Thursday, January 15, 2009
How God uses Satan in our lives
Prayer: Heavenly Father we recognize you as Sovereign Lord over our lives. We acknowledge we have a powerful yet defeated enemy who does everything he can to rob you of the glory that belongs to you. Please help us understand more about the battle for our minds, and help us to do battle in Your strength. In Jesus Name Amen. "Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers" (Luke 22:31-33). We have a common enemy, his name is Satan. Being a creature he falls under God's sovereignty. He is an unwitting and unwilling tool under God's control. At his core, Satan is a sifter. He is used of God to test our intentions. Note the spectrum of Satan's character. 1. He as an accuser (Revelation 12:10). He loves to bring up our past and accuse of again of sin we have already confessed to God. When Satan brings up your past remind him of his future. 2. He is a tester. Job 1-2; Revelation 2:10 tell us that he will bring tests into our lives. As in the case of Job, being faithful during the test brings great rewards in the future. 3. He is a tempter. He loves to temp us to do evil (I Thess. 3:5). He is persistent (Luke 4:13). If he fails in the temptation he just waits for "An more opportune time." 4. He is a sinner (I John 3:8). He is the enemy of everything that is right (Acts 13:10). He leads the whole world astray (Rev. 12:9). 5. He is a destroyer ((I Cor. 5:5). He destroys by deceiving the whole world (Rev. 12:9) and all the nations (Rev. 20:7,10). He also destroys by his lies. Satan morphs or gradually changes the truth. All of Satan's lies contain some truth. "You shall not die" was part truth. Adam and Eve died spiritually, and they began to die physically, however they were still alive physically. 6. He is a murderer. He came to put to death everything he can. He stirred up Cain to kill his brother Abel. He is behind abortion and wars. We are made in God's image and Satan wants to stamp out the image of God. His purpose and over all goal is to prevent God from being glorified in anyway he can. He begins by stopping people from coming to Christ and having freedom to glorify God (II Cor. 4:4). He also attempts to stop Christians from walking in a manner worthy of their calling in Christ (Eph. 4:1). Satan uses two primary strategies to attack our minds with the common theme of deception. Relationships and truth, these two are intertwined. Satan can damage relationships by perverting truth. And through damaged relationships he can distort our view of truth. God has set us free through Jesus to live in loving relationships with others. He attempts to bring into our lives three areas of relationship deception. 1. Significance-we are made in the image of God. But we tend to look for significance in the eyes of people who are significant in our own lives. 2. Security-we all desire basic security in life. Our security is to be found in Christ not in wealth, power or people. 3. Appetites-we are physical creatures with on going physical needs. When these needs are fulfilled outside of God will, Satan gets the glory. These three areas overlap. We must accept Christ's sacrifice on our behalf as the uniquely necessary and sufficient way to restore our relationship with God. Satan plays with truth by attacking our understanding of it (Did God really say that?) God's word is truth for all people of all cultures at all times. Our task-know the truth. Here are four areas of engagement in spiritual conflict.1. Who is God? Satan's attacks in the temptation by saying God doesn't want you to be like Him. 2. What are people, or who am I? If you think you want to be like God here is a short cut. 3. What are spirits? (Satan in this case). If Eve knew Satan's true nature her chance of falling for his lies would have been reduced. 4. What is truth? Satan's attack on God's warning shows his desire to deny God's Word and bring us along in his unbelief. We must put on the whole Armour of God daily and fill our minds and hearts with God's Word. Then we can take our stand against the enemy.