Lesson V

Monday July 19, 2010

Rev. Dr. Kim Yancey James, Facilitator

Perseverance Part I - Encountering The Devil

Obedience to God: A threat to the roaring lion!

Be sober, be watchful: your adversary evil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: whom withstand steadfast in your faith, knowing that the same sufferings are accomplished in your brethren who are in the world.  -1 Peter 5:8-9 KJV

That no advantage may be gained over us by Satan: for we are not ignorant of his devices.  2 Corinthians 2:11 KJV

The Message – I Peter 5-11 - Keep a cool head. Stay Alert. The Devil is poised to pounce, and would like nothing better than to catch you napping.

Keep your guard up. You’re not the only ones plunged into these hard times. It’s the same with Christians all over the world.

The Message – II Corinthians 2:11 – After all, we don’t want to unwittingly give Satan an opening for yet more mischief—we’re not ignorant of his sly ways!

These two passages of scripture indicate to us how evil, slick and sly Satan is. His basic work is to camouflage whatever he does so that people will not know it is his doing! He even fashions himself into an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14). All his works are done under the cover of deceit. He is covert, undercover and clandestine. Rarely, does he show himself for whom and what he is. He is a liar! When he speaks a lie, he speaks of his own: for he is a liar and he always lies (John 8:44). Of all that he has ever done, he has never willingly and openly acknowledged anything as his work. If he were to publicly show himself, he may not be so difficult to recognize and resist. So, he disguises himself in many ways. Our two reference scriptures tonight point two words: RECOGNIZE AND RESIST!

The Work of Satan

Satan has many works and in order for Christians to walk with God, we must learn how to recognize and resist Satan. In order to do that, we must be able to discern what the works of Satan. If we are to walk with God we have to recognize the wiles of the devil and learn and build up our resistance.

Let me be clear in saying that we are not immune the devices that Satan uses to attack us. However, our faith in God lets us know that the enemy has no victory. For example, many of us have had what is called, the common cold. However, I know that I should dress appropriately for the season, eat properly, take vitamins, if necessary, rest and take care of my body. Unfortunately, I may still get a cold. At the first sniffle, I know that this is a cold coming on. I’m not feeling quite right. I feel the sore throat which will probably be followed by congestion and coughing. I have not misinterpreted this as a toothache, a stomach ache, an ear ache. I recognize this as a cold. Likewise, God wants us to be so in tune with Him that we will know when things are out of sort and we will know want is causing the feeling. Sometimes what we feel is actually an attack of the enemy. He comes at us with a thought and is so cunning that he will convince us that the thought originated with us!

LET’S LOOK AT THE WORK OF SATAN IN THE HUMAN MIND

"For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but mighty before God to the casting down of strongholds; casting down imaginations, and every high thing that is exalted against the knowledge of God, and bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ" (2 Corinthians 10:4-5).

The Message – (2 Corinthians 10:4-6) The world is unprincipled. It’s dog eat dog out there! The world doesn’t fight fair. But we don’t live or fight our battles that way—never have, never will. The tools of our trade aren’t for marketing or manipulation, but they are for demolishing that entire massively corrupt culture. We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ. Our tools are ready at hand for clearing the ground of every obstruction and building lives of obedience into maturity.

1. Satan does an excellent job of attacking our minds. This is a major stronghold!

2. The negative things that happen in our minds will bring about negative actions, at some point.

3. The things that happen in our minds will cause us to say something that we shouldn’t say or do something that we shouldn’t do!

4. Reality check! – Imaginations are not real no matter how real it seems to you. Satan is an excellent deceiver!

5. Our thoughts have to be brought into captivity! The Bible says as a man thinketh, so is he!

6. HEADS UP! – Watch thoughts that produce a sense of anxiety.

Philippians 4:6-9

6 Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 9 RSV

We must learn to pray before we act on the thought. Always, ask – is it me? If we would all be honest, there are times when we all were set to act on something or were feeling something based upon a thought but later found out that our thought was incorrect!

