Summary: This message is Part one of this series. It focuses on how Satan desires to steal God's Word from us and in doing so decreases our faith and our ability to please God.
Satan’s Battle Tactics - Part 1
Happy New Year! This is the first Sunday of 2018 and I thank God for allowing us to see this day. If you recall, I closed 2017 with a message on faith. In that series I shared with you how our minds can change the world around us. I told you that our faith cannot act beyond our beliefs. In other words, our belief empowers our faith. Because our faith is crucial to the kingdom of God, there is a battle going on to destroy it. If we understand this battle, we can take steps to ensure that we are on the winning side. This morning I am starting the series I mentioned last week, “Satan’s Battle Tactics” to help us understand his battle plan and what we need to do to maintain our winning position. Satan has a plan that he is working with his army. The battle that he is waging against us is a battle for our minds, how we think, which directly impacts our faith and our ability to overcome him. Paul made the following declarations to the Christians in Rome and Ephesus:
“Therefore I urge you brethren by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:1-2)
“But you did not learn Christ in this way, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus, that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.” (Ephesians 4:20-24)
Paul was consistent in his message that Christians need to renew their minds. In other words, we must change how we think. In this series I will examine several areas where we are under attack and discuss the steps we can take to protect ourselves and those around us. The first battle tactic, and possibly his most effective one, is his ability to steal the Word of God from us because once we lose it we cannot use it! I want you to see this. If you lose something you no longer have access to it – you cannot use it! Once it’s out of your possession you no longer have it. When Satan steals the Word from you, you can’t readily access it because it’s no longer a part of you – it was not implanted within you. Jesus said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10) That thief is Satan and he is stealing from us!!! This morning as you listen to this message, please keep this question in the forefront of your mind, “Do I have anything that Satan wants to steal?” Turn with me to Luke chapter eight and we will begin reading at verse five.
“The sower went out to sow his seed; and as he sowed, some fell beside the road, and it was trampled underfoot and the birds of the air ate it up. Other seed fell on rocky soil, and as soon as it grew up, it withered away, because it had no moisture. Other seed fell among the thorns; and the thorns grew up with it and choked it out. Other seed fell into the good soil, and grew up, and produced a crop a hundred times as great.’ As He said these things, He would call out, ‘He who has ears to hear, let him hear.’ His disciples began questioning Him as to what this parable meant. And He said, ‘To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God, but to the rest it is in parables, so that SEEING THEY MAY NOT SEE, AND HEARING THEY MAY NOT UNDERSTAND. Now the parable is this: the seed is the word of God. Those beside the road are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their heart, so that they will not believe and be saved. Those on the rocky soil are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no firm root; they believe for a while, and in time of temptation fall away. The seed which fell among the thorns, these are the ones who have heard, and as they go on their way they are choked with worries and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to maturity. But the seed in the good soil, these are the ones who have heard the word in an honest and good heart, and hold it fast, and bear fruit with perseverance. Now no one after lighting a lamp covers it over with a container, or puts it under a bed; but he puts it on a lampstand, so that those who come in may see the light. For nothing is hidden that will not become evident, nor anything secret that will not be known and come to light. So take care how you listen; for whoever has, to him more shall be given; and whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has shall be taken away from him." (Luke 8:5-18)