Summary: This message is about three of the prime times when the devil is active in our lives.
INTRO: We are familiar with the term Prime Time. It is used primarily in reference to prime-time television. Prime Time is the time when most people will be watching their televisions. It is a time advertising and media people use to full advantage in influencing the public.
Even so, the devil is concerned with taking advantage of the Prime Time in our lives. In our text, Paul was not encouraging anger; rather, he recognized anger as one of the common human emotions.
The Good News Bible makes this verse clearer: “If you become angry, do not let your anger lead you into sin.” It is inevitable that anger will arise in our life. In fact, some anger is worthwhile. It is natural to be angry at sin, injustice, and evil. When I think of all the young lives that are being ruined by drugs and alcohol, I get angry. It is right to be angry at evil deeds. However, when anger builds to resentment, hurts other people, leads to revenge, or when it goes unchecked, it leads to sin.
I want to share three of the prime times when the devil is active in our lives.
I. THE DEVIL TAKES ADVANTAGE OF OUR WEAK POINTS.
This is what Paul was teaching concerning anger. Our temper can be a weak point. The devil will use this to get a foothold. The N. T. uses the word flesh to refer to the weaknesses of our human nature (Eph 2:2-3). The devil magnifies our weak points for prime-time coverage in our lives.
Satan struck at Eve’s weak point in the Garden of Eden. He appealed to her curiosity. The old saying “Curiosity killed the cat” applies to humans as well. Many have fallen victim as Satan appealed to their curiosity and created doubt in their minds.
ILLUS: I saw a sign recently that read “DO NOT READ.” The sign maker knew what he was doing. Naturally, the first thing you want to do is read the sign to see what it is you are not to read.
What are the weak points in your life: sex, alcohol, drugs, pride, lying, greed, emotions, a hobby? You will recall that Superman had only one weakness and that was the element krypton. His enemies often tried to defeat him by attacking this weak point. Even so, the devil tries to use the weak points in our lives.
II. THE DEVIL IS EXTREMELY ACTIVE DURING THE HIGH POINTS OF OUR LIVES.
In Luke 3:21-22, we read of Jesus’ baptism and anointing. After Jesus was baptized, the Bible says the Holy Spirit descended as a dove and God spoke. That was the beginning point of Jesus’ ministry. That was a high point in his life. Immediately after Jesus’ anointing, we read of his temptation. The devil confronted Jesus at a high point.
Jesus knew that the devil works hardest during the high points of our lives. This is why Jesus prayed so intensely before all the major events of his life. He prayed before selecting his disciples, before raising Lazarus, before his death.
A good illustration of this comes from the life of Elijah. Elijah had healed the sick, performed many miracles, defeated the enemy, and magnified his God. At the peak of his ministry he was overwhelmed by the threats of Jezebel and retreated in fear until he found victory in his God.
III. THE DEVIL USES OUR STRONG POINTS.
In 1 Corinthians 10:12 we find these words “Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” The Israelite people thought they were invincible. Their strong point was the fact that they were God’s chosen people. That was a marvelous position to be in. However, that was the point at which they were most tempted. Their position caused them to be arrogant and careless.
You may be in a favored position with God. Possibly, you have been in the Lord’s service for years. You may know your Bible and be adept at spiritual things. However, your personal strength may cause you to drop your shield.
There is another side to this though. The very fact that you are strong may be cause for the devil to attack. Consider Job. The devil accused God of protecting Job. He said Job’s strength was artificial. If you remove his strength he will be like any other sinner, the devil argued. Of course, the devil was proved wrong, but just the same he attacked Job at his strong points.
It has been said that if you do not feel the devil’s presence in your life, you must be going in his direction. If you oppose him he will attack you. The very fact that you attempt something for God will anger the devil.
CONC: We have considered three of the prime times when Satan attacks you. Many times we give the devil more room and more opportunity than he deserves.