Satan Attacks

Jesus prepared His disciples for everything, including war. They saw Him casting out demons. In fact, He sent them out doing the same. But before He sent them out, He charged them to become “wise as serpents yet innocent and harmless as doves (Matt. 10:16).

This combination of divine wisdom and Christ-like innocence is the source of all spiritual victory. We can defeat the enemy. But we must learn the ways of God, which means we must think with wisdom. And we must be pure of heart, that we may see God and gain discernment.

Remember, Adam and Eve were in paradise when they fell. Solomon wrote 3 books of Scripture; he actually gazed upon the glory of God, yet he fell. And don’t forget, Lucifer himself was once in heaven pouring out praise to God.

We have all seen many who have fallen. Jesus warned that the love of many would grow cold. Don’t think it can’t happen to you. Our enemy has been deceiving mankind for thousands of years. So, be bold – in your prayer life. Many well-meaning Christians have approached the field of battle with flippant attitudes and have suffered greatly for it.

3For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:

4(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through      God to the pulling down of strong holds;)

5Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

6And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled. 2 Cor. 10:3-6

Satan is out to deceive us…to torment us…to destroy us. He wants to keep us from the truth…because he knows that the truth – the truth of the Word of God – when it is applied to our lives will set us free. And the attack of the enemy is raging, among individual lives all over the world.

But what is Satan’s real strategy…how does he bring about all this turmoil? The attack starts in the mind…this is his primary means of beginning his destruction. And, few Christians realize this important fact.

The Bible speaks of the “weapons of our warfare”…and it’s important to realize that we are at war. And when I say war, I am speaking of all out conflict…life and death…a fight for our very spiritual lives. So we must come to the realization, that like it or not, we need to fight if were to survive.

And this whole war is one that begins in the mind. The area of our thoughts is the main battleground. The warfare starts in the mind…but then if allowed, it will spread to other areas of our lives as well.

Verse 5 speaks of “demolishing arguments and pretenses.” The KJV says “casting down imaginations.” The word we find translated imaginations or arguments, in the Greek, actually means “a reasoning, or decision.”

And this speaks of the way we so often are able to take the plain truth of God’s word and twist it and turn it in such a way that it’s no longer absolute…that our specific situation is so special or unique that we are not bound by the same rules as everyone else. We rationalize…and excuse…and “reason” the truth into exactly what we want to hear.

And this is quite profound when we look back at Genesis 3 and the deception of Eve. That subtle snake whispered a thought…and she reasoned it out in her mind until it became acceptable to break the command of God. But Paul is saying we are to use our spiritual weapons to break down these arguments that go on in our minds…put there by the snake himself.

So once again, the battleground is in the mind. And thoughts are what Satan wants to slip in there. Let’s look at a few examples. In Acts 8 we have the story of Philip going down to Samaria for a great revival. Multitudes were being saved, healed and delivered from the power of Satan. Many were baptized in water and also baptized in the Holy Spirit.

But in this story we also see a man named Simon, the sorcerer. And Simon wrongly offers Peter and John money for the gift of laying hands on people to receive the Holy Spirit. Peter immediately rebuked him and said, “Man, you’re full of bitterness and captive to sin.”

Now think of what he’s saying here. Look at what Peter says was at the heart of this man’s problem…he was full of bitterness – and that bitterness made him a captive to sin. Bitterness blinded him to the truth of God’s ways. And in verse 22 he says to Simon, “Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord. Perhaps he will forgive you for having such a thought in your heart.”

Do you see…Simon was motivated by a thought! And where did that thought come from? Satan! What Peter was saying was this…”Satan has put a thought in your heart…And you have accepted that thought as your own and acted on it. Now pray for God to forgive you for that THOUGHT!

And notice that he didn’t say thoughts…but thought – singular! Pray that God will forgive you for that ONE THOUGHT that leads you into wrong action. And it’s so often just one little thought…placed in our minds by old Satan himself…that will make us say and do things that are so destructive and hurtful to people and to the body of Christ.

