The subject for the next two months or so, will be dealing with something that far too many Christians fail to recognize, and that is the devices that the Devil uses against us, to destroy us.
Although the title is different, this is partially a continuation of the subjects of the last two months.
As the first part of the first scripture in our subject states, there is an enemy out there that, in this instance, is identified as a thief. And, what are the main characteristics of a thief?? The scripture says, he comes to steal, kill, and destroy.
Now, when we know there is someone that seeks to do harm to us, we will get prepared for them. Right?? We will fortify our defenses, and be on the lookout for them.
However, all of these things we are doing to protect ourselves, are useless if we can't identify our enemy, and the tactics he will use, to get to us. It does no good to prepare for him to come from the north, if he comes from the south. It does no good to prepare to fight a physical enemy, if he is one that is spiritual.
In this age of computers, the Internet, the flow of information all over the world, through the airways, the opportunities of someone getting your personal information, to wipe you out, are extremely high, and the only way to protect yourself, is to be aware of bugs, scams, viruses, and other means that people will use to get your personal information. And those that are computer literate, know how to protect themselves against such intrusions in to their personal lives.
They purchase all sorts of anti virus, anti spyware, and other software to block unwanted intrusions. But as you find out, we have to consistently upgrade these programs, because, just as soon as this software gets updated, those that want to get at us, find a way around it, so the software has to be updated again.
Well, in like manner, when it comes to the Devil, who, is the father of all wickedness, and evil, if he uses those tactics on getting our personal information, on computers, or wreaking havoc on them, don't you think he uses the same tactics to get around our Spiritual defenses, to get to us, despite our being saved, and filled with the Holy Spirit??
Any one that doesnt believe that he can get to a Spirit filled Christian, is fooling themselves, and will be easy pickings for him. Why?? Because you are putting your faith in what you think you have, versus what you know.
Just because you may have spoken in tongues, does not mean you know everything there is to know. Especially when it comes to your enemy, the devil.
If you look in the book of Acts, and follow Peters life after Pentecost, you will see that the devil even got to him, on several occasions. On one occasion, [Acts 10:10-15],
when God sent him a vision of animals, and told him to kill and eat, Peter responded with I will not eat any unclean thing. to which God responded, What I have touched, dont call unclean. In another area, Peter let discrimination against the gentile believers creep in, when he chose to hang around with a group of Hebrew believers, more so than with them, because the Gentiles, hadnt been circumcised.
Therefore, if it happened to him, it could happen to you.
The devil, uses both the flesh, and spiritual weapons to attack and destroy us. His armory is full of schemes, tricks, deceptions, and outright frontal attacks to get around our defenses.
We are going to take a look at a few of the most common means of attacking those of us, that are Spirit filled. It is a lot easier than you may think.
he uses our own pride, against us.
Whether you believe it or not, pride, is the major weapon he uses to get us to do things that God is not pleased with. As the bible says, Prv 8:13 The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.
What we are being told here is, God hates pride, arrogancy, and the evil ways, and a foul, deceitful mouth.
Now, none of us, knowingly would show ourselves as being full of pride, being arrogant, or doing anything evil. Notice, I said, 'knowingly?' This is the major tool he uses on Spirit filled Christians.
He knows that most of us, having been blessed with the manifestation of the Spirit, in our lives, tend to take that as, 'I have finally arrived!! God loves me, and has blessed me, because I am a faithful servant. I tithe, I witness, I do everything I can, to help the poor, and whatever else God wants me to do, I say, YES LORD!!!'
Notice, all of these things are good, and we all should strive to be like this.
However, notice how many times the noun, 'I' appears. When you get in to looking at your own accomplishments, even though you acknowledge God as being the source of your drive in these things, you have opened yourself up, for the enemy to use this against you.
When people get in to the mindset of looking at what they are doing, or have done, for the Lord, that is putting themselves on the precipice of a cliff, and it only takes a slight breeze, to make them fall off. And the devil knows this, and will supply that breeze.
You see, just like Lucifer, considered his position, as being the most beautiful of all the Angels, he figured he was equal with God, his Creator. Isa 14:12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! Isa14:13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: Isa14:14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.
Lucifer [Satan], will use you to unknowingly walk in the path of self pride, like he did.
He does it by getting many of us to think that we know all there is to know, and that there is no way we can be wrong about some of the things we think, and do, because we are just as saved, or even more so than the next person, especially if we have been saved longer than they have, or our pastor is more well known than theirs is.
How does this translate in to what I am saying??
Pride, puts a roadblock in the path of Truth, so we can't walk in it.
Using myself as an example, before I got saved, I was one of the biggest devils walking the streets of Detroit, Michigan. I was a hustler [pimp, photographer, made outfits for [exotic]dancers, made fake ID's
and a few other things.] Well, after I got saved, I decided to drop all my bad habits. However, one of them, was an innocent source of income for me, and that was making outfits for dancers.
You have to take this in to consideration. At that time, I was laid off from Chrysler, and money was tight . So, I figured I could continue to go in the bars, and sell these outfits, while at the same time, witness to the dancers.
Well, while talking to one of these dancers, I mentioned how what she was doing, was causing men to be sexually aroused to commit sin, as well as her being part of the problem. Now mind you, I am saved, and had received the manifestation of speaking in tongues. This young lady said something to me that showed me, I had a lot to learn. She said, 'George, you are just as guilty as I am, because you are making these outfits, to help us entice these men.'
Now, I could have dismissed her, as being a sinner, that needed to get saved, and since I had been filled with the Spirit, she couldn't tell me anything. But I didn't. Why?? Because I recognized that God was using this young lady, to tell me something that none of my brothers, or sisters in the Church, told me, when I told them what I was doing.
Even though it may not be this bad, openly, what a lot of Christians are doing, is a lot worse. How? Because the advice they are receiving, many times, is coming from a brother, or sister in Christ, that is being led by the Holy Spirit, and they are rejecting it.
Thus, we have Satan's major tactic, and that is to get saved Spirit filled individuals, to think that the Word of the Lord, can't really be as contrary to what they are thinking, or doing, as the messengers are making it seem. This is pride, because the person thinks they know God so well, that they they can judge what is of God, and what isn't. If they can't see it, then, God will have to show it to them.
This essentially means, if God wants them to know something, He will have deliver it to them, the way they want Him to. 'How dare Him to tell someone else to tell me something', they think. Of course they don't say it like that, but it means the same thing, as far as God is concerned.
It all looks so innocent, but, God doesn't see it that way. God uses, who He chooses, just so many of us don't get the idea that He has to check with us, before He does something.
Just like myself, I could have dismissed that young lady giving me Godly advice, because she was a sinner, but, I recognized it for what it was, and adjusted my thinking accordingly, even though that was my main source of income, outside of an unemployment check. I could have made all types of excuses, because I needed the money, and God didn't want me to lose my home, but, obedience is better than sacrifice[1Sm 15:22].
What this shows, is these people don't know God, as well as they think they do. And this is a primary tool in the enemy's play book against the Church.
More on this, next month.