Summary: Second in the series on spiritual warfare, "THIS MEANS WAR!" This sermon explores why and how Satan wants to destroy our testimony, if not us.
Can I let you in on a secret? SATAN HATES US! He once had a prominent place and authority in God’s realm. Ezekiel 28 describes him as having the seal of perfection, perfect in beauty, an anointed being, covered with precious stones and being on the holy mount of God.
But Lucifer sinned. He was “internally filled with violence” and his heart was lifted up and corrupt. God promptly pronounced judgment on him with no room for repentance.
God created man in his own image and showered his love and affection on him. Noticing this tender, sweet relationship, Satan crafted a plan to thwart God’s will.
“IT WAS A DELIGHT TO THE EYES…”
Satan loves to make sin attractive to the eyes. That is why so many people fall into his traps-the Bible says that he is a creature of beauty, and it never said that beauty was taken away. But temporary indulgence leaves one empty and greedily seeking more.
“And it will be as when a hungry man dreams—behold, he is eating; But when he awakens, his hunger is not satisfied, Or as when a thirsty man dreams— behold, he is drinking, but when he awakens, he is faint, and his thirst is not quenched.” Isaiah 29:8
This verse speaks of a man who searches for that which brings temporary satisfaction, but leaves him yearning for more later...
“Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you…” Isaiah 55:2-3
This verse gives us God’s promise to satisfy those yearnings and longings which can only be filled by his love.
“But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.” Romans 13:14
“A TREE TO BE DESIRED TO MAKE ONE WISE…”
We must always seek God’s counsel and wisdom. To seek after His ways is to seek the truth. When we look elsewhere for wisdom, then we will draw it from the Father of Lies.
Never put a question mark where God puts a period. Satan’s strategy in tempting Eve was to plant a seed of doubt, to ask a question where God made a crystal-clear question.
“Take heed to yourselves, that your heart be not deceived, and ye turn aside, and serve other gods, and worship them…” Deutoronomy 11:16
ILL: India really does not have a hunger problem because of a lack of food.
The Hindu religion teaches reincarnation in the form of animals. And so it is against religious laws to kill rats, mice, cows and other animals. Every cow eats enough food to feed seven people, and there are 200 million “sacred cows” in India.
If the people in India would just stop feeding these cows, they could feed 1.4 billion people, over 1/4 the world population.
“SHE TOOK OF THE FRUIT AND DID EAT.”
Sin is a fundamental relationship that declares a deliberate and determined independence and rebellion from God. It is not a wrong doing but a wrong being.
But giving up my “right” to myself and my natural independence will just begin the process of justification through Christ’s sacrifice. If we fail to nail our independence to the cross, then we can never be free from the shackles of sin and death.
“For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?” Luke 9:24-25
ILL: During the Civil War, a timid supporter expressed to President Abraham Lincoln that he hoped God would be on the side of the North. Lincoln replied, “About that I am not at all concerned; but only that we should be on the side of the Lord.”
When we make our tummy our goal in life, when we attempt to make beauty our goal, or when that which is religious is our goal, it is the most distorted view of life possible. They are attributes of a worldly system, and they become deadly.
Yet we are exhorted to be a “peculiar people,” that we are to be different. In fact, we are set apart by God Himself: “If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honor, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work” 2 Timothy 2:21.
Let us shun temptations that look good to our bodies, reject idols in our life, and put to death our own independence. Like President Lincoln said, let us line up on “the side of the Lord.”
Who is on the Lord’s side?