True Power

True Power

Monday, January 31, 2011

The Devil is Busy Sermon: Don't Believe the Hype

For those who no matter when you ask them how they are doing or what is going on in their lives you always get a story, scenario, report of how the devil has been busy in their lives. Each week or month, or even day to day, the devil has done some sort of misdemenor that has affected their lives almost to the point of giving up, but they inform you they are soldiering on with faith in God, battle scarred and helpless to his attacks, they press on believing Satan won't leave them alone because that is his job, but with faith in God they will survive and try to keep on smiling. Satan broke down their car- cars break down. Satan let their lights get cut off or their child went to the principles office for fighting, husband cheated etc. There is nothing supernatural about any of these circumstances except for perception of persecution Eccl. 1:9 "What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun."

For people living like this and feeling like this you just want to find a way not to add to their life of attack by Satan. But my heart screams to say to them "You may have become depressed by life's bumps and bruises and may need to look into making sure lingering pains and stresses have not caused you to have some resolveable mental health issues, but one thing for sure is you have become depressing." You know no matter what you say or ask them before you leave their presence they are going to reveal the last thing the devil has done to them or someone close to them. HOW CAN YOU HELP SOMEONE WHO IS CONSTANTLY UNDER ATTACK; WHO HAS DECIDED TO TAKE ON SATAN'S ASSAULTS AS A LIFESTYLE AND CONVERSATION STARTER? How can you tell someone to stop blaming Satan when this is undoubtedly the only comfort they have in what truly must be a pain filled life?

JOB 1:6 “One day the angels came to present themselves before the Lord and Satan also came with them. The Lord said to Satan “Where have you come from?” Satan answered the Lord “From roaming through the earth going back and forth in it.”

If you continue to read this passage, Satan tells God that HE has a hedge of protection around Job and it would have to be God himself to strike down all of the blessings Job has, because Satan could not harm a servant of God’s without permission. God says in verse 12 “Very well then, everything he has is in your hands, but on the man himself do not lay a finger."

Notice Satan said he was roaming the earth causing evil, but He had to get special permission to touch God’s child, Job. Then Satan made a special bargain that actually ended with a kingdom purpose when he asked allowing removal of MATERIAL blessings from Job to SEE what Job would do. Job was disturbed by what occurred but he said “Naked I came from my mother’s womb and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” 1:20. To his wife he said “You are talking foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God and not trouble?” 2:10

God restored Job back to prosperity even exceeding what had been taken. Job friends tried to convince him he had to have sinned to anger God to punish him, because bad things happen to bad people: SATAN CAN ONLY TORMENT A SINNER. But Job knew His relationship with God and the limited power of Satan and even when what his eyes saw confused him, he still lived in the truth SATAN IS NOT MORE POWERFUL THAN GOD and no matter what was occurring on earth, God loved those who worshipped and obeyed Him. The KINGDOM LESSON from Job: no matter what happens in your life; will you allow it to control you, dominate your life by trying to figure it out, wonder WHY to distraction of living and serving God? Job discussed and wondered for chapter after chapter what was going on. He had made his stand in the beginning to continue to serve God, but he agonizes on the WHY with others and in prayer to God. It is in chapter 38 and 41 God answers Job. God asks Job 38:2-4 “Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge? Brace yourself like a man; I will question YOU and you shall answer ME. WHERE WERE YOU WHEN I LAID THE EARTH’S FOUNDATION? TELL ME IF YOU UNDERSTAND.” If you read the rest of chapter 38-41 you will understand God created all with care precision and love. He does have all of the answers, but sometimes our focus goes wrong. GOD HAS ALREADY ANSWERED OUR MAIN QUESTION: His undying love for us in any and all circumstances whether the circumstances are the way we want them or not. That is the only thing of importance; His presence in our life or else Satan occupies our life. The ONLY thing we should hold onto with ferocity is God. Circumstances in life will forever have its ups and downs, most man made not of supernatural origin. The debate between Satan and God was HOW WILL GOD”S PEOPLE BEHAVE? Remember, God and Satan began this whole thing with a discussion.

