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Don't Make Deals with the Devil | Ignoring the Devil's Temptations

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
February 20, 2024 3:00 am

Don't Make Deals with the Devil | Ignoring the Devil's Temptations

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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February 20, 2024 3:00 am

We’ve all gotten used to spam calls, right? We can sometimes see them coming. Maybe we don’t answer the phone. If we do, we have our way of ending the call as quickly as possible. When the Devil comes calling, some of us forget all those defensive techniques. We sit there and listen to his sales pitch. Today on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie returns to our series in Joshua with some practical advice on saying no to our enemy no matter how tempting his offer.

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A New Beginning is the daily half-hour program hosted by Greg Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Southern California. For over 30 years, Pastor Greg and Harvest Ministries have endeavored to know God and make Him known through media and large-scale evangelism. This podcast is supported by the generosity of our Harvest Partners.

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We're glad you're joining us for a new beginning with Greg Laurie, a podcast supported by Harvest Partners. Get more encouraging audio content when you subscribe to Pastor Greg's Daily Devos.

Learn more and sign up at harvest.org. Pastor Greg Laurie helps us be on our guard against our enemies' advances. Today on A New Beginning, he points out how we should respond to his overtures. Here's the deal, devil. You get nothing. Nada.

There's no deal here. This is the day when the lost are found. This is the day for a new beginning. Amazing grace, how sweet the sound. Again you hear when the angels are singing.

This is the day, the day when life begins. We've all gotten used to spam calls, right? We can sometimes see them coming. Maybe we don't answer the phone. If we do, we have our way of ending the call as quickly as possible. When the devil comes calling, some of us forget all those defensive techniques.

We sit there and listen to his sales pitch. Well, today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie returns to our series in Joshua with some practical advice on saying no to our enemies, no matter how tempting his offer. This is the day, the day when life begins. Joshua chapter 9, don't make deals with the devil. Let's pray. Father, now as we open your word, calm our hearts, open our minds, and speak to us from your word because your word is truth. It's truth in a world filled with half-truths and outright lies, and your word tells us what to be careful of, what to embrace, how to live, how to think. And we do pray that you'll speak to us now from Scripture. We ask this in Jesus' name.

Amen. Now, the devil can take many forms. He can come to us as the devil of hell or a fiery dragon, but he can also masquerade as an angel of light. If you don't answer his call at the front door, he'll knock at the back door, and he might tunnel up through the floor. He's always looking for a way to get into our lives. Sometimes he'll slither in like a snake, and that is the case here in Joshua chapter 9.

I guess the devil operates by the old adage which says, if you can't beat him, join him. So we see now the story of the Gibeonites. So the Gibeonites from the city of Gibeon was about 25 miles from the camp of Israel. These inhabitants knew they could not defeat Israel, so they came up with a strategy.

Let's get them to sign a deal with us. We'll pretend like we're coming from a long ways away. We're not even in this land that they're told by God to conquer, and we can deceive them, and they'll give us immunity. So that's how the story begins in Joshua chapter 9 starting in verse 3. But when the people of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done to Jericho and Ai, they resorted to deception to save themselves. They sent ambassadors to Joshua, loading their donkeys with weathered saddlebags, old patch wine skins.

They put on worn-out patch sandals and ragged clothes, and the bread they took with them was moldy and dry. And when they arrived at the camp of Israel at Gilgal, they told Joshua and the men of Israel, we've come from a distant land, and we ask you to make a peace treaty with us. We'll stop there. Here's point number one if you're taking notes. The spiritual battle never stops. Oh, I wish it would. I wish the devil would just take a day off, better yet, a month off, a year off. But he is always out there trying to destroy lives. The Bible describes him as always active, always working, seeking to undermine the work of God.

But let me ask you a question. Do you find yourself under constant spiritual attack? Do you find yourself being tempted to sin constantly? So much so, you've begun to wonder if there's not something wrong with you spiritually. Why is this happening to me? Why am I always getting tempted? You may think it's because you're not doing well as a Christian, but it might be the very opposite.

It might be because you're doing extraordinarily well. Therefore, you've become a target for the devil because you are a threat to his kingdom. Remember the story of Job, how all the calamities befell God's servant, not because he was a godless man, but rather because he was a godly man and specifically because the Lord had been bragging on him in heaven and the presence of the angels, Lucifer, also known as the devil, included. Where God said, have you considered my servant Job a perfect and upright man, one that fears God and shuns evil? The devil said, oh yeah, let me have some time with him. So these calamities came upon Job because of his godliness, not his godlessness.

So here's my point. If you're getting attacked spiritually, that could be an indication you're on the right track. If you would say to me, Greg, I can't remember the last time I was even tempted, my response would be, well, maybe you're not worth tempting. Maybe you're not a threat to the devil or his kingdom. As the old saying says, you don't kick a dead horse. The spiritual battle is always raging.

