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Friday, February 27, 2015



Introduction: Satan is the great enemy of the Saint. In fact "Satan" means "adversary." The Bible refers to the devil by a number of names and descriptions. He is seen as "the anointed cherub" (Ezek. 28:14), "the ruler of demons" (Luke 11:15), "the ruler of this world" (John 16:11), "the god of this world" (2 Cor. 4:4), and "the prince of the power of the air" (Eph 2:2). He is identified as a great dragon, a roaring lion, the vile one, the tempter, and the accuser. He is formidable, cunning, and powerful. Paul writing to the Corinthian church realized that Satan was working overtime in the church and emphasizes that we are to be vigilant and alert to his subtlety. Satan’s advantage is based upon one being ignorant of his devices or his methods. What are some of the devil’s devices by which he seeks to deceive God’s children, defeat God’s church, destroy God’s work, and denigrate God’s Word? His methods include distraction, discouragement, disillusionment, discontentment, discord, and disassociation.
I. Distraction
A. 1 John 2:15-16 "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world."
B. Satan seeks to distract us by getting us to focus our attention on the material instead of the spiritual, on methods rather than the message, on men rather than God.
C. 2 Timothy 2:4 "No man that wars entangles himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier."
D. If Satan can he will get us to major on the minors and to minimize the majors.
E. It was a 99-degree September day in San Antonio, when a woman accidentally locked her 10 month-old baby niece inside a parked car. Frantically the mother and aunt ran around the auto in near hysteria, while a neighbor attempted to unlock the car with a clothes hanger. Soon the infant was turning purple and had foam on her mouth. It had become a life-or-death situation when Fred Arriola, a wrecker

driver, arrived on the scene. He grabbed a hammer and smashed the back window of the car to set her free. Was he heralded a hero? He said, "The lady was mad at me because I broke the window. I just thought, what’s more important--the baby or the window?" Sometimes priorities get out of order, and a Fred Arriola reminds us what’s important. Ray Tiemann, Fredericksburg, Texas. Leadership, Vol. 11, # 3.
F. Satan seeks to get our priorities out of kilter.
G. Colossians 3:2 "Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth."
H. Whenever we place a higher priority on solving our problems than on pursuing God, we are immoral. - Larry Crabb in Finding God. Christianity Today, Vol. 38,

I.                 Hebrews 12:2 "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God."

II. Discouragement
A. One of Satan’s most potent weapons is trying to get you into a feeling of discouragement, so maybe you’ll give up. Discouragement is a lack of hope usually after a major victory. Many are confronted with it on Monday after a break through on Sunday. The Devil wants you to believe that things are worse than what they are and that you are the only one who cares. That is exactly how Elijah felt after his victory on Mt Carmel. 
B. Sometimes it is people that discourage us -Deuteronomy 1:28 "Whither shall we go up? Our brethren have discouraged our heart, saying, ’The people is greater and taller than we; the cities are great and walled up to heaven; and moreover we have seen the sons of the Anakims there’."
C. A man who is continually criticized becomes good for nothing; the effect of criticism knocks all the gumption and power out of him. - Oswald Chambers, Studies in the Sermon on the Mount. Christianity Today, Vol. 30, no. 4.
D. Sometimes it’s circumstances that discourage us -Numbers 21:4-5 "And they journeyed from mount Hor by the way of the Red sea, to compass the land of Edom: and the soul of the people was much discouraged because of the way. And the people spoke against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no bread, neither is there any water; and our soul loathes this light bread."
E. Discouragement is faith in the devil.
F. Galatians 6:9 – "And let us not get tired of doing what is right, for after a while we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t get discouraged and give up."
G. Everywhere the perpetual endeavor of the enemy of souls is discouragement. If he can get the soul "under the weather," he wins. It is not really what we go through that matters, it is what we go under that breaks us. We can bear anything if only we are kept inwardly victorious. ... If God can make His birds to whistle in drenched and stormy darkness, if He can make His butterflies able to bear up under rain, what can He not do for the heart that trusts Him? - Amy Carmichael in Learning of God. Christianity Today, Vol. 37, no. 13. 