THOUGHT CONTROL AND MIND RENEWAL

THOUGHT CONTROL
“I know what it is to be in need and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation whether well fed or hungry whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength” Phil. 4:12 The SECRET learned was he could still serve God whether he had material things or not. Pain makes you think of self, distracts you on self, and imprisons you on your bad luck when the greatest gift is God. God gives you strength for kingdom work not to acquire wealth, good fortune, or the will to keep trying to reach your goal in life; this has been a false teaching for years by the church and other believers and this is why there are so many hurt, depressed, Christians. The verse does not mean: “I can do all things I want in my life to get all the things I want in my life for me and then I will help others with what I have with God strengthening me to do. I CAN HAVE IT ALL with God. Amen”

Philippians 4:4-9 guards your heart and mind and gives you peace. Giving Satan credit for the majority of life’s circumstances is not PEACE. This is still a state of turmoil, questioning, confusion. When discomfort, comes as it does in all human existence, the first person to point the finger to for a Christian is not outward (Satan, Christian haters). The first reflection should be on self (Eve pointed at the snake, Adam pointed at Eve and blamed God for giving her to him), then outward. I don't mean checking to see if you sinned, but just to see was the problem just man made and not a curse, attack, or punishment. The decision of action will come back to you after you have experienced something you do not like: NOW what do I do or how will I respond, react, walk out this circumstance with God? What is it that I really need to be happy? Favor, fortune, fame or God? Did God create me only to experience and take from life? Are all of my days, nights, weeks, months, years of living occupied with thoughts of only having pleasure and comfort or the Great Commission?

MIND RENEWAL

2 Tim. 1:7 “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, of love, and a sound mind.” People work on the power and love but not the sound mind. How can anyone be happy if they feel their life is being stalked by Satan waiting to cause a mishap, failure, crumbling of good, crushing everything? The NIV says it is self discipline (sound mind). Self discipline is your reactions, how your mind responds and influences your actions.

“…hasn’t not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him. (James 2:5) ” “You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that and shudder” (James 2:19). Read the two kinds of wisdom James talks about in 3:14-17 “But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such wisdom does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. For where you have envy and selfish ambition there you find disorder and every evil practice.” We try to put kindness, love, and peace on top of our heart’s desires saying we are reaching for them like a Christian. Our ambitions and desires should be kingdom minded first and foremost for them to be wise and without disorder. How to know if it is Kingdom minded: it helps others to come to God, grow in God, be maintained in God and you may not get one thing out of it.

Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be given as well Matt. 6:33. “For where your treasure is there your heart will be also." Do you treasure money, success, favor, fame or God alone and His kingdom work? You can not serve both God and money; Matt. 6:19-24. Many believe becoming a Christian and going to church on Sunday is seeking the kingdom, but it is more than that; it is a lifestyle of knowing God intimately, His nature towards sinners and His children, God’s deepest desire for His creation and how you work with Him to accomplish this great love for His creation, and that you ONLY exist to come into knowledge of your kingdom birthright, your kingdom duty, and your part and position in kingdom work (telling people what you have learned and helping them to do the same). Armed with this knowledge you will never doubt that God is with you and Satan is powerless in destroying you; the only endeavor of IMPORTANCE (knowing God). You know the ending, you are on the winning team and the little discomforts faced on earth are trivial, never lasting, because it is not this life you are concerned with having the best God has to offer (salvation). It is your next life, the permanent one that concerns you. With this attitude Satan becomes laughable with his small efforts to hurt you on earth. The biggest hurt would be to miss heaven and you are in full control of that. The economy; you cannot control, prejudices; you cannot control, who loves/likes you; you cannot control, your eternal resting place; 100% in your control. What do you REALLY care about? Where is your heart and mind?

Make your living testimony for God so great, Satan would have to have a conversation with God to mess with you and we know how that turned out in the end with Job 42:10. “After Job had prayed for his friends, the Lord mad him prosperous again and gave him twice as much as he had before. Job LEARNED from his situation, he did not get stuck at blaming, questioning, perpetual victim.

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