What is that evil?
Understanding the enemy is the first step in overcoming the enemy. We can't go blindly into battle.
Who is Satan?
-- He is a fallen angel.
-- He has been given control over the whole world.
"We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one."
1 John 5:19
"Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LordGod had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”
2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”
4 “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Genesis 3:1-5
Satan likes when people don't believe he's rearl and he likes to stay hidden. These are great ways to do his work without interruption or interference.
"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
He'll use half-truths, outright lies; other people to lie. Surface stuff doesn't tell the whole truth.
Lies are just empty promises, a trap.
Deny the truth of the Word.
He makes the truth complicated. Asks, "but what if?" and "But how can?"
Faith is simple.
He uses wordsmithing, spinning. He will also overwhelm people with sheer volume of information so they just get callous or immune to it.
"Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world." 1 John 4:1
Make sure you test what you hear. Look for the truth yourself. Test the source. Jesus said, "You are either for me or against me."
“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one,Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one" John 17:20-22
Nothing is more damaging to the church than division in a church body (or division between Christians).
"So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!
So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature[a] a slave to the law of sin." Romans 7:21-25
Whatever we feed internally will win (either our flesh or the Spirit).
"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
Externally, we will always be looking for something better -- this divides us from within and away from what God has for us.
We shouldn't be afraid of the devil but we need to respect the threat.
DIVERSION: TURN US OFF THE PATH:
"Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.” Matthew 16:23
How do you avoid diversions? Be alert and then avoid them. Pushing through them sometimes will cause very negative consequences. If we have been diverted from the path, we will be too absorbed in the world and will have no time for prayer, church and the Word. If you value something, you'll find time for it.
ANXIETY AND FEAR:
"Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell." Matthew 10:28
The beginning of wisdom is the fear of God. We know what God is capable of, so why fear?
Discourages us because aspirations are open-ended. God knows and understands we are in process. This is grace. If you live in fear you will always fail (or never try). Do not let perfection get in the way of "good enough."
There's always room for improvement. This doesn't mean we are failures. It means we are human. Fatigue, worn out. He tries to make us give up. We aren't alone. Let God carry your load.
"They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” 2 Peter 3:4
What's wrong with waiting? Giving us His grace, something to energize us!
"In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: 2 Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. 3 For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. 5 But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry." 2Timothy 4:1-5
Forewarned is forearmed!
Faith is rooted in love!
"I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you." Luke 10:19
Use the power that is given to you!
Keep your eyes on the Cross!
"For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing,but to us who are being saved it is the power of God." 1 Corinthians 1:18
Are you willing?
Surrender to God and let go of your own agenda. The enemy cannot and will never defeat our Father!!
(Jane left the voice recorder at church!! Sorry! I will try and load up the recording later this week. It was a really good sermon.)