III. Disillusionment 
A. Disillusionment is the state of being disenchanted or disappointed by unfulfilled expectations.
B. Proverbs 13:12 "Hope deferred makes the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life."
C. Have some of your carefully created castles been washed away? Mine have. Several times along my life’s journey, I had nowhere to turn except into my heavenly Father’s arms. There I remained quiet, soaking up his love for as long as I needed. Then I saw his hand begin a new creation for my life, a new direction, a new service for him and his kingdom. Waves need not always destroy.

the future. - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) 
K. Colossians 3:17 "And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him."

V. Discord (division)
A. 1 Corinthians 1:10-11 "Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you." 
B. There are four ways the devil brings about division in the church. He uses Selfishness, Favoritism, Narrow-mindedness, and Lack of Fellowship
C. Selfishness says do it my way or no way. Favoritism says our way is better than your way. Narrow-mindedness says we’ve never done it that way. Lack of Fellowship says you go your way and I’ll go my way.
D. Romans 12:3-5 "For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another."
E. The secret of every discord in Christian homes and communities and churches is that we seek our own way and our own glory. – Alan Redpath, Leadership, Vol. 3, no. 2
F. It is too bad that anything so obvious should need to be said at this late date, but from all appearances, we Christians have about forgotten the lesson so carefully taught by Paul: God’s servants are not to be competitors, but co-workers. - A. W. Tozer in The Next Chapter After the Last. Christianity Today, Vol. 32, no. 13.
G. The problem with the church today is not corruption. It is not institutionalism. No, the problem is far more serious than something like the minister running away with the organist. The problem is pettiness. Blatant pettiness. – Mike Yaconelli in The Wittenburg Door (Dec./Jan. 1985). Christianity Today, Vol. 31, no. 15.
H. Philippians 1:27 "Only let your conversation be as it becomes the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;"

VI. Disassociation
A. Hebrews 10:25 "Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching."
B. The devil loves when believers do not fellowship: he loves it when we distance ourselves from each other.
C. 1 Corinthians 12:18-21 "But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. And if they were all one member, where were the body? But now are they many members, yet but one body.

And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you." 1 Corinthians 12:25 "That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another."
D. Communion is strength; solitude is weakness. Alone, the eland is an easy target for the stalking lion. The devil would like to isolate believers just like predators separate their prey from the herd thereby weakening it and easily killing and devouring it.
E. 1 Peter 5:8 "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour:"
F. Churchgoers are like coals in a fire. When they cling together, they keep the flame aglow; when they separate, they die out. - Billy Graham, evangelist. Men of Integrity, Vol. 1, no. 1
G. Community ... means people who have to learned how to care for each other.
H. The German philosopher Schopenhauer compared the human race to a bunch of porcupines huddling together on a cold winter’s night. He said, "The colder it gets outside, the more we huddle together for warmth; but the closer we get to one another, the more we hurt one another with our sharp quills. And in the lonely night of earth’s winter eventually we begin to drift apart and wander out on our own and freeze to death in our loneliness." Christ has given us an alternative: to forgive each other for the pokes we receive. That allows us to stay together and stay warm. – Wayne Brouwer, Holland, Michigan. Leadership, Vol. 17, no. 2.

CONCLUSION: This morning has Satan been working overtime in your life? Has he been able to distract you? Has he gotten you majoring on minors with priorities out of alignment with God’s? Has he gotten you discouraged, feeling like you are in the battle alone? Have you become disillusioned and disenchanted? Have others disappointed you? Have your dreams and plans failed to come to fruition? Have you allowed a spirit of discontentment to slip into your life? Do you find yourself grumbling and complaining? Has Satan brought discord into your life with its "us" and "them" attitude? Is Satan working on you to have you disassociate and isolate yourself? Ephesians 4:27 tells us, “Neither give place to the devil." As we sing our invitation song this morning, will you come and let God give you the victory over the devil’s devices?

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