Summary: This message is about what a spiritual attack looks like and what can be done about it.
Do you remember the record where Peter rebukes Jesus for telling the disciples He was going to die in Jerusalem? Of course you do. Turn with me to Matthew 16.
(21) From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.
(22) Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.
Do you get the feeling that Peter didn’t like what he heard? This must really have upset him if he is willing to tell Jesus that He’s wrong and what he just said is not going to happen.
(23) But he (Jesus) turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.
Now, so many of us read how Jesus responds to Peter without giving it too much thought. In fact, we often glossed over it. But listen, really listen, to what Jesus says: “Get thee behind me Satan.”
Wait a minute. Jesus is having a meeting with His disciples. Where is Satan? What is happening that our natural eyes don’t see? Satan has infiltrated the meeting. He’s stirring up the thoughts and emotions that disagree with what Jesus is saying.
What is he trying to do? He’s trying to cause division between Jesus and his disciples and among the disciples themselves.
Are you sure about that Bro. Barry? Yes and we see it in Jesus’s response: “Get thee behind Satan: thou are an offense to me…” What was the offense? You’re your finger here and turn to John 5:30. Let’s look at the last part of the verse. “I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.”
So what was the offense? Satan was using Peter to try and get the disciples to rebel against the Father’s will for Jesus. So what do we often don’t take the time to understand? It was Peter talking, but it was Satan’s message that he was delivering.
Is it possible that Satan still influences people’s thoughts and emotions today? Is it possible that he still influences people’s actions today? Is it possible that he still speaks through people and they are not aware of it just as Peter wasn’t aware of it?
Yes. Yes. And yes.
As we look at what’s happening in our country today, it’s time for us, Christians, to look at the one who is masterfully “pressing the buttons” and “pulling the strings.” It’s time for us to look beyond the faces that we see.
As you may know, I mean, who doesn’t know – all four police officers involved in the death of George Floyd have received criminal charges. The looting and rioting that erupted as a result of his death has also led to the deaths of at least four police officers, the death of a retired 77 year old police officer and many injuries.
And what saddens me so is that the resulting chaos overshadowed the legitimate peaceful protests. The chaos saddens me but it doesn’t surprise me.
There is a lot that should bother us about this situation, ladies and gentlemen.
First, so many in the Church are ignorant of the spiritual hate-monger who is behind the scenes pulling the strings. His name is Satan, the devil, the deceiver, that old dragon. We should not expect the world to understand what is happening, but we, the Church, have no excuse. We should know better!
Second, in the midst of all of this chaos and confusion, I don’t recall seeing those who say they are Christians, including pastors and ministers, on social media or the mainstream media putting the real culprit on “front-street.”
Third, what is becoming a more and more clear and sobering reminder to me is that the Church seems to be oblivious to what we are truly witnessing – a spiritual attack on this country that the devil has been patiently waiting for but eager to launch.
And ladies and gentlemen, this is a spiritual attack that cannot be defeated if the “soldiers” – you and me – who are supposed to be “on alert,” are not ready to engage the enemy. Sadly, this what I see happening.
Let’s take a few minutes to pull back the curtain to see how Satan is operating.
Satan’s MO, his mode of operation, is unmistakable. He is the enemy of the mind and emotions. None compare to him. Ladies and gentlemen, that is not an understatement. What he does is take situations like the death of George Floyd and liberally dowses peoples’ emotions with the most flammable and easy to ignite accelerant in our society today – an accusation of racism.