I needed the help of the Holy Ghost to understand why the enemy attacks our minds. The REALITY is that there is a strong connection between the mind and the heart. If the enemy gets to your mind, he will get to your heart. We then start to imagine things that result in an irrational and emotional response that is based upon something that is not even real!! I cannot tell you how many times I have encountered bitterness and anger in people based upon things that are imagined!! Now, let me put on my Social Worker/Conflict Resolution hat –It is VERY DIFFICULT to resolve conflict within and between people who are angry about something that DIDN’T HAPPEN! Why? – Because the enemy has attacked their minds and it doesn’t matter what you say to them. That’s the spiritual level. The truth is that the enemy attacks us at our point of weakness. He will always seize the opportunity! Now, on a clinical level, not being healed from past hurts will leave us vulnerable to the attack. The enemy has vulnerability radar! What he doesn’t know he’ll sift us (Luke 22:31) until he finds it and what he can’t find we show him!

Satan surrounds us with strongholds to prevent us from obeying Christ and from doing God’s will. This special field of his work is found in our minds. That’s why Paul says the weapons of our warfare against these are not of the flesh. These imaginations must first be destroyed before we can bring our thoughts into captivity to the obedience of Christ.

The sphere of Satan’s operation is in man’s thought life. He will inject a thought, an imagination, which appears to be your own. Under this deception, you accept it and use it as if it were yours, though in actuality it is his. Satan is so cunning that he will make us think that God is pleased with an ungodly act.

Do remember that many things in the life of a Christian begin with speculations or imaginations. Many sins are first committed in the imagination of the mind. Many disagreements among brothers and sisters arise from these imaginations.

Christians need to recognize Satanic temptation for what it is. Satanic temptation enters mainly, if not exclusively, in the form of thought. When Satan tempts people, he does not show up with a banner saying, "This is a Satanic temptation!" If people knew it was of Satan they would resist it. So, he sneaks in silently without causing a noticeable disturbance. All his temptations are designed so as not to easily stir us. He does not want us to suspect him; he would rather have us sleep him. So he covertly injects a thought into our minds. Once we accept it, it has become an opportunity for him to devour us.

Let’s look at this text –

I. Why does it mean to be sober? Webster's defines sober in part, as follows:

· Not intoxicated or drunk.

· Marked by seriousness, gravity, solemnity, etc., as of demeanor, speech, etc.: a sober occasion.

· Free from excess, extravagance, or exaggeration: sober facts.
Just the facts, please!

· Showing self-control: sober restraint – dying to self!

· Sane or rational: a sober solution to the problem.


II. Why is Satan referred to as an adversary?

Adversary -Greek word is 476 antidikos {an-tid'-ee-kos}
Meaning: 1) opponent 1a) an opponent in a suit of law 1b) an adversary, enemy. Don't ever forget that this is a battle for the legal, eternal possession of your soul. Hell is trying to enlarge herself (Isaiah 5:14).

 

III. What does it mean to be devoured?

Webster's
devour
1. to swallow or eat up hungrily, voraciously, or ravenously.
2. to consume destructively, recklessly, or wantonly
3. to engulf or swallow up.
4. to take in greedily with the senses or intellect
5. to absorb or engross wholly: a mind devoured by fears.

Satan does not want to be your friend or buddy, he wants to destroy what God has created. But the Word tells us Satan is defeated. We have the Victory through Christ Jesus (1 Corinthians).

So how does he try to devour Christians?

Let’s look at the nature of a lion.

· Lions, in their prime are amazing predator's. They prowl and lie in wait for prey. Then without warning they will rush out of hiding, silently, swiftly catching and killing their victim.

· Likewise, the enemy often works under cover of darkness. As a skilled and experienced hunter, he patiently stalks his prey, invisible to them (invisible is about as camouflaged as one can get!). His night vision is acute, his senses much sharper than ours. He sees us when we do not even know he is there!

· A pride of lions will stalk and attack animals that are larger than they are—including wildebeest and water buffalo weighing thousands of pounds. It is an amazing sight to watch lions working together as a team to bring a water buffalo down. When lions attack, they do so through multiple attacks from every side. Eventually, one lion gets a grip on the throat of the water buffalo and kills it by strangulation. It is a slow and painful death. The water buffalo goes down, and the lions begin eating it before it is dead.