You see, the enemy’s primary approach is to drop a THOUGHT into our minds. He wants us to accept it and then act upon it. And the danger is that once we do…that thought can become a stronghold. And let me tell you…Satan’s lying thoughts can really have a strong hold on people!

Thoughts can hold you like a vise and keep you from the truth. One mighty lie from Satan can hold you in a place of sickness…of suffering…of torment…of bitterness and unforgiveness. And it will last just as long as you permit it…as long as you accept it!

Many of you are held captive by a thought. And that thought brings fear. Some of those thoughts are:
“You’re no good”…”You’ll never make it to heaven”…”Your children will die and go to hell”…”You’re going to have a wreck”…”You have cancer…or a tumor”…”You’ll never get well”…”You’re of no use to God’s kingdom or His work at this church” ….”You’ve messed up so much what’s the use of even trying”

The thoughts go on and on…the devil brings thousands of thoughts to our minds. These thoughts bring fear, and when they take root in our mind we begin to speak them…and what was once an accusing voice now becomes your voice saying – “I’m no good…I’ll never make it to heaven…I have cancer…I’ll never recover…I’m no good to the kingdom of God….I’ll never make it…and so on.

And this is nothing more than a trick – a subtle but deadly trick of the enemy. So don’t fall into his trap. Just as Paul says in verses 4&5…we need to bring every thought into the captivity of Christ. We need to replace that lie with the truth of God’s Word! Paul was speaking this as he was undergoing a difficult trial personally.

Paul’s credibility was called into question and he responds that he may seem weak, but he fights his battles using God’s mighty weapons – not man’s. He says, “I’m doing it Jesus’ way! Because these weapons are the only ones that will tear down the strongholds of the enemy. These are the only weapons that will ensure spiritual victory.”

And this is the only way to overcome the devil…by using the Word of God! Remember, the devil is not only a liar, he is the father of all lies! He can’t tell the truth.

Have you become convinced that your destiny is to suffer defeat…to suffer pain…to suffer from sickness…to suffer from broken relationships? Have you become convinced that your life is messed up and can’t be fixed…or maybe that your family…church…

Well I’m here to tell you that you can change your “destiny.” But let me tell you this…You will never be healed…you will never be set free…you will never be delivered and revived as long as you think that your present state is all God wants for you!

It’s the devil who wants you to suffer…it’s the devil who wants to rob you of your joy…and your peace…and your family…and your relationships…and your church. It’s the devil who comes to steal, kill and destroy!

Faith is an action. And to believe, to have faith in the Word of God is to act on the Word of God! Paul says the weapons available to us are mighty through God not just to get by…but to demolish these strongholds! Do you see how this works?

When the enemy comes in with these thoughts, and tries to torment us or cause us to live and act contrary to the Word of God…we need to begin to fight with the same weapons Jesus used to defeat Satan. And that is to quote the Word of God, with faith and assurance.

If the devil says you’re not saved…replace that thought with the words of John 1:12 – “As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them who believe on His name.”

If the enemy tells you God will not forgive your sin or heal your particular disease, replace that thought with one of God’s precious healing, delivering thoughts like Psalm 103:2-3 “Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits – who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases.”

If the enemy tells you that you’re rejected and without hope or resources…replace that with Psalm 102:17 which says “He will respond to the prayer of the destitute, He will not despise their plea.”

We need to remind Satan of 2 Corinthians 5:17 that says “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature…the old has gone, the new has come.” So we can boldly stand up and say…”I’m a new creature in Christ! I’m more than a conqueror! Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world!

We can boldly stand up and say, “I rebuke you, you lying demon! In the name of Jesus Christ I cast you and your thoughts out of my mind! Go, in Jesus name!

And he will go…and the fear will go…and you can smile and stand up tall and proud for Jesus – HALLELUJAH!! This is the plan Jesus used when He whipped the devil. Satan placed the thought in His mind, “Turn these stones to bread.” But Jesus rejected that thought and replaced it with one of God’s thoughts by saying, “IT IS WRITTEN!”

