Summary: Part 2 of my series on the Schemes of the Devil. Part 2 focuses on Anger.
The Schemes of the Devil Part 2
Scripture: Eph. 6:11-12; 4:25-26; 31; Gal. 5:19-21; Prov. 15:1; John 2:14-16
In this series our foundational Scripture is found in Ephesians 6:11-12 which says “Put on the full armor of God that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” In my message last week I gave you some history on our adversary. I told you that our adversary is powerful, cunning and if we’re not careful, very good at getting us into trouble. I also shared with you that the schemes that he has put into place are those that we may not necessarily recognize as something that He can work through. One of the schemes I shared with you last week focused on how Satan uses our family history to get a foot hold into our lives. As I shared with you last week, you are not under a generational curse and you do not have to walk in the sins of your forefathers. This morning I want to examine two additional schemes that Satan uses to get us to open our door to him. The first is our anger (and/or wrath).
I. Anger (Wrath)
Galatians 5:19-21 says “Now the works of the flesh are plain: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger, selfishness, dissension, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing and the like. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things shall not inherit the Kingdom of God.” Anger is listed as one of the works of the flesh which can directly hinder our relationship with God and especially with each other. Ephesians 4:26 says “Be angry and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger.” Although there will be times when we will get angry, we have been commanded to not sin when this happens. Anger is often our first reaction to our problems with others. Our impatience with the faults of others is related to this (anger often arises within our impatience). Wrath is defined as “intense anger; rage; fury. Any action of vengeance.”
Let me share with you a personal story from when I was in the 10th grade. I’ve told you before that when I was in my teens, I carried around a lot of anger. I did not fully understand where it came from as I thought it was just there. It was years later that I realized why I was angry. But let me share this one incident with you that happened when I was in the 10th grade – some of you may recall this story. I had a homeroom teacher that I really did not get along with. He started in on me the very first day of school and it went down hill from there. I truly believed he wanted me out of school. Three months into the school year it became ugly. He was the hall monitor and every time he would see me in the halls, he would ask if I had permission to be in the hall. He never asked anyone else who was with me, just me. Now with the anger that I carried on the inside, it was only a matter of time before I lost it. On the day that it happened, I had a hall pass to go to the restroom. As soon as he saw me, he asked me if I had a hall pass and I said “Yes”. He told me to show him my slip, which of course I refused to do because I had had enough of his harassing me. At this point he had me because I had refused an order from a teacher. He told me to go to the Principal’s office and he literally ran ahead of me to talk with the Principal. When I finally got there, (I took my time so he’d have to wait on me), I was told to sit down and wait. I waited there almost an hour. When the principal finally called me into his office, I was informed that the original plan was to suspend me from school because of my attitude based on what the story the teacher had shared with him. It was assumed that I was just a trouble maker and nothing would be lost if I was kicked out of school for a while. However, for some reason, the Principal had decided to check my background to see what type of student I was. He checked with both my current and former teachers, even at the Junior High School, to see if I was a problem child. He also pulled my grades. When he looked at my GPA which placed me in the top 16% of my class of 360, and got the feedback from my teachers, he realized that I was not the troublemaker he was expecting. Long story short, he decided to give me another chance, after he called my mother. I never had any more problems with that teacher. He left me along and I left him alone. When I got home my mother was very disappointed. She looked at me and very calmly said “Rodney, if you do not change your attitude, you will be dead before your seventeenth birthday.” When my mother said this to me, I was both offended and hurt, yet I believed her. It was on this day that I realized that I needed to change or at least control the anger. God has helped me control the anger, but I have to choose to allow His Spirit to assist me. If I had know then what I know now I think I would have made difference choices, but anger will make you act in ways that are not in your best interest. How many of you have done things you now regret because you were angry?