Summary: FAITH TO STAND (part 2) What’s wrong with a little bread for lunch? This message cuts through the layers of Satan’s deception and shows how we can follow Christ’s example and overcome the firey darts of the enemy!
Our nation again stands poised for war against the nation of Iraq and Saddam Hussain. Our fear is that Saddam has rearmed his nation with weapons of mass destruction.
On the evening of January 16, 1991, the then President George Bush Sr. announced to the nation that Operation Desert Storm, an international coalition under the command of U.S. General Norman Schwarzkopf was underway against Iraq. The primary objective of Operation Desert Storm was to forcibly remove Iraq from its five-month occupation of Kuwait, Iraq’s tiny, oil-rich neighbor.
Over the next six weeks Americans watched as a new generation soldier waged war with a new breed of technically advanced weapons. Weapons that had previously not been tested in war were now proving American superiority on the battlefield.
Perhaps the hero of what became known as the Gulf War was the Patriot missile. At a cost of over one million dollars each, these defensive missiles proved their weight in gold. Using radar and computer technology the Patriot missile could blast off to speeds of 3,000 miles per hour in seconds to blast the Iraqi Scud missiles out of the sky.
Saddam fired eighty-six Scud missiles during the Gulf War, forty at Israel and forty-six at Saudi Arabia. Few of these ever reached their targets. Instead these weapons of death were blown from the sky by the Patriot missiles.
Two other superpowers waged war in the desert over 2,000 years ago. Satan would launch missiles of temptation at Jesus in the wilderness beyond the Jordan River. None reached their mark. Every one of Satan’s Scud missiles were blown from the sky as Jesus responded with the original Patriot, the missile of God’s Word, the Bible.
Let me ask you a question: DO YOU BELIEVE THAT GOD’S WORD WILL BE JUST AS EFFECTIVE IN PREVENTING SATAN’S ATTACK AGAINST YOU? I’m here to tell you that God’s Word is still undefeated; it’s powerful! Satan’s missiles of temptation don’t stand a chance–now or ever. YOU CAN HAVE FAITH TO STAND.
+ 1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it. (NIV)
Jesus has shown us the way to victory. We do not have to succumb to the attacks of the enemy; you don’t have to give in to temptation or buckle under the oppression of guilt, or despair.
Last week we took a closer look at our enemy the devil. In any conflict you must know who your enemy is if you want to defeat them. I’m not going to take the time to review the nine characteristics of Satan; if you missed last week’s message you need to get a copy of the notes “Your Adversary the Devil” either online at www.praiseag.org or see me personally for a copy.
I do however want to restate point number 9 (you always save the best for last, and this is a point you don’t ever want to forget). SATAN IS A DEFEATED FOE. You can have faith to stand; you can walk in victory!
+ 1 John 4:4 the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. (NIV)
In all of scripture there are only three times Satan’s voice is heard directly. The hiss of the serpent spoke to Eve in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:1-6). The second time we hear Satan speak is in heaven when his deceptive scheme to try to destroy Job is brought before God, but even there God gave Job faith to stand (Job 1-2). Finally, Satan’s lies are heard in the wilderness as he brings his attack to Jesus himself (Matthew 4:1-11; Luke 4:1-13).
Why do I mention that? Satan chooses carefully those he would personally attack. Satan is not omnipresent; as a created being he can only be one place at a time. That’s why elsewhere in scripture the enemy is heard speaking indirectly through demons and human instruments.
· You are as likely to hear the audible voice of Satan in a one on one struggle as a WW2 soldier was to go into hand to hand combat with Adolf Hitler. How likely is it today for any one of us or our soldiers to face off against Saddam Hussain or Ossama bin Ladin?
+ Ephesians 6:12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. (NIV)
We need the Holy Spirit to help us discern when Satan is speaking through a human mouthpiece no matter who they may be: acquaintance or actor; friend or foe; preacher or politician; great or small. But don’t be deceived! We also need to discern when it is from within us that the enemy would weave his web of deception and temptation to lead us astray.