Summary: I used a sermon by Pastor Rich Dunbar, which has been a blessing as well as a great help in sermon preparation, as I spend my days caring for my dying father.
“Can You See What Satan Sees?” Acts 13:4-12
I love to ride down the road and see how many animals I can spot. Most seem to be hidden from view but when you have what some call “Woods eyes” you can spot the turkeys, the deer and other critters.
We’ve been talking about moving forward and as we begin, taking the gospel to the world, we will need to be paying close attention to our surroundings.
We need to know where we’re going and how we’ll get there. We also need to understand that if God is not in it we don’t move but if He is we better get to stepping. We also need to understand that just like I watch nature, Satan is watching us and he will do whatever he can to hinder and even destroy the work that God has called us to.
Most victorious military leaders were so because of one thing. They knew their enemy. They could see what the enemy saw and I want to show you three things that the enemy of the church sees. We need to be aware of these things in order to stay out of his evil trap.
1. Satan sees those who are sent. Look at verse 4
Notice here, first of all these men are sent by the Holy Spirit…
If we strike out on our own we are in trouble and will surely fall into the trap that Satan sets for us. We don’t go simply because it FEELS like the right thing to do.
We as individuals and as a body of believers must never operate on feelings…
The leadership of the Holy Spirit is critical to our success as servants of the Most High God. If we allow Him to be our Guide, He will fill us with encouragement, power and authority. But if he is not leading the way, fear and discouragement will set in until the work is destroyed.
Let me show you some ways we can be encouraged when the Holy Spirit is our Guide.
We have several promises as children of God
a. The Holy Spirit will abide in us. He is not here today and gone tomorrow.
[John 14:16-17 NIV] “16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever-- 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.”
b. The Holy Spirit will guide us.
[John 16:13 NIV] “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.”
c. The Holy Spirit will tells what to say.
[John 14:26 NIV] “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”
d. The Holy Spirit will bring success to the work God gives us to do.
[John 16:8-11 NIV] “8 When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 about sin, because people do not believe in me; 10 about righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; 11 and about judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.”
The Holy Spirit told the Church to set aside Saul and Barnabas for the work to which He had called them and then He sent them out to do that work.
But here’s where the problem lies. Look at verses 5-6.
Not only was this done for all to see, Satan was also watching.
When you think about all that Paul endured in his ministry it is clear that Satan took notice.
Satan hasn’t changed since then. He still sees those who are sent and we should too.
I believe the sad truth is that, even though Satan sees those sent, he doesn’t need to pay very much attention to most of us.
Why might that be?
Well for most of us there isn’t any chance that someone would come to Christ as a result of seeing our lifestyle. For some it isn’t any different than theirs and they sure aren’t going to hear the gospel shared verbally.
*Why that would be too embarrassing and pushy and we wouldn’t want to offend anyone and keep them from making a salvation decision.
No, Satan will only be concerned with those who might make a difference for the cause of Christ.
2. Satan sees those who are seeking. Look at verse 7