RSS

Monthly Archives: February 2013

1/25/13 – “GIVE SATAN NO PLACE” – PART 3

jesus-in-gethsemane1

Eph. 4:27 Don’t give the devil any opportunity ‹to work›.

In this third and final part of our series on how we can make sure we give satan no place in our life we will cover the third way scripture reveals as to how satan comes. The first two ways we covered in part one and two revealed how he comes as an angel of light through false and deceptive teachings; and how he comes as a serpent, very sly and cunning. This week we will cover how he comes as a roaring lion.

1 Pet. 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
1 Pet. 5:9 Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.

The first thing we are told here in these verses is to be sober, be vigilant because of this adversary of ours who comes about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. The word “sober” here means to remain calm, in control of self. This has a lot to do with your soul. You should not be reacting to things based on your feelings. You should be grounded in the Word and walk in the light of who you are in Christ. The second word here “vigilant” means to pay attention. Simply put, you need to know how satan works and pay attention to what you are allowing in your life.

This is especially important when it comes to satan trying to take advantage of you as a roaring lion. You are to resist him, not people, steadfast in the faith. One of the key things that satan does to try and get at our life is to continually remind us of our past, or to get us involved with things of the past. Either one is not good. He has not changed, he is still the accuser of the brethren and if you don’t know who you are, he can get pretty loud and seem quite convincing all the while using his lies to devour your life.

Rev. 12:10 Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down.
Rev. 12:11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.

Notice in verse 10 above that we see satan described as the accuser of the brethren. What is he accusing us of? One of the primary things that satan accuses us of is that we are not right with God. He will bring to us these thoughts and make them quite loud at times trying to convince us that we don’t deserve what God has for us. But the fact is he is telling some truth as he did with Jesus in tempting him. But he never tells the whole truth for he is the father of lies.

No one on this planet has done anything of their own merit or effort to deserve anything God has done for us. In fact, if we got what we deserved we would be going to hell and then eventually the lake of fire for all eternity. We are not redeemed because we deserve redemption. We are redeemed because of God’s mercy. Mercy means God is not going to give to those who are born again what we deserved. Because of Jesus we have received grace, which is getting something we did not deserve. But as a child of God you must know who you are in Christ if you are going to overcome this accuser who will try to convince you that you are nothing and certainly not deserving of what God desires for your life.

Notice it tells us in verse 12 above that the believers overcome this lying accuser by the blood of the Lamb, the word of their testimony, and not loving their life to the death. These are three of the most important elements in keeping satan from devouring you from what you have already been redeemed from.

Rom. 5:9 Therefore, since we are now justified (acquitted, made righteous, and brought into right relationship with God) by Christ’s blood, how much more [certain is it that] we shall be saved by Him from the indignation and wrath of God.

One of the most important keys to not giving satan place in your life is to now know who you are in Christ. In Romans 5 here we see that we are now justified by Christ’s blood. This is very significant when you understand the importance of what that actually means. The term justified means to be declared right with God. As the Amplified here says, you were brought into right relationship with God. There are four very powerful truths that make up our right standing with God, and you must know these truths to combat satan’s lies when he is trying to devour your life by convincing you to find your worth in people’s approval, or in what you do instead of what Christ has done. He also works to convince people that they deserve punishment for what they have done, or that they are worthless and cannot change. The blood of Christ did something to change all of that.

The four foundations upon which our righteousness stand are, justification, reconciliation, propitiation, and regeneration. Justification means we are accepted by God, we can do nothing to earn our acceptance. Reconciliation means we are approved by God for we have been restored into an intimate relationship with Christ. Propitiation means Jesus bore the punishment we deserved, God is not punishing us, and regeneration means you are a new creation, and now old things can pass away and all things can become new. Because of this you are not hopeless for you can change anything about your life.

This is what you and I must know was accomplished when the blood of Jesus was shed for us. We overcome by the blood of the Lamb, knowledge of who we are in Christ because of our right standing with Him. What the devil will try to do as a roaring lion is convince you that you are not accepted by God, not approved by Him, He is punishing you for what you have done, and your situation is hopeless for you cannot change. These accusations must be confronted with revelation knowledge of what the blood of Jesus has done for you.

