James 4:6-10 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. 7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. 9 Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. 10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.
I feel I should give at least one more message after this one on Satan's devices. Then we will cover the victory over Satan that is ours in Christ, and how to get him to flee from those of us, James 4:7.
We spoke about some of Satan's devices last week. If you were not here, let me urge you to get a copy of the tape.
I'm afraid we underestimate the warfare we are in.
Ephesians 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: 18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
Satan means adversary or accuser. He is at hand to do all he can to war against our determination to serve the Lord. He is at hand to accuse us before God. The Lord has warned us of the warfare we have, but we many times ignore the warning.
Let me give you a couple more points of conflict in this warfare. As I do, remeber the victory is in Christ.
First, let me remind you of what took place in the Garden, Genesis 3:1.
This was the first device of Satan, and he has found it very effective every since: HE CAST DOUBT ON GOD'S WORD.
Device: Satan tells us, "Just look around: It is obvious that the word of God does not work. Look at the prevelance of evil; look at the prosperity of the wicked."
A) John 7:24, Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.
Device: Satan told Eve, "You don't need God's word to tell you what to do. You can be like God, able to detirmine for yourself what is right and wrong."
A) Though the Apostle is speaking of eating meat offered to idols, he says, "for whatsoever is not of faith is sin." (Rom. 14:23.)
Speaking of "saving faith" in Romans 10:17, Paul does make a general statement: So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
One of the most effective devices of Satan is to get us to doubt the word of God and to judge according to the way things look rather than by the word of God, righteous judgment.
Second, Job gives us a good view into the this spiritual warfare. We know the story of Job, so I will only point out one thing from it. That is found in
Job 2:3 And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause.
Job feared God, and hated evil. (The two must go together.) We see here that a device of Satan was to move the Lord God against Job.
Though Job was an upright man with a testimony that no man since has matched, we see that everything happened to Job possible, except the loss of his life. 1:11, Satan's goal was to get Job to deny the Lord. And the Lord gave Satan permission to use every means possible except to take his life.
We know that Job came through the trial of his faith with flying colors. In fact, the Holy Spirit used Job as an example of what a Christian should be, James 5:10, 11.
Though every possible thing had happened to him, Job was confident in his redeemer. Look at what he said:
Job 23:8 Behold, I go forward, but he is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive him: 9 On the left hand, where he doth work, but I cannot behold him: he hideth himself on the right hand, that I cannot see him: 10 But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold. 11 My foot hath held his steps, his way have I kept, and not declined. 12 Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.
Thus one of Satan's devices is to get us to feel sorry for ourselves, and to think the Lord has forsaken his own. I would love to do a series on Job. (I heard of a pastor who spent 40 years teaching in Job.) It seems I have spent at least 25 in Job, but not in teaching.)
If and when the Lord permits Satan to move against us as he did against Job, how will we come out? Will we deny the Lord, or will we be able to say with Job,
Job 19:23 Oh that my words were now written! oh that they were printed in a book! 24 That they were graven with an iron pen and lead in the rock for ever! 25 For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: 26 And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: 27 Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.
He was confident in his Redeemer, and nothing could shake his faith in the fact that the Lord was watching for him, and that what he was going through was for his own good.
We see from Job that a device of Satan is to use physical destruction and distresses to cause us to doubt God's goodness and mercy toward us.
Third, another device of Satan is found in Daniel 10:1-13:
Daniel was greatly troubled over something. He was so troubled that for three weeks he mourned as one would mourn over the death of a loved one. For three weeks, he prayed and fasted, but no answer came to his prayers.
After a 21 day delay, the answer came, Daniel 10:12, 13.
Here we see that a device of Satan is to delay the answers to our prayers. His device is to make us think the Lord has forgotten us, or that our prayers do not count. His device here is to do all he can to cause us to give up in hopelessness that our prayers will ever be answered.
(Unjust judge here)
Fourth, the next device of Satan is found in Zechariah 3:1-7.
The first Joshua led in the conquest of Canaan. Israel was carried away because of sin. Israel came back some 70 years later, and this Joshua was the high priest at the time.
Here we see Satan at work as the accuser of the brethren. He was standing at Joshua's right hand to resist him and accuse him of his sin and filthiness. He was accusing Joshua of not being qualified to serve the Lord, nor qualified to lead in rebuilding the nation under God.
Some of Satan's greatest discouraging devices are sin and guilt. He offers temptations; we fall, and then he heaps on the guilt.
I guarentee you that as soon as someone detirmines to serve the Lord, the adversary the devil is there to resist any such action:
1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: 9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.
Joshua is justly accused by Satan of being a sinner. But notice what the Lord did. He replaced Joshua's filthy garments, stained with sin, with a change of raiment. The Lord qualified Joshua to stand before him.
1 Corinthians 6:9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
The first Joshua led God's people in conquering Canaan, the promised land of rest. The second Joshua was the high priest as the people returned to rebuild the land after sin had removed them from the land of rest. The third Joshua is Jesus, who leads us in conquering the new land of rest:
Hebrews 4:11 Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief. 12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 13 Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do. 14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. 15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
The accuser of the brethren has been conquered and cast down.
Revelation 12:10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.
Luke 10:17 And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name. 18 And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. 19 Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. 20 Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.
Some of Satan's greatest discouraging devices are sin and guilt. There are none that sin not, but we have an advocate with the Father, against whom we have sinned:
1 John 2:1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: 2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
Is he your advocate today?