surely die.

"For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."  

So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.  

Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings. (Genesis 3:1-7 NKJV)

1.      Tomorrow we will be studying on The Armor of God.  Today’s study I believe goes hand-in-hand. 

2.      We know that, “we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12

3.      Therefore, we must realize that God has a plan & will for our life, which He does!  Eph. 2:10 

4.      Satan must have a plan & purpose for us as well, because he wants to oppose God’s work.

5.      So today, lets look together & find out what it is exactly we need to watch out for. 

A.       SATAN’S PURPOSE –

1.      To Make You Ignorant of God’s Will

a.       Satan attacks God’s Word because God’s Word reveals God’s will!

–        Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You! Psalms 119:11

–        I delight to do Your will, O my God, And Your law is within my heart." Psalms 40:8

b.      We must remember that apart from the Word of God, we have no solid understanding of God’s will for us.

2.      God’s Will Comes From His Heart

a.       God has a personal understanding of each of His children-their natures, their names, their needs, & He tailors His plans accordingly

3.      God Wants Us To Know His Will

–        The God of our fathers has chosen you that you should know His will – Acts 22:14

4.      God Wants Us To Understand His Will

–        Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is –Ephesians 5:17

 

5.      He Wants This Understanding of His Will to fill us & control us.

–        For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding Colossians 1:9

6.      The Result of All This Is The Believer

–        doing the will of God from the heart – Ephesians 6:6

 

If Satan can make you ignorant of God’s will, then the outcome is, you will make bad decisions concerning your life & circumstances.  You may even influence others to make wrong decisions as well

B.       OUR DEFENSE - 

The Inspired Word of God

1.      Our Lord Used This Weapon When He Was Tempted By Satan

a.       Matthew 4:1-11 – give exposition of this passage

b.      Our Lord did not use His divine Power to defeat Satan

c.       He used the same weapon that is available for us today: The Word of God!

d.      Jesus was led by the Spirit of God & Filled with the Word of God

e.       Later this week we shall see that the Word of God is “the sword of the Spirit” #Eph 6:17

What Is Our Responsibility?

1.      We must study & know God’s Word!

a.       There is no reason for a believer to be ignorant of the Bible – Illustration of man who read the Bible with his tongue three times all the way through.

b.      We have many translations

c.       We have the Holy Spirit to teach us & guide us #John 16:13-15

d.      We have many kinds of study helps

e.       We have excellent teachers and Pastors to expound on the Word of God

If the believer does not know God’s word, usually it is because he or she just does not make the time to read! 

We must make time not find time.

Just as a physician studies his medical text, a mechanic studies his repair manual, so the Christian must study the Word of God!  #2 Timothy 2:15 – the Bible is the instruction manual to life.

2.      We Must Memorize God’s Word!

a.       When Jesus was tempted by the Devil, He did not pull out his pocket Bible and say, “Wait a minute Satan, let  me look my “switch blade” here and find out where those verses are.” 

b.      No.  He reached back into the books of Moses, selected Deuteronomy, & quoted three verses from that book to silence Satan.

3.      We Must Meditate on God’s Word!  (#Ps 119:15; 23, 48, 78, 97, 148; Ps 1:1)

Warren Wiersbe says; “Meditation is to the inner man what digestion is to the outer man.  If you did not digest your food, you would sicken and die.”

4.      We Must Use God’s Word!  Matthew 7:24-27 cf. James 1:22

a.       Our minds should be saturated with Scripture that when we face a decision or a temptation, we automatically remember the Scripture that relates to that particular situation.

b.      It is the ministry of the Holy Spirit to bring God’s Word back to remembrance #John 14:26

c.       But the Spirit of God cannot remind us of something we have not already learned

d.      Remember that Satan knows (head knowledge) the Bible far better that we do, & is able to quote it.

5.      The Spirit of God Will Show You When Satan is “using” the Bible to promote his own lies.

a.       He did this with Jesus in the wilderness

b.      Satan quoted Psalm 91:11-12

1)      Satan adapted it for his own purposes by omitting “in all your ways”

2)      God promises to protect us only when we are in his ways

3)      If we foolishly go our own way, God is not obligated to care for us

4)      This is why Jesus said, “It is written” Matthew 4:7

c.       Jesus was comparing Scripture-with-Scripture, He was taking into consideration the total message of the Bible.

d.      He did not quote the passage (as Satan did) with one isolated passage (meaning out of its context)

e.       Every Christian must have a grasp of all Scripture!

Its Time To Take Inventory!

1.      Do I spend time daily reading God’s Word & meditating on it?

2.      Do I systematically seek to memorize Scripture?

3.      Do I find myself automatically “thinking Bible” when I am tempted or when I face decisions, or must I telephone my Christian friends to get spiritual advice?

4.      Do I find myself better able to detect Satan’s lies?

5.      Are there any lies in my mind right now that I am believing?

6.      Do I know God’s will for my life?  Do I want to really know?

7.      Am I delighting in God’s word & will & doing from my heart?

8.      Am I guilty of telling lies?  Why do I do it?

9.      Am I willing to take as true everything God’s Word says about everything in my life?  Or do I occasionally ask, “Has God really said that?”  Do I argue with God’s Word?

10.  Is the Word of God becoming more wonderful to me?  Do I enjoy it more that the natural pleasures of life, including eating & sleeping?