Luke 6:45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.

We overcome by the word of our testimony. Proverbs 18:21 tells us that death and life are in the power of the tongue. You must also recognize the importance of your words. James chapter 3 tells us that our words are what determine the course our life takes. The key to dealing with our words is what we are putting into our hearts. You are not going to overcome satan by feeding continually on all the worldly things around you and then defeat the lies of this roaring lion when he begins to fill your thought life with things contrary to the Word of God.

This is why satan has worked so diligently to take control of what you see on television, hear on radio, and listen to through the many forms of media and wrong friends. If your heart has an abundance of worldly things going in, then that is what is going to come out. Your words determine your future. Your words determine whether you are going to walk in the life of God, or the death of the world. We must realize that what we listen to has everything to do with what our outcome in life will be like. Remember we are supposed to resist satan steadfast in the faith. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. Everything that is of this world is out to strip you of your faith in God by robbing you of the Word of God.

Whenever we face thoughts or challenges from this roaring lion that is trying to devour our life, we must respond with what scripture says. This is exactly what Jesus did every time He was tempted by the devil in the wilderness. Jesus responded each time with, “It is written”. He is our example. If you want to defeat this enemy of ours and give him no place in your life you are going to need the Word in your heart, and in your mouth, especially when you are under attack from this accuser of the brethren.

Matt. 16:24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.
Matt. 16:25 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.

Last but not least we must not love our lives all the way to the grave. If we are unwilling to follow after Jesus, deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow Him, we are going to be taken advantage of in this life. You must lose your life to find true life. This simply means you must lay down your old ways of thinking and doing, you must get focused on serving the Lord with your life, and developing your relationship with Him. If you don’t you are going to be mislead in life.

So don’t give satan any opportunity in your life. Beware of false teachers and doctrines that just tickle peoples ears, beware of the subtlety of satan working through the worldly things around us, and beware of this roaring lion who will try to falsely accuse you. We can keep satan out of our life if we just stay alert and pay attention to the way he works.

See You Again Next Week For More “Weekly Wisdom”

May God’s Best Be Yours!

Pastor Darryl Baker

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 27, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

2/18/13 – “GIVE SATAN NO PLACE” – PART 2

jesus-in-gethsemane1

Eph. 4:27 Don’t give the devil any opportunity ‹to work›.

Last week we began talking about what we need to do to give satan no place in our lives. His primary target in our life is our soul, which is made up of our mind, will, and emotions. If the devil can change our way of thinking, getting us to think like the world, he can change the course of our life. In fact, before getting born again most of us were already conditioned to do so. That is why we must renew our minds to think now like God thinks. What satan has been a work doing is in infiltrating every part of society for the purpose of conditioning our minds to think contrary to God. There are three primary ways he works to do so.

2 Cor. 2:11 lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices.

It is important as a believer to realize the ways in which satan tries to take control our lives. If you will look at the last part of verse 11 above you see that Paul states he was not ignorant of satan’s devices, for if we are, satan can then take advantage of us. That is why we need to understand how he works so that we can keep him from getting control over us through deception and seduction by taking control of our soul. As we began to discuss last week he comes in one of three ways. As a serpent, as an angel of light, or like a roaring lion. We already covered in part one of this series how he comes as an angel of light. This week we will take a look at how satan comes like a serpent.

2 Cor. 11:3 But [now] I am fearful, lest that even as the serpent beguiled Eve by his cunning, so your minds may be corrupted and seduced from wholehearted and sincere and pure devotion to Christ.

The work of satan as a serpent is very subtle and seducing. The purpose is to get the believer to no longer be wholeheartedly, sincere, and devoted to following after Christ. To follow after Christ is to live like Jesus lived. Talking like Him, acting like Him, walking in His very example. Jesus Himself said that He did nothing except what He saw the Father doing. If we are going to remain devoted in following Christ, that means we are going to do the things we see Him doing, and we are not going to willfully do the things Jesus would not do. We will live a pure and sincere life of following in His footsteps. This is what many believers today call “bondage” or being “old school”. Yet the very heart of Christianity is in fact to be Christ-like.

Notice in 2 Corinthians 11:3 that how satan achieves this is in deceiving people in their thinking so that he can corrupt their minds. This corruption is a slow process that takes place slowly over time. Because it is not immediate in its actions, many don’t even realize that it is happening. The word for corrupted here means to decay. If you have ever seen an old car that someone purchased to restore, one of the things you will find is rust. Rust is something that takes place over years and years of time, slowly eating away at the metal until it is gone.

This is how satan as a serpent works to corrupt our minds, slowly conditioning people to the ways of the world where little by little they begin to change the way they think and even what they believe. They begin to slowly change their view of scripture and what God says. Where the church clearly understood the importance of guarding their lives from things that God said we should have nothing to do with, they now accept such things through many forms of entertainment and social media, claiming that such things are neither harmful nor wrong, yet the Bible says otherwise. This corruptive work is all around us through television, radio, and just about every form of social media.

Eph. 5:8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light
Eph. 5:9 (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth),
Eph. 5:10 finding out what is acceptable to the Lord.
Eph. 5:11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.
Eph. 5:12 For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret.

These verses are quite clear and yet it seems that many ministers want to throw them out of the Bible. We are to have NO FELLOWSHIP WITH THE UNFRUITFUL WORKS OF DARKNESS. Too many believers don’t seem to understand that if you fellowship with darkness, then darkness is going to have a negative impact on your life. The reason satan wants to corrupt your mind is so that he can control your outcome. He wants to dictate how you live and what you do. If he can get you to fellowship with darkness he is on the way to achieving his goal.

To fellowship with darkness means to participate in such activity. How does satan get Christians minds corrupted to the point of accepting behavior and then participating in behavior that is damaging to one’s life? He does so through the mind. His subtle approach is getting us to watch programs and build friendships with others who are already living in such behavior. We think nothing of these things, especially many of the television shows and movies that people watch today because after all it is just entertainment.

The word “entertain” comes from a Latin word which means, “To hold inside”. Whatever you entertain your mind with begins to take hold of you on the inside. It begins to control the way you think, the way you feel, and it effects the decisions you make. If you are being entertained by the works of darkness then after a while what do you think will be the result? This again is seen by many as a form of bondage to actually live in line with the Word of God. But if we choose to allow satan to corrupt our minds through forms of entertainment that are filled with works of darkness, we will begin to be conditioned to think like the world instead of thinking like God.

For example many today who say they are a Christian see nothing wrong with having sex before marriage, or even living together before getting married. Yet this is called fornication and is still a sin in the eyes of God. Others see nothing wrong with using foul language or going out to nightclubs and partying with sinners. Where do Christians learn such behavior and think that it doesn’t matter? One such place is again through the different forms of media we have around us every day.

There is very little on television or in the movie industry today that is not influenced with satan’s deceptive works. You see people having sex outside of marriage, living in adultery, drinking, doing drugs, being disrespectful to parents, disrespectful to elders, and to God. This continual onslaught of entertainment slowly corrupts one’s mind to accept these things as an acceptable part of culture and therefore an acceptable part of their lifestyle. You even have ministers telling their congregations that the Word of God is not relevant for today. Yet God said His Word will never pass away.

Realize this is all a work of the devil to condition people’s minds to begin to accept such things as an acceptable behavior. This is what he did to Eve by convincing her that if she were to partake of the fruit of the tree God said they were not to eat, she would not die, and in fact she would become like God. Through his continual conversation with her, he was able to convince her it was okay to do something God said would be destructive to her life. The devil has not changed. He is still doing the same thing today. He is at work through our modern sinful culture convincing people that doing what God said not to do is really okay.

Prov. 22:5 Thorns and snares are in the way of the perverse; He who guards his soul will be far from them.   

Those who choose to accept satan and his lies through his corrupting work by not guarding their soul will eventually experience thorns and snares in their life. The soul is referring here to your mind, will, and emotions. If you don’t guard against the works of darkness that subtly in the name of entertainment begin to effect the way you think, then you will become ensnared by sin or see thorns growing up in your soul which Jesus said will choke out the seed of God’s Word in our life.

Snares are traps that are just waiting for their next victim to come along and get caught into it’s trap so that it can take hold of your life and begin to control how you live. Thorns Jesus described as the cares of this world, deceitfulness of riches, and the desire for other things, which will choke the very life out of God’s Word that is planted in our hearts. In doing so we won’t experience godly fruit in our life, but instead that of darkness.

If you want to keep this subtle serpent from taking control of your thoughts and in doing so then controlling your life, you must guard your soul. You must take time to consider what you are watching and listening too. You must also recognize who you are spending your time with, for other people will also have an impact on how you think as well. If you guard you soul from this subtle work of satan then he cannot corrupt your mind and get control of your life.

See You Again Next Week For More “Weekly Wisdom”

May God’s Best Be Yours!

Pastor Darryl Baker

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 18, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

2/4/13 – “GIVE SATAN NO PLACE” – PART 1

jesus-in-gethsemane1

Eph. 4:27 Don’t give the devil any opportunity ‹to work›.

One of the keys to succeeding as a believer is you must know who your enemy is, how he works, and what you must do to give him no opportunity in your life. The devil would like nothing more than for believers to remain ignorant of how he works, and what he is up to because for those who are ignorant of his ways, he can then work in one’s life to deceive and seduce bringing about his ultimate desire, which is to take control of your life.

First and foremost we must understand what satan’s primary target is in the lives of people. When you understand what that target is and then learn how he works you can fulfill what the apostle Paul stated here in Ephesians 4:27 and give him no such opportunity to work in your life. His target is the soul of man. The soul is made up of our mind, will, and emotions. If he can get your soul reprogrammed to think, act, and feel the way he wants you to then he has control of what goes on in areas of your life.

Scripture reveals to us very clearly in James chapter three that the tongue of man is what determines the course one’s life will take. This is why Jesus said to the Pharisees of His day that it was not what one put in their mouth as food that defiled or in other words brought destruction to man, it was what comes out of his mouth. This is determined by what you think, and what you think on will determine your set of values or beliefs in this life. Those beliefs will come out through your words, which in turn will come to pass in your life.

The devil knows this and so he has been at work since the beginning of the fall to infiltrate the mind of man so that he can get control of their life. Satan is out to steal, kill, and destroy, but the primary thing he wants to steal from the believer, put to death in their life and completely destroy, is their faith in God. If satan can get you to think and feed on things that are contrary to the Word of God he can begin to get into your belief system. This is being seen very evident in the church today as the church as a whole in many ways looks nothing like the church of Jesus’ day. The world and its ways have now crept into the church when in fact God’s intention was for this to be the other way around. The church was supposed to infiltrate society.

When you begin to talk today about things that scripture clearly states about what God expects of His church you immediately get people saying things like, “That is old school, not relevant for today,” or “I am saved by grace you can’t put that bondage on me.” I am fully aware that man-made religion has also imposed on man things that God never did impose on us, yet today we see more of the world in the church then we do of God. Church in many cases has become all about attracting people to become a part of a social club in which we won’t deal with areas that God wants to change in their life because we don’t want to offend anyone.

People will often refer to Matthew 18:7 where Jesus warned us saying, “Woe to the world because of offenses! For offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes!” What most don’t realize is that the word “offense” means leading one into sin. For people to get offended because you preach the Word of God to them does not mean that you are violating what this verse says, for even Jesus had people get offended in His own home town and many other places for just telling them what the Father said was true.

I bring all this up because it will help us to see the first of three ways satan works to get into our lives and control our thinking. Far too many pastors and churches have begun to drift away from all the teachings of Jesus Christ and the disciples. Paul said the man who preached any other gospel than what he preached should be accursed. He also told the leaders at Ephesus before he went to Rhome that he had not shunned to declare the whole counsel of God. Paul also told Timothy, who was the pastor at Ephesus, that what he had heard from Paul’s preaching he was to share and to pass on to other faithful men who would preach the same thing. Yet today we now have ministers that are saying not everything Paul said applies to us.

On top of that we have a very watered down gospel that is not producing great disciples of Christ, but instead just buildings with big social gatherings. Disciples of Jesus go out and do what He did. They proclaim the gospel with those around them. They cast out demons if so presented the opportunity to do so. They lay hands on the sick and those sick people recover. If the Lord so calls upon them they will raise the dead, and they will even speak with new tongues. These are the very things that Jesus said would be signs that will follow the believer.

Unfortunately if you asked the average believer in church today if they have done any of these things they would have to say no. That is a sad thing to hear when Jesus declared that he who believes in Him would do the same things He did. Time for the church to wake up from the lying half true deceptions they are being fed and become a powerful force filled with faith and the Holy Spirit that is impacting and changing lives with more than just a message of love. People need to know God loves them but the disciple’s primary way of revealing that was no different than what Jesus did. They did the same works He did.

2 Cor. 11:13 For such men are false apostles [spurious, counterfeits], deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles (special messengers) of Christ (the Messiah).
2 Cor. 11:14 And it is no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light;
2 Cor. 11:15 So it is not surprising if his servants also masquerade as ministers of righteousness. [But] their end will correspond with their deeds.

So here we have the first of three ways that satan tries to take advantage of people and deceive or seduce them into teachings that are actually contrary to scripture, or lacking of the whole truth, which is just as bad as having no truth at all. He comes as an angel of light. Paul speaks here of those who are actually false apostles, who were claiming to be workers of God, but in fact they were not. Today we have many who are claiming to be ministers of God who are teaching things that go completely contrary to scripture. One such minister has even written a book declaring that no one will go to hell all will go to heaven.

So as 2 Corinthians 11:14 says that even satan himself masquerades as an angel of light, and that these false teachers are his servants propagating false doctrines that are in fact misleading people further away from the Word of God, not further into the Word. This is what Paul also described to Timothy as well in his second letter to this young pastor.

2 Tim. 4:3 For the time is coming when [people] will not tolerate (endure) sound and wholesome instruction, but, having ears itching [for something pleasing and gratifying], they will gather to themselves one teacher after another to a considerable number, chosen to satisfy their own liking and to foster the errors they hold,
2 Tim. 4:4 And will turn aside from hearing the truth and wander off into myths and man-made fictions.

Here we have a description of these last days “angels of light” who are really being used by satan to mislead and deceive people through a reduction of the scriptures to satisfy people’s lifestyles that in fact are not in line with what scripture teaches us. Remember the reason for this is so that satan can indoctrinate people with a watered down or perverted view of scripture so he can simply take advantage of their life.

What gives place to this type of deception? Paul tells us in verse three. It is due to people who will not tolerate sound and wholesome teaching from God’s Word because they don’t want to change. They instead want ministers to only tell them things that are pleasing and gratifying to their flesh so that they can satisfy their own way of living. As a believer you have to ask yourself is that how God wants us to live our lives? Did He die to become our sugar daddy and just give us whatever we want? Jesus died to deliver us from the old nature. That involves a complete change from how and who we used to live for.

Before being born again we were actually under the influence of satan through a fallen nature, but once born again we can now be freed from the old nature and it’s ways walking in what the Bible calls “newness of life”, or a new way of living. It is a life that is brought under complete control of God in which we learn how to fully trust Him with our lives as we become His servants doing His will here on earth.

For us to give satan no place in this area of our life we must make the choice to fully serve God with all our hearts, building our relationship with Him. That is what the heart of Christianity is all about. Getting to know God and then making Him known. Doing what Jesus Himself did. Don’t allow satan to take advantage of your life. Believe the whole Bible. Believe who it says you are and what you can do and don’t fall prey to the false ministers of the day.

See You Again Next Week For More “Weekly Wisdom”

May God’s Best Be Yours!

Pastor Darryl Baker

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 6, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,