Don't be surprised by that. Number two, don't make deals with the devil. These Gibeonites were clever. They said they were from a distant land when in reality they were from a city that was around 25 miles away. And in the same way, we have people come in our ranks and they'll claim to be Christians. Oh, I'm a Christian too. They'll sit next to us and sing the songs with us and carry a Bible as well. And we think, oh, they're believers.

Well, I'm not sure. I don't believe you're a Christian just because you say you are. You should not believe I'm a Christian just because I say I am. The Bible says, by their fruit you shall know them.

So I look for results or evidence in a person's life. Sometimes people come into the church and they say they are seekers, but in reality they're sneakers. They're not real believers at all.

Here's an example. Judas Iscariot, the hypocrite extraordinaire. The literal definition of the word hypocrite is not a person who claims to be a Christian and falls short. That's called humanity.

That's called you and me because we all fall short all the time. A hypocrite is a person who is playing a role. They're an actor.

They're pretending to be someone they are not. Judas was so effective at pretending to be a follower of Jesus that when our Lord in the upper room said, one of you is going to betray me, no one thought it was Judas. You would think they'd say, it's Judas, isn't it? We always suspected him. We all wear white robes and he wears a black one.

In fact, it's a black leather robe and he wears sunglasses and they haven't even been invented yet. Sinister character lurking in the shadows, it's Judas. No.

In fact, to the point they all said, is it me? No one thought Judas would be the betrayer. I think they should have an award named after him.

We have Oscars for acting performances, Emmys for television performances, Grammys for musical performances. We could award the Judas. The Judas this year goes to... Give it to the person that fooled all of us into thinking they were a believer when they really were not. That's the Gibeonites.

They're pretending to be someone they really are not. They wanted Israel to enter into a deal with them and it was effectively a deal with the devil. And God warned them to not make deals with the inhabitants of the land. In fact, over in Exodus 34, 12 God warns Israel, be careful to not make a treaty with those who live in the land where you are going or they will be a snare to you. And indeed, when we look forward historically, we find that this deal was problematic on many levels.

Israel got into a war they didn't need to be into because they had made or built this alliance with the Gibeonites and there were other problems to follow. So take away truth. Don't make deals with the devil because you will be the loser. The Bible tells us in Ephesians 4 27, don't give place to the devil. Another translation of that is don't give the devil a foothold. Listen, the devil is wicked but the devil is also cunning.

He's been honing his craft for a long time. He generally will not try to take you down in one fell swoop. He'll take you a bite at a time. It's like death from a thousand cuts.

He doesn't come to a Christian and say, hey you, happy Christian. Hi, I'm the devil. I hate you.

I want to destroy you. So here's my offer. Why don't you forsake your God? Abandon your faith. In fact, while you're at it, abandon your family too.

And become a drug addict or something else and just completely ruin your life. How does that sound? There might be one taker somewhere. Okay, sure.

Which way do I go? No, but most of us are going to say, get behind me Satan. I'm not going to listen to that. So the devil's clever. He comes and says, hey, I have something I want to say to you. Why don't you try this thought on for size?

Why don't you take this little sample or a test drive and play this out and see how it goes for you. And we must keep our distance from him. I mean look at the story of when God delivered Israel from Pharaoh. So Moses walks into the Pharaoh's court and says, let my people go. Pharaoh says, no way.

I'm not going to let them go. But then a series of plagues come upon Pharaoh in Egypt. Moses goes back in. Let my people go, Pharaoh says.

Alright, I'll let you go, but you can't go too far. I want you to stay kind of close to Egypt. Moses said, nope.

We're going to completely leave. Then the Pharaoh says, okay, I'll make you a deal. Leave your children and you can go.

No, Moses says. We're taking our children with us. And the Pharaoh comes back and says, how about this.

You can go with your kids. You can go as far as you want, but leave your animals behind. Leave your livestock with us. I love what Moses says.

He says, not a hoof will be left behind. Here's the deal, devil. You get nothing. Nada. There's no deal here.

And that's the same thing we need to do. The devil will try to get you to make compromises. You say, devil, you don't get anything in my life.

Certainly you don't get my children. Don't make deals with the devil because you always will if you do. More people have been brought down by the sin of compromise than probably any other. That warning from God was they will be a snare to you.

See, here's the thing. You can get into a relationship with a non-believer and it can hurt you spiritually. Now look, we need to have relationships with all kinds of people, including non-believers. How else will we evangelize them? But we have to be very careful, especially if it's a romantic entanglement.

And here's why it's a problem. It's far easier for a non-believer to pull you down than it is for you to pull them up. Because gravity is on their side. And in the same way you have an old nature but the non-believer does not have a new nature so I can find myself going in the wrong direction. That's why the Bible says don't be unequally yoked together with non-believers. For what fellowship does light have with darkness? Or as another translation puts it, don't become partners with those who reject God. How can you make a partnership out of right and wrong? That's not partnership, that's war. Is light best friends with dark? Does Christ go strolling with the devil? Do trust and mistrust hold hands? Exactly. So we have to be careful of these entanglements.

