Summary: Satan attacks all of us. . . what can we do to fight back against him? *HANDOUT INCLUDED*
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What to do when Satan attacks you. “Saul made havoc of the church...”
Observation: When God is working, you can expect Satan to attack.
There’s no doubt that Satan attacks, and he doesn’t care how many people he hurts in the process! He fights by his own rules.
- When you’re making progress, he’ll start fighting.
- When you’re down he’ll kick you.
- When our church is making progress, he’ll do something to fight back.
When Satan attacks, we have to fight back. When he is fighting, it is not time to circle the wagons!
Ways in which he attacked in Acts:
1. Opposition from the outside of the church. (Don’t preach that any more.) - Acts 4
- Counterattack: They prayed for the power of the Spirit.
2. Corruption on the inside of the church. (Acts 5)
- Counterattack: They exposed the corruption.
3. Complaining on the inside of the church. (Acts 6)
- Counterattack: They restructured the church.
4. Persecution and martyrdom. (Stephen) - Acts 7
- Counterattack: They scattered, preaching anyway.
It what ways can we fight back?
1. Keep doing God’s will.
Therefore those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word.
5 Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ to them.
John Rucyahana, the Anglican bishop of Shyira, Rwanda, served as a pastor in Uganda during the brutal reign of dictator Idi Amin.
Amin targeted 200,000 political opponents, Christian leaders, and members of certain ethnic groups for extermination. One day the government soldiers came for John.
He remembers, "One put the cold barrel of a gun against my ear and held his finger on the trigger. They put me in a vehicle and made me sit on a sack of explosives. As we began moving, I thought, Even the slightest jolt, and I’m dead."
The soldiers finally released John, figuring they had successfully intimidated him and that he would no longer speak out.
What the oppressors (and Satan) meant for evil, though, God used for good. Two days after John’s harrowing brush with death was Sunday.
That day, John walked into the cathedral to find it packed—people were standing in the aisles. People had heard what happened and had come to find out what he would say. Would he speak out for Christ?
John did speak for Christ, only this time to a larger group than he could ever have gathered on his own.
SOURCE: sermoncentral.com [God Turns Persecution into Opportunity, Citation: Kevin A. Miller, vice president of resources, Christianity Today International]
2. Keep depending on the Holy Spirit’s power.
Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them,
15 who, when they had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit.
16 For as yet He had fallen upon none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
The power of the Holy Spirit does not equal money. . . Note the story of SIMON here.
They realized that without the power of the Holy Spirit, they were sunk.
The Holy Spirit is God’s gift to us. . . we cannot buy Him or His power. He works freely and sovereignly. We have to keep depending on Him.
3. Keep on staying open to God’s voice.
Now an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying, "Arise and go toward the south along the road which goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza." This is desert.
27 So he arose and went.
Now, why would you leave somewhere like Samaria, where you had just been building a church, where lives were changed, and go to the desert? In fact, this place was about 60 miles away in a desert. Why would you bother?
- I don’t want to go to a desert.
- That must not be God talking to me.
Staying open to God’s voice means you obey:
- No matter how silly or small it seems.
- No matter how inconvenient it is.
Well, God had an appointment for Philip. If you’ll obey, you’ll be amazed at the power of God working through you. He’s got appointments for you.
4. Watch for people who need to hear about Jesus.
And behold, a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace the queen of the Ethiopians, who had charge of all her treasury, and had come to Jerusalem to worship,