Summary: We are instructed to be aware of how our enemy works against us. However, it is also essential to know how God works. We need to learn His tactics so that we won't miss His hand moving in our life.
Pt. 4 - Skinned
In the New Testament, Paul instructs us to be aware of how our enemy works. In 2 Corinthians 2:11, he says “After all, we don’t want to unwittingly give Satan an opening for yet more mischief—we’re not oblivious to his sly ways!”
We are to be familiar with his tactics so that we don’t become vulnerable to those attacks. That is why you must know your weaknesses and the schemes the enemy continues to throw at you that cause you to stumble. But I have come to the conclusion that more than a fair share of us have focused so much on what our enemy is doing and how he works that we have in turn failed to recognize or become familiar with how God works. We don’t know His tactics so the result is we tend to ignore Him, fight Him, miss Him, and even think His work is the enemies work.
So, we are trying to learn how God works so that we cooperate and participate with Him! So, we have talked about worship going first. We have talked about the fact that God goes before us and prepares the way. Last week we talked about the concept that God comes behind us so we often have to prepare the way of the Lord. Today, I want to talk about one of the most misunderstood tactics that God uses. This tactic is probably the most used by God and one of the most difficult to cooperate with. God most often uses the tactic of getting "skinned"! In other words, God uses people to impact and influence people. This tactic is so difficult to embrace and participate in for two reasons: It requires enormous amounts of discernment (which requires maturity and honesty) and second because we don't always get to choose the people God chooses.
The fact is that one of God's most used tactics is that He assigns people to us. One of the ways we know this is true is that we are so familiar with the tactics of the enemy. The enemy is a perverter. He is a counterfeiter. He simply takes God's plan and offers a messed up version of the real thing. I bet everyone in here would have no issue agreeing with this statement . . . the enemy assigns people to us. Want me to stop and let you shout their name out now? We have all experienced someone who came into our lives and all they did was bring pain, destruction, and chaos and we wake up one day and realize they are toxic and on assignment from the pit. Even Jesus experienced that. Judas was on assignment from the enemy. The difference was that Jesus had the ability to turn what the enemy meant for good.
So since the enemy assigns it is easy to understand that God assigns. In fact, the wisest man that ever lived spoke to this truth. He said it like this:
As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.
The idea is that relationships are tactically used by God to make us better and to get us on track. God assigns/places/commissions people to sharpen us!
One man said it like this:
In the beginning, God created you for relationships. He made you to relate to him and to others. Miss out on relationships, and you’re missing the core reason for which God put you on this planet. . . . A life without relationships may well be a simpler life, but it is also an empty life. —TOM HOLLADAY