· Satan is a lion, roaring, looking for and stalking whom he may devour. Male lions will even eat the young of their own pride to establish their dominance. It does not matter that they are related. If they are hungry, and a little kitten is around . . . it’s over!!

· Lions know by instinct that they can frighten their prey into submission, so that they can easily catch and kill it. They roar to scare their prey.

· Likewise, the enemy will roar when he is close enough to frighten us – the he moves in for the kill! A lion’s roar can be heard five miles away by their prey. Do you think he’s going to start roaring five miles away?

· The animal kingdom teaches us that predators like lions usually look for and attack the animals that are alone and have wandered away from the flock. Such strays are in an exposed position because they lack the protection afforded by the large numbers of others of like themselves. Our adversary likes nothing better than pouncing on sheep who try to be “lone rangers."

· Lifted up in their pride, he and his demons had the nerve to hunt after God's throne, but they did not prevail (Isaiah 14:12-15; Ezekiel 28:16-17; Luke 10:18). Now, as our adversaries, they hunt God's people, trying to pick off the weak, the ailing, and those who have grown weary and dropped back from the herd. He is always looking for a way to maneuver us into a position by ourselves; separated from God where he can leap out of nowhere to attack us. Once he attacks, he causes great pain—but he does not go immediately for the kill. He pins us down and wounds us

first. But thanks be to God when we’re wounded and feel like we’re in the devil’s grasp we can call for help because-

· God is our refuge and strength, a present very help in of trouble (Psalm 46:1).

· For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:38-39).

· Psalm 91:7 A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.

I need to illustrate a few things for us tonight –

1. Give me four women; on the middle and three surrounding her holding hands but facing outward. You see the enemy coming because you’re prayer warrior. He’s hiding but you see him circling in for the kill. When he stands up you begin to fight with spiritual weapons, you begin to call on the name of Jesus and at the name of Jesus even demons tremble and obey. The text says resist –not passively resist but fight with prayer, fight with fasting, fight with determination to do God’s will, keep moving in and refuse to back down. You’re connected to your power source – you’re holding on to your faith – You refuse to let go because you know that the devil is defeated! Give somebody a high-five and tell them that the devil is defeated! He can roar all he wants to – He’s still defeated! He can attack all he wants to you – He’s still defeated! He may be a big bad roaring lion but I know Jesus – the LION OF JUDAH!

He came down 40 and 2 generations and showed us how to resist the devil with the word of God.

He came that we might have life more abundantly

He came that we may know Him as the way the truth and the life

He came to make the high place low

He came to make the valley in my life higher ground

He came to plant my feet on higher ground

He came to make my crooked place straight

He came to make my rough places smooth

He came to make my wrong places right

He came to make my bad places good

He was attacked but He didn’t give up

He was despised but He didn’t give up

He was tempted but He didn’t give

He came down so that we could go up!

Give somebody a high-five and tell them I’m going up!

He came to us so that we can go with him!

He came that we might joy in the time of sorrow

He came so that we might have hope for tomorrow

He came to help the blind to see

He came to help the deaf to hear

He came to help the lame to walk

He came to help the dumb to talk

He came to help the weak to stand

Look at somebody and say – I’m standing on the promises of Jesus

Look at somebody and say STAND–

STAND-

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. STAND therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

Look at somebody – STAND and FIGHT with all you got!

FIGHT ON – WHEN THEY LIE ON YOU

FIGHT ON– WHEN THEY TALK ABOUT YOU

FIGHT ON– WHEN YOU GET DISCOURAGED

FIGHT ON- WHEN THEY HURT YOUR FEELINGS

FIGHT ON– WHEN YOUR FRIENDS TURN THEIR BACKS ON YOU

FIGHT ON– IN THE MIDST OF HARD TIMES

FIGHT ON – IN THE MIDST OF CONFUSION

FIGHT ON – BECAUSE YOU HAVE THE VICTORY

 

 

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