SATAN’S SUBTLE STRATEGIES
July 19, 2020
Before you begin, ask yourself a very important question: Do you believe that Jesus Christ died on The Cross for all of your sins? If you answered yes, you will need to be sure that you are filled with The Holy Spirit. How do you do this? You name your sins to God The Father in His Son’s Name. This is called Rebound. As a Christian, you must rebound any time you sin. This is taught in 1 JOH 1:9: If we confess [name] our sins [directly to God], He [God] is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Now, if you have never believed that Jesus Christ died on The Cross for all of your sins, all you have to do is say to yourself that you believe in Him and you are saved! The Bible verse which teaches us this is ACTS 16:31: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved
Let’s start this week with a brief recap of the three basic strategies Satan uses to entice us to sin. They are The Lust of the Flesh, The Lust of the Eyes, and The Boastful Pride of Life. Within these three basic categories, Satan uses specific strategies. We’re now at the sixth specific tragedy. These concepts were taken from a book by Thomas Brooks entitled “Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices.” Although it was first published in 1652, they are just as relevant today, as they were way back then.
Something you should think about, as we learn about these strategies, is how they present themselves in your own live. So, you might want to take a moment to go back over the ones we’ve already studied and look for them in your own life. You might see how they affected your behavior and the choices you made. And keep looking for these satanic strategies to rear their ugly heads, going forward.
- “Boldness to be in situations of temptation under the belief that you can handle that temptation.”This strategy is successfully used by Satan with arrogant people who think they can look and not touch. They’re so arrogant, they think they can be tempted and not sin. NOT!!! Solomon warned his son against this in PROV 6:27 (New International Reader’s Version) when he wrote: You can’t shovel fire into your lap without burning your clothes. That is a great analogy, isn’t it?
The apostle Paul gave advice to Timothy about avoiding temptation, too. Look at what he wrote in 2 TIM 2:22-26 (The Message Bible): Run away from infantile indulgence. Run after mature righteousness—faith, love, peace—joining those who are in honest and serious prayer before God. Refuse to get involved in inane discussions; they always end up in fights. God’s servant must not be argumentative, but a gentle listener and a teacher who keeps cool, working firmly but patiently with those who refuse to obey. You never know how or when God might sober them up with a change of heart and a turning to the truth, enabling them to escape the Devil’s trap, where they are caught and held captive, forced to run his errands.
It’s likely that in your own life, you’ve experienced this feeling of believing your strong enough in God’s Word to hang out with kids who don’t have Bible doctrine resident in their souls. These are the kids who don’t have a relationship with God and aren’t in His plan for their lives. They might be fun to be around and even treat you well. They might be the popular kids in school so it’s fun to be their friends. And for these reasons, the temptation to want to hang out with them can be very strong. But watch it! The temptation to follow Satan’s plan will inevitably come up. You’ll find yourself picking up Satanic habits even if you’re sure you can avoid them. This is not only a principle for teens – it applies to adults, too! Look at the warning in PROV 22:24-25 (Message Bible): Don’t hang out with angry people; don’t keep company with hotheads. Bad temper is contagious—don’t get infected. You can replace the word “angry” with disrespectful, dishonest, sneaky, and a whole lot more adjectives which you have to avoid adopting as a Christian. Now, will you find yourself being all of these things at one time or another? Yes! It’s your Old Sin Nature at work. But if you can avoid people who act this way, you’ll have a better chance of not committing these sins.
PSALM 1 (New International Reader’s Version) describes this idea of staying in God’s Plan and avoiding those who aren’t: Blessed [happy or content] is the person who obeys the law of the Lord. They don’t follow the advice of evil people. They don’t make a habit of doing what sinners do. They don’t join those who make fun of the Lord and his law. Instead, the law of the Lord gives them joy. They think about his law day and night. That kind of person is like a tree that is planted near a stream of water. It always bears its fruit at the right time. Its leaves don’t dry up. Everything godly people do turns out well. Sinful people are not like that at all. They are like straw that the wind blows away. When the Lord judges them, their life will come to an end. Sinners won’t have any place among those who are godly. The Lord watches over the lives of godly people. But the lives of sinful people will lead to their death. Recognize that you are not as strong as you think you are and follow the advice you find in God’s Word. Avoid people who aren’t in God’s Plan when possible. Remember also what Paul warned in 1 COR 10:11-12 (The Message Bible): These are all warning markers—danger!—in our history books, written down so that we don’t repeat their mistakes. Our positions in the story are parallel—they at the beginning, we at the end—and we are just as capable of messing it up as they were. Don’t be so naive and self-confident. You’re not exempt. You could fall flat on your face as easily as anyone else. Forget about self-confidence; it’s useless. Cultivate God-confidence.
- “The wicked do prosper – consider so and so.”This strategy of Satan tries to get us to believe that since so many wicked people succeed, why not do what they’re doing. Asaph wrote twelve of the Psalms, was the chief of the Levites appointed to minister before the Ark of The Lord, and was chosen (along with his brothers) to sing the songs of thanksgiving to The Lord. Here’s what he wrote on this subject in PSA 73:11-14 (The Message Bible): What’s going on here? Is God out to lunch? Nobody’s tending the store. The wicked get by with everything; they have it made, piling up riches. I’ve been stupid to play by the rules; what has it gotten me? A long run of bad luck, that’s what—a slap in the face every time I walk out the door. It’s easy to feel that way, especially in today’s world and this is a tough subject to work your mind around, especially as a teen. Why do those who do evil and are against the ways of God prosper financially, socially, and even health-wise? Asaph had come close to stumbling over this issue. He strived to live righteously but was doing poorly, while the wicked were doing great. Look at what he wrote further on, in PSA 73:1-5 (The Message Bible): No doubt about it! God is good—good to good people, good to the good-hearted. But I nearly missed it, missed seeing his goodness. I was looking the other way, looking up to the people At the top, envying the wicked who have it made, Who have nothing to worry about, not a care in the whole wide world. He really gets to the point, doesn’t he??
It’s important for you to realize that a huge part of questioning the prosperity of the wicked, has to do with us not enjoying and being grateful for what God has given us. But what is the Divine solution? How can we deal with this issue in our lives? The apostle Paul simplifies the answer in ROM 13:12-14 (New International Version): The dark night of evil is nearly over. The day of Christ’s return is almost here. So let us get rid of the works of darkness that harm us. Let us do the works of light that protect us. Let us act as we should, like people living in the daytime. Have nothing to do with wild parties, and don’t get drunk. Don’t take part in sexual sins or evil conduct. Don’t fight with each other or be jealous of anyone. Instead, put on the Lord Jesus Christ as if he were your clothing. Don’t think about how to satisfy sinful desires. The lesson here is don’t be foolish enough to lead yourself into situations of temptation! This includes being around certain people that have a bad influence on you. Avoid them! You shouldn’t pray about this! You shouldn’t argue about this! You don’t need special guidance! Because if experience teaches you that certain people bring out your old sin nature or have a bad influence on you, simply AVOID THEM.