And you can whip the devil every time by saying, “It is written!” Then go on to say what is written in the Word of God. Bring every thought into the captivity of Christ! That means we need to make the devil’s thoughts bow to the infallible Word of Almighty God. We need to drive them out with the power of His Word! We need to pull them down with “Thus saith the Lord!”

Jesus has conquered Satan for you…and now He has given you His authority to demonstrate the devil’s defeat. In Luke 10:19 we read these powerful words, “I have given you authority…to overcome all the power of the enemy!” And in Mark 16:17 Jesus says, “In my name YOU shall cast out demons! We have the power…we have the authority…Hallelujah!

The thought life is the battlefield. So guard your thoughts! Watch what you read…watch what you look at…watch what you let into your mind. Be careful who you listen to. Don’t let wrong thoughts linger there. Romans 12:1-2 (READ)

How are we transformed? By renewing our minds! And that means to live in the Word! Walk daily in the Word! Think God’s thoughts daily! RENEW YOUR MIND! Learn to think like God thinks about salvation, forgiveness, mercy, sickness, healing, deliverance, goodness…and all the other wonderful things in the Bible.

David was a man who said he was blessed. WHY? Listen to Psalm 1:1-3 (READ) Notice that it says his DELIGHT is in the law of the Lord! And on His law he MEDITATES…and meditates when? Day and night. It is the one who delights and meditates on the Word of God who can pull down strongholds and cast down imaginations. Now you know that God has given you the power to pull down strongholds…and what are you going to do with it.

This is warfare…and the battle is raging. But we do have weapons. And they are mighty through God! He has given you His Word…the Blood of Jesus…and the name of Jesus. If you dare to do your part…all heaven will come to your aid – and you will be victorious!

Consequences

Consequences are things we rarely consider. But even the smaller issues of life like having an extra piece of chocolate cake has its consequences as well as its appeal.

It is difficult for most of us to consider the long and short term outcome of our actions. Courses of action that look appealing “inspire” us. But in considering consequences we must analyze where our inspiration comes from. Satan never advertises the disadvantages of sin but denies them and seeks to blind us to them. Satan’s appeal to Eve encouraged her to sin by telling her of the benefits, while denying its consequences. Read Genesis 3:4-5. Satan always denies God’s Word (Genesis 3:3).

Another reason we don’t consider the consequences is because of God’s long suffering. A long-suffering God gives time for repentance between the acts of sin and the consequences of sin (Eccles. 8:11, 2 Peter 3:9).

Yet, every action has an “afterwards” to it and Proverbs is studded with reminders of this fact. Proverbs calls us to the premise that nothing should be completely judged by its initial enticing stages. This is easily seen in overeating, but it also applies to morality. The moral law of sin and its consequences are written on the tablets of eternity. No man can erase them, he can only ignore them to his eternal hurt or consider them to his eternal blessing. [Chester A. McCalley. Portraits in Proverbs. 1983. pp 55-56.]

Let’s consider some “afterwards” or consequences of a few life choices we make. A great place to start is:
The “Afterwards” of ADULTERY

Look at Proverbs 5:4. “But in the end she is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword.”

The context for these words is a warning to a young man concerning the adulteress.Proverbs 5:1-6 tells of the corruption behind the charms of the adulteress. Proverbs 5:3 focuses on her alluring words that are “smoother than oil” with lips “that drip honey.” Verses 4-6 then turn from her charm to her corruption, or from a consideration of the appeal of immorality to the consequences introduced by but in the end-or afterwards. The consequences of sexual immorality are expressed under two metaphors–wormwood and a two-edged sword. The first represents bitterness, and the second represents that which is very harmful. What seems attractive at first later becomes bitter and sharp. The full end is in view in verse 11.

Sexual immorality is rampant in our day. But we should consider the consequences delineated in God’s Word. Three of the first nine chapters of Proverbs are dedicated to the subject of sexual morality and marital faithfulness. This emphasis is for good reason.

The “Afterwards” of Taking THE WRONG PATH

Proverbs 14:12 & 16:25 reveals that things are not always what they seem to be. “There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.”

The word way points to one’s course of life–a person’s lifestyle. Walk or way is a continued pattern or a consistent commitment. It takes in all the places he goes, the people he associates with, the work he does, the entertainment he pursues, his whole life scene.
There is a course of life which seems very appealing, so man in his self-deception pursues it with vigor only to find out, in the end, the final result is he has walked in the way of death. By death is meant a broad range of unhappy experiences from simple trouble to premature departure from this life. The choice of this way describes the course of the majority of lives since most select a lifestyle from a basis other than God’s Word.

Self-will. It’s the dominant desire of human beings to do things their own way (Gen. 3:5-6). And that’s exactly how the song ends: “I did it my way.”

In the ordinary affairs of life, the exercise of self-determination may be commendable. But in relationship to God, our way is never right. Our self-will must be subordinated to His Will, as our Savior submissively prayed in Gethsemane’s Garden, “Not My will, but Yours, be done” (Luke 22:42).

Regardless of how painful the surrender of our will may seem, obedience to God saves us from unhappy loss in this world and irrecoverable loss in the world to come. Proverbs 14:12, reminds us that a sinful insistence on self-will can be self-destructive: “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” Trustful obedience to God’s way, however, brings blessing both now and forever.

Whenever you feel like saying, “I want to do it my way,” remember that Jesus did it His Father’s way. Let this hymn by Adelaide Pollard be your song:

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Thou art the Potter, I am the clay;
Mold me and make me after Thy will,
While I am waiting, Yielded and still.
Many people think being sincere about life means they are heading the right way. You can be sincere and still be SINCERELY WRONG!
But in the spiritual realm they occur all the time. Regarding salvation, many people will say, “As long as I’m sincere, I’ll come out all right in the end.” They believe they can get to heaven by their good works; but no matter how right it may seem, it’s “the way of death.” Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6).

Don’t make the mistake of being sincere but sincerely wrong! Acknowledge your sin and guilt before God and ask Jesus to save you today. Man cannot get away with sin. Christ is the way to heaven, all other ways lead to doom.
The Potential “Afterwards” of LAUGHTER

Proverbs 14:13 also teaches that things are not always what they seem to be. “Even in laughter the heart may be in pain, and the end of joy may be grief. “By his laughter a person may give the impression that he is enjoying life when actually in his heart he is hurting emotionally (12:10; 15:13). Appearances can be deceptive. Certain circumstances have unknowable consequences and their end can be quite different from their beginning. Here is the possibility that a gala affair may end in tears. This is a reality of life we should keep in mind. Why are so many comedians prone to drugs and destruction? Because only the Lord can bring true joy. The world can laugh, but it can’t have joy.
The “Afterwards” of Responding to DISCIPLINE

Proverbs 19:20 relays the wisdom that result from accepting instruction. “Listen to counsel and accept discipline, that you may be wise the rest of your days.”
Consequences can be a blessing or grievous. The concept of consequences is here used to encourage us to listen to instruction. If we will submit ourselves to God’s Word and receive His insight, training and discipline with a right spirit, we are promised that we will have a supply of wisdom adequate for all our tomorrow’s. Listening to counsel and accepting instruction (Musar -moral correction and discipline) will make a person wise. We may have lots of ideas or thoughts, but it’s only God’s counsel that truly stands. [“In the end” (5:4; 14:12) could mean the end of one’s life but more likely it refers to some time after the instruction is given. Walvoord, John & Zuck, Roy: The Bible Knowledge Commentary. Wheaton, I : Victor Books, 1983 p. 947]

The “Afterwards” of DISHONEST GAIN

Proverbs 20:17 contrasts the short-range pleasure of sin with its long-range consequences. “Bread obtained by falsehood is sweet to a man, but afterwards his mouth will be filled with gravel.” The taste of food gained dishonesty may at first seem sweet (9:17) but eventually it is as unpleasant as eating gravel. Shady dealings may seem to succeed, but they forfeit the expected profit and not simply leave you empty but turn on their schemer (7:14-23). grow into the same kind of person. The children seeing their father right, proper and moral behavior, his example of integrity, learn how to live life also.

