Summary: Following Paul’s model for responding to the frustration of Satan’s interference in our lives give us hope in the task of "dealing with the devil"
May 16, 2004 1Thess#15-What To Do When Satan Thwarts You 0510604 GFC am
SERIES: Making A Difference—Studies in 1 Thessalonians
SUBJECT: "What To Do When Satan Thwarts You"
SCRIPTURE: I Thessalonians 2:14-20
MAIN POINT: every believer must realize he has an enemy that seeks to thwart his efforts for God’s kingdom
NEEDS AIMED TO MEET: unfortunately, many believers fail to recognize their enemy and his tactics. Oblivious to him, they mistake others for the enemy and wind up dividing the body of Christ, utilizing inappropriate strategies in dealing with being "thwarted", and failing in advancing God’s kingdom
OBJECTIVES (by the end of this message each one will be able to:)
AFFIRM that the enemy is Satan not other Christians or people around them
IDENTIFY the tactic(s) that Satan has been using in his/her life
DETERMINE a strategy(ies) that s/he can use in overcoming the enemy
HOOK/APPROACH (How will I capture and keep their attention?)
**During the Second World War, C. J. Auchinleck, Commander-in-Chief of the Middle East Force, wrote the following order to all commanders and chiefs of staff under his authority: "There exists a real danger that our friend Rommel is becoming a king or magician or bogey-man to our troops who are talking far too much about him. He is by no means a superman, although he is undoubtedly very energetic and able. Even if he were a superman, it would still be highly undesirable that our men should credit him with supernatural powers. "I wish you to dispel by all possible means the idea that Rommel represents something more than the ordinary. The more important thing now is to see that we do not always talk of Rommel when we mean the enemy in Libya. We must refer to "the Germans" or "the Axis powers" or "the enemy" and not always keep harping on Rommel. "Please ensure that this order is put into immediate effect, and impress upon all commanders that, from a psychological point of view, it is a matter of the highest importance."
1. As we continue our study of 1Thess, Paul reminds us that 1) We have an enemy; and 2) He is out to get us
**You have a target on your back!!
2. Satan wants to thwart/hinder your efforts to serve the Lord. He wants to thwart your efforts to obey and follow Jesus. He will thwart you in your marriage, in your relationships with your kids, and in your experiences with others around you.
3. The Apostle Paul experienced the deep frustration of having his ambitions and efforts hindered/thwarted too...
BOOK/EXPLORE (What does God have to say about this?) What do you do when Satan thwarts you?
1. YOU MUST RECOGNIZE WHO YOUR ENEMY IS
**Professional ball team fighting among themselves; Kobe vs Shaq; G Payton vs Phil Jackson; My dbls tennis strategy;
**church members holding grudges, fighting, arguing, gossiping. . . new bldgs, new ministries, care for us vs reach out to them
**Gen. G Patton- strong sense of rivalry with Britain’s Field Marshall Montgomery that he took unnecessary risks with his men in order to "best" Montgomery and reach a military target/objective before him
A. Paul saw the behaviors of the Jews: caused physical sufferings, killed Jesus & prophets, drove Paul & team out of city, not please God, hostile to men, hindered Paul’s message (v14-16)
B. Paul knew the result: "fill up the measure of sins" and "wrath comes upon them" (v16b)
C. Paul faced a great deal of frustration: "bereft of you...tried to come to you...more than once" (v17)
D. YET . . . he knew the real enemy (v18)
-Thwart= (NIV- “stopped”; KJV- “hindered”)= to cut into; impede, detain; military use= tactic of cutting up or destroying a road so as to make it impassable; obstacles preventing the accomplishment of an intended movement
-Satan= the adversary (1Pet 5:8) "a roaring lion"
** powerful influence over the affairs of those promoting the kingdom of God: Job, David (numbering the people), Daniel (blocked his prayers), Peter (to Jesus re: the cross), Judas’ betrayal, Paul’s thorn in the flesh, Mk 4- he takes away the seed; 2Cor 11- he blinds the minds of those who do not believe, 2Tim 2-he traps us to do his will
Eph 6 "We wrestle not against flesh and blood..."
conflict with wife? wife=/= enemy! struggle with your teen? teen =/= enemy!
angry with your boss? boss =/= enemy! Kids: conflict w/ parents? parent=/= enemy!
2. YOU MUST REALIZE YOUR ENEMY’S TACTICS
A. Deception (lead you to embrace error/falsehood) 2 Cor 11:14 “Masquerades as an angel of light”
**What American’s Believe, George Barna: 35% of US adults strongly believe that the devil is just a symbol of evil; another 25% agree somewhat (60% total); Evang Chr= 47% agree
You stand in one of 6 places today: