Introduction: I want to center our thoughts today on the figure of speech, the Holy Spirit prompted the Apostle Peter to use in referring to Satan. Our adversary, as a roaring lion, is walking about seeking whom he may devour. He is looking for his next meal. He is hungry! Satan is devouring people everyday! As our society becomes more and more wicked, the devil has quite an array of sinners who become his "fast food" meals. Like a teenager who picks us a burger and fries at McDonalds, Satan is happy to pick up a high school kid who goes to a party and tries binge drinking for the first time--passing out to never regain consciousness. It's a TV dinner for the devil to enjoy when a drug addict shoots up his last time, a hopeless businessman puts the barrel of a shotgun to his head and pulls the trigger, or a prostitute believes the lie of her pimp for the last time. In fact, it's not even a challenge for him. It's just "fast food." Nothing to write home about. Only !
an appetizer--it doesn't even satisfy him. Proverbs 27:20 states, "Hell and destruction are never full!"
But, when the devil wants a "gourmet meal" you know who he goes after? A Christian! A preacher is a delicasse! A Sunday School teacher! A board member! A church musician even provides entertainment! The one in the "Amen" corner! A kid who's been raised in church is a choice morsel! All of these make up a buffet for Satan's voracious appetite.
He doesn't care how long it takes to prepare this meal. He doesn't care how long he has to "walk about" seeking, as the Scripture says. He knows this meal will be worth the wait.
HOW DOES THE DEVIL PREPARE THOSE WHO WILL BECOME HIS BON APPETIT?
I. DECEPTION. We live in a day of great deception. How can we keep from being deceived? Listen to Paul's advice to Timothy in II Tim. 2:10-26. Deception comes when we are not grounded in the Word of God! Even some Charismatics are like those mentioned in Eph. 4:14, "tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive."
II. DELUSION. The devil loves to see people live under a delusion. This is a warped mental state. Some have delusions of grandeur. When I was in Baton Rouge, a talked with a person on the phone who told me he was Elijah. I asked him who the other witness was going to be, and he wouldn't tell me. Some may not be that far out, but they still have a warped concept of who they are. They really think they are somebody! Listen to what Paul said in Romans 12:2-3. Don't allow yourself to become deceived or deluded! We need the mind of Christ! Jesus taught us by example that the greatest among us should be our servant. Pride goeth before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall. Satan began the great delusion when he thought he could dethrone God! That spirit of rebellion will send you to hell, sir. God says in I Sam. 15:23, "Rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubborness is as iniquity and idolatry." Delusion will cause you to become food for the devil.
III. DISATISFACTION. Who would have ever thought?! The wisest man who every lived fell for this tactic of the enemy. Listen to his words in Ecclesiastes 2:3-11. The devil loves it when you are dissatisfied with:
A. Your possessions
B. Your position
C. Your partner
IV. DEPRESSION. This was Elijah's problem. Some of our greatest depressions in life come after our greatest victories. Elijah had just prayed down fire from heaven and God consumed the sacrifice and the altar. And a while later he's saying, God, it's enough. I don't want to live anymore. I just want to die. Ever been there?
V. DISAPPOINTMENT. This was how Satan got Judas. Don't ever think that Judas was a devil from the beginning. He wasn't. He was a preacher. A divine healer. He cast out devils by the power of God. It wasn't until he realized that Jesus wasn't going to overthrow the Roman government and give him his place in the kingdom, that his attitude changed. He decided to get what was his while He could. While Jesus washed his feet, he was making his plans to betray Him. He didn't become demon possessed until after the communion service. It was there that he betrayed Jesus in his heart. He later betrayed him with a kiss, disappointed that Jesus had not made good on his promises to him about sitting on a throne and ruling in the kingdom of God. Friend, be careful about what disappoints you in serving God! Jesus said in Luke 7:23, "Blessed is he whosoever shall not be offended in me." The devil can use disappointment to snare you and devour you.
Conclusion: You don't have to be the devil's next meal! These five warning signals in your life will keep you from the Lion's mouth.