The “Afterwards” of Walking in INTEGRITY

Proverbs 20:7 tells us the end result of man who lives in integrity. “A righteous man who walks in his integrity, How blessed are his sons after him.”
The result of life lived in light of God’s Word is a blessed inheritance to one’s descendants. The children or a man of integrity are encouraged grow into the same kind of person. The children seeing their father right, proper and moral behavior, his example of integrity, learn how to live life also.

The “Afterwards” of EASY GAIN

Proverbs 20:21 warns about a hastily gathered inheritance or wealth. “An inheritance gained hurriedly at the beginning will not be blessed in the end.”
Wealth gained by labor is appreciated. We are not to hasten our inheritance before it’s time to come to us. We see this example with the Prodigal Son, (Luke 15:11-20). Quickly gained wealth will be squandered and often squelches initiative and work ethic. As a result in the end the recipient is not truly blessed by it. God certainly has not hurriedly given us our eternal inheritance and does not give us all the earthly portion of it until He knows we will use it wisely.

The “Afterwards” of FEARING THE LORD

Proverbs 23:17-18 discloses that the immediate pleasure of sin cannot be compared with the ultimate hope associated with the fear of the Lord. “Do not let your heart envy sinners, but live in the fear of the Lord always. Surely there is a future and your hope will not be cut off.”
The man addressed has been observing the success of sinners, and is tempted to envy them. He is admonished to live in the fear of the Lord instead (19:23; 24:21). A happy afterwards awaits if he will do so. Wanting to do what they do is senseless because sinners have no hope (24:20) while the wise and godly do. The idea here is that the believer’s hope will not be disappointed even though at the present moment sinners seem to prosper. Here again the concept of consequences is used to encourage and sustain the believer. Proverbs 24:13-15 is similar.

The “Afterwards of the HASTILY SPOKEN WORD

Proverbs 25:8 warns us concerning the consequences of making a big deal about a issue with a neighbor. “Do not go out hastily to argue your case; otherwise what will you do in the end when your neighbor puts you to shame.”

Great wisdom and discipline is manifested when we take time to carefully consider the possible impact of something we say. Take a look at both sides of the argument and don’t rashly judge based on just visual or incomplete evidence.
If you have a problem with a neighbor, go talk to him quietly, personally, privately. If you make a big deal about it by taking it to court, confrontation will bring revelation that will lead to humiliation because he’ll start talking about you and revealing things you’ll regret. [Courson, Jon: Jon Courson’s Application Commentary : Vol 2. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2006, S. 256.]

God’s wisdom enables its adherents to act or not act based on the consequences instead of worldly wisdom, emotions or the attractiveness of the person’s or situation’s stimulants. God makes a firm promise that He will help those who live faithfully for Him. “The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished” (2 Peter 2:9).
Have you been reading filthy literature or looking at pornographic pictures? Consider the afterwards. You believe there’s pleasure in smoking pot? Consider the afterwards. You get pleasure by “making out” on a date? Consider the afterwards. The pleasure of sin is short-lived. The penalty of sin is lasting. A visit to your City Rescue Mission will convince you, if nothing else does, that “the way of the transgressor is hard” (Proverbs 13:15b). Do a rerun of the fellow we call the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-19). It will reveal that he started with pleasure and riotous living, then went to poverty and misery.
If you are wise, you’ll check the consequences. You will recognize that “God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” (Galatians 6:7).

©2016 Healing Keys Ministry-Jeffrey S. Moore