II.               The Destroyer

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. (1 Peter 5:8 NKJV)

And the Lord said, "Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. (Luke 22:31 NKJV)

And they had as king over them the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon, but in Greek he has the name Apollyon. (Revelation 9:11 NKJV)

Then one was brought to Him who was demon-possessed, blind and mute; and He healed him, so that the blind and mute man both spoke and saw. (Matthew 12:22 NKJV)

And the LORD said to Satan, "Behold, he is in your hand, but spare his life." (Job 2:6 NKJV)

A.       SATAN’S TARGET –

1.      Your Body

a.       If Satan cannot deceive you by deceiving your mind, he will then try to destroy your body. 

b.      As the serpent, he deceives; as the lion he devours.

c.       If we believe his lies then we will destroy oursleves!  But if we resist his deceit,  then he will attack our bodies.

Why does he want to do this?

1.      Your body is God’s Temple – 1 Corinthians 6:19,20

a.       It is our conduct in the body that glorifies and exalts the Lord – Philippians 1:20

b.      This is why our Lord said to, "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:16 NKJV)

      God want’s to use your body as a vehicle for revealing Him to a lost world.  The unsaved are unlikely to read the Bible, but you can be sure that they will read you & me, by the way that we live!

You are writing a Gospel a chapter each day,

By the deeds that you do and the words that you say,

Men read what you write, whether faithful or true,

Just what is the Gospel according to you

2.      Your Body is God’s Tool – Romans 6:12,13

a.       God used Noah to build the Ark

b.      Jesus used the hands of His disciples for the distributing of the bread & fish

c.       Jesus used their lips & tongues for the preaching of the Gospel

d.      God wants to use the various members of our bodies, empowered by the Spirit of God

e.       Satan will try to hinder God’s work by attacking God’s workers & putting their “tools” out of service.

Never underestimate the importance & care for our bodies.  The Christian who is careless about his or her health or safety is playing right into the hands of the destroyer.

3.      Your Body is God’s Treasure – 2 Corinthians 4:7

a.       When God saved you, He put the treasure of eternal life within your body.  And he gave you the treasure that he might invest it through you in the lives of others.

·         The Apostle Paul—

God deposited this spiritual wealth in the Apostle Paul

—    “according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God which was committed to my trust. 1 Timothy 1:11

 

Paul invested this treasure to Timothy

—    Timothy! Guard what was committed to your trust, 1 Timothy 6:20

—    That good thing which was committed to you, keep by the Holy Spirit who dwells in us 2 Timothy 1:14

 

Timothy in turn was to invest this treasure in the lives of others

—    And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. 2 Timothy 2:2

Your Body Is Important To God!

1.      We must care for our bodies & use them for the glory of God!

2.      The same way a mechanic takes care of his “tools”, or a chef keeps his knifes sharp, or a pilot in the Air Force takes care of his body, so the believer must take care of his or her body to use for God’s glory!

Application – Romans 12:1,2

B.       SATAN’S WEAPON –

1.      Suffering

a.       Satan attacked Job’s body through circumstances around him

b.      Satan attacked Job’s person with horrible disease

c.       When Job looked around, his situation was painful.  When Job looked within, it was even more painful.  And when he looked up, it seemed that God had forsaken him.

It Is Important To Note That God Was Always In Control

1.      Satan could not attack Job’s possessions until God gave him permission

2.      Satan could not attack Job’s person until God allowed it

3.      Listen to the Words of Our Lord:

—    And the Lord said, "Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat.   "But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren." (Luke 22:31-32 NKJV)

Satan Cannot Touch the Child of God Without the Heavenly Fathers Permission, but

One thing that God will not control is how we respond to this suffering.  This is where Satan can gain his purpose.

There Is More Than One Kind of Suffering

1.      Natural suffering is what we go through because we are human.

a.       Our body is gradually breaking down, as we grow old.  This cannot be blame on the Devil.  Even all of creation is groaning because of the bondage of sin (Romans 8:18-32)

2.      God sometimes permits his children to suffer that he might discipline them

—    “My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD, Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; For whom the LORD loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives.” (Hebrews 12:5-6 NKJV)

a.       God’s purpose is not to persecute us, but to perfect us.

b.      Chastening is not the work of an angry judge as he punishes a criminal, but the work of a loving Father as He perfects a child.

3.      There is also suffering because we are obedient.

Matthew 14:22-23

a.       Jesus had fed more than 5,000 people and they wanted to make him king

b.      He sent His disciples across the Sea of Galilee in their boat while Jesus went up to the mountain to pray.

c.       They were not in the storm because they disobeyed the Lord, but because of obedience to Him

As Believers We Have This Confidence: God Always Is In Complete Control!

When God permits Satan to light the furnace, God always keeps one eye on the thermostat and one eye on us

1.      Job’s battle was not on earth but “in the heavenly places”

—    Ephesians 6:12 says, For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:12 NKJV)

2.      How blessed we are to have the complete revelation of God in our hands –The Word!

3.      If only Job and his friends had known what we know now.

What Must I do?  How Can I Apply This To My Life?

 

SEEK TO DISCERN

1.      When you find yourself in a difficult circumstance, seek to discern through

a.       The Word

b.      Prayer

c.       & find out whether your suffering is of Nature, God or Satan

2.      Ask yourself these questions:

a.       Am I taking care of my body in such a way that is honoring to God?  1 Corinthians 6:19-20

b.      Is God perfecting me?  1 Peter 1:3-9

c.       Is God disciplining me?  Hebrews 12:5-6

d.      Is Satan seeking to hinder my ministry or even destroy you?  Luke 22:31,32 cf. John 10:10

Remember, the way in which we respond to suffering is most important 1 Peter 4:12-19, especially verse 19

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