Summary: Discusses lessons we can learn fro Job.
Lessons Learned From Job
We often hear of things going on that we readily blame on Satan. People have made the statement when they got caught doing something that "the devil made me do it." There are many influences in the world but truly one of the most destructive influences is that of our adversary, the devil. In these messages I will examine some of the things we can learn about how Satan operates through the experience of Job. The idea for this message actually came from a lesson that my brother taught to his men’s group, however as Barry and I often discuss, I reserved the right to Rodneyize it. (Yeah I know Rodneyize is not a word, but Barry and I know what it means.) As I read Barry’s lesson, I thought about some of the people I have interacted with over the years and the beliefs they have held. Some of those beliefs I held earlier in my Christian walk, but have since changed as I’ve learned more. In these messages we will take a look at what happened "behind the scenes" in the situation with Job to identify the tactics that Satan still uses today to get us off track. You may be tired of hearing about Job, but I ask that you bear with me for just a little while as we take one more look at the lessons we can learn from his situation.
Lesson 1: Satan Is Not Our Friend
The first lesson we learn from Job’s situation is that Satan is not your friend, he is your adversary. He is no one to fool around with for he does have power. First Peter 5:8 says "Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” There are many people who believe that Satan is weak and powerless until they find themselves spiraling downward in a situation that they cannot control. Peter, who actually walked with Christ, described him as a roaring lion walking around seeking who he may devour. A friend would not be walking around seeking someone to devour, to kill, to destroy. Satan is powerful, yet he has no power over God’s children as long as they stay within God’s hands, but I will talk more about that later. So lesson one, understand clearly that Satan is not your friend, he is your enemy. The first step in dealing with an enemy is actually being able to recognize the enemy and how they operate. We must understand the tactics of our enemy so that we recognize when they are in action. You do not go to your enemy’s yard to play, but you will keep a watchful eye out for the attack that you know is coming. If you are playing on the enemy’s playground, you are allowing your guard to fall and before you know it your enemy that you have been playing with now attacks you. Satan is not our friend, he is our powerful enemy. Do not let your guard down and think you can play in his yard and be his friend.
Lesson 2: Satan Is Not Omnipresent
When the book of Job opens, it tells about the possessions that Job had and then it transition to Satan entering into God’s presence. Verse seven of Job chapter one says "And the Lord said to Satan, ’From whence do you come?’ Then Satan answered the Lord and said, ’From roaming about on the earth and walking around on it." Satan cannot be in more than one place at a time. This means that he cannot personally be attacking you and me at the same time for he can only be in one place. God is omnipresent for He is everywhere and can be influencing my life and yours at the exact same time. When God questioned Satan as to where he had been he said he had been roaming the earth. Remember what Peter said about Satan in what we just read, how he was "prowling" the earth looking for someone to destroy? He is not omnipresent so he cannot be everywhere at once. Because he is limited in this way, he does have an army of demons who are very proactive in their assault on our lives. The tactics they use are the same ones that Satan used on Job. From this point on when I mention the things Satan will do to hinder us, understand that I am primarily talking about those spiritual influences that report to him. This brings me to the third lesson.
Lesson 3: Satan Is Deliberately Looking For Ways To Enter Your Life
When you consider what Peter said and Satan’s response to God when questioned about where he had been, it becomes clear that he is very active. He is very deliberate in his seeking out of ways to enter into our lives and disrupt our relationship with God. In verse eight of chapter one God asks Satan has he considered His servant Job who was "a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil." Why would God proactively ask Satan this question? God has the ability to look out into time and know what we are going to do. When we have walked with Him for so long, He pretty much knows exactly how faithful we will be to Him, especially in the midst of trials and tribulations. It is sort of like when you have been in a relationship for a long time with someone you begin to know what they are and are not capable of doing, except in God’s case, He really knows. God had faith in Job; He knew what Job was about. Satan on the other hand does not have this ability. He cannot look out into time and know what our actions are going to be. Satan never knows what we’re going to do until we do it. That’s when he knows that a particular thought or tactic has influenced us. He also listens to our conversations, the way in which we speak and conduct ourselves. If he is speaking doubt about God in our minds and we begin to speak those things out loud, he knows and understands that he is influencing us. You may call me paranoid and that is okay, but we cannot fight against an enemy that we do not understand, know or recognize. If you know that Satan is looking for any small crack in your spiritual armor in his attempt to enter your life and disrupt your relationship with God then you are always looking for, evaluating and patching the cracks before he can enter. But back to my point, Satan is seeking a way in your life. When God asked him had he considered Job, his answer confirms that not only had he considered Job, but that he may have already tried to get Job to turn his back on God. Look at verse nine and ten. "Then Satan answered the Lord, ’Does Job fear God for nothing? Hast Thou not made a hedge about him and his house and all that he has on every side….." For Satan to know all of this, he had to have been looking at Job as a potential target. Satan told God that Job served him because God had blessed him and had a hedge of protection around him. Do you understand what he was saying? That hedge of protection kept Satan at bay, he could not do whatever he wanted with Job because Job belonged to God and God was protecting him. When we gave our lives to Christ, we were covered by the blood of Jesus and therefore we are protected. The only way that Satan can truly wreck havoc in our lives is if we allow him. Remember, our lives are much more than material things. We should be able to lose everything we have and still remain faithful to God, but Satan does not believe that. He believes that we only serve God because we are blessed and have material things and that brings me to lesson four.