So Israel was now entangling themselves with these non-believers, these Gibeonites that were going to pull them in the wrong direction. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment. Hey everybody, I want to encourage you to check out the new Harvest Plus app. It's on Roku, Apple TV, and Google Play, among others. And you can stream incredible content on all major platforms for free. You're going to find live events, our evangelistic films like A Rush of Hope, Johnny Cash, The Redemption of an American Icon, Steve McQueen, The Salvation of an American Icon, and our newest film, Fame. Plus, our TV programs, our podcast, Harvest at Home, and a lot more.

Stream it all on any device for free using the new Harvest Plus app. Some important principles from Pastor Greg Laurie today in his message called, Don't Make Deals with the Devil. Let's continue. Point number three, God can intervene even if we've made a bad decision.

Right? We do make bad decisions. We do things we regret. Let's say that you weren't just romantically entangled with a non-believer. Let's say you married them.

And now you've been married for a little bit of time and you're saying, Oh, that was a big mistake. They don't want to go to church with you. They don't want to raise your children the way you believe they should be raised as a Christian. They don't want to pray.

They don't want to do anything you want to do. So you go to church alone and one day you say the Lord spoke to you and the Lord said, My child, dump your heathen husband and marry the hot Christian guy you just met at church telling you God said this to me. God didn't say that to you. Here's what God said.

You may not like what he said. But he says in 1 Corinthians 7, 12, If a fellow believer has a wife who is not a believer yet he's willing to continue living with him, he must not leave her. If a believing woman has a husband who is not a believer yet he's willing to continue living with her, she must not leave him. So now you have a new mission. No, you shouldn't have married the non-believer, but you did.

So you built an alliance just like Israel did with the Gibeonites. And you made this commitment. Now you've got to honor that commitment and make the best of it.

And your new mission is win your spouse to the Lord. That's not going to happen overnight. That may take months. That may take years.

Listen, it could even take decades. But you have to keep being a witness to them and praying for them. Paul gives the reason for staying with the non-believer in 1 Corinthians 7, 18. He says, Don't you realize that your husbands might be saved because of you?

Or don't you husbands realize your wife might be saved because of you? And I've seen this happen so many times where the person eventually comes around. But let's say other things happen in your life. Let's say you find yourself pregnant and you're not married.

Oh, boy, that was a mistake. Well, yes, but now a child has been conceived. Well, I'll just get an abortion. Don't you even consider that. That is a child made in the image of God that has every right to live now.

It's not just your decision. Unborn babies are innocent no matter how they were conceived. And if you don't want to keep the child, we'll have the baby and put the baby up for adoption. There's a lot of people who are ready to adopt children.

I just spoke at a crisis pregnancy center a couple of days ago. One of the things they do when young women come in who are pregnant is they do a sonogram. And when the mother-to-be looks at that little baby, and sonograms are so sophisticated today.

It's like a three-dimensional view of the face of your baby in your womb. When they see that sonogram, they say nine out of ten change their mind and decide to have the baby. One woman went in, they told me about, who had two sons and she was pregnant. And she didn't want to have another baby and so she was going to get an abortion.

But they did the sonogram. She decided to have the baby and I met the young man who is now ten years old. And then she went out and became a foster parent to two more kids. So she turned into super mom, right? But I love that. Yes, Greg, but what about if the mother's life is in danger?

Okay, let's play that out for a moment. I heard the story about two missionaries, Bob and Pam, true story. They were serving in the Philippines in 1987 when Pam contracted amoebic dysentery, which was the leading cause of death in that country at the time. She was pregnant with her fifth child.

She was very dehydrated. She went to her doctor and he said, Pam, you need to abort this baby. Because if you carry this baby to term, you will die when we deliver the baby. And so Pam, along with her husband Bob, prayed about it. And as Christians, they said, there's no way we're going to abort this baby.

I'm willing to take that risk. And it was not an easy time they went through. Bob said, we almost lost that baby four times. It's a miracle baby. The baby was born, so they named him Tim. You probably know him best as Tim Tebow.

So that's how he came about. Now, let me tell you another story. It's a bit sadder, but very powerful. It's about a young lady from Samoa named Simia Mativa. She was known best as just being called Teva for short. And by the way, that name means poor thing, Teva. So Teva got pregnant. And it turns out she had a blood disease and there was no cure for it at the time. And she was told if she delivered the baby, she would surely die. So her family came and said, you've got to sign the form, tell the doctor to do the abortion.

And we're all for it. And she said, okay. And so she signed the forms and then her family left and she called the doctor back in.

She said, I changed my mind. I don't want to have an abortion. I want to have this baby. And if I die having the baby, I die.

So the doctor delivered the baby. Sadly, Teva did die giving birth to this little one. But she named him Moses. And she was not able to raise him. So her sister raised little Moses. Her sister married a man with the last name of Katina. And so little Moses Katina eventually grew up. He got married. He and his wife had 12 kids, 34 grandkids, 21 great grandkids.

That's 67 in total. All of them have come to Christ and 14 of them are in ministry today. And among those Katinas is a great band that we've had out over the years. The Katinas, right?

Remember the Katinas? So all of this happened because of the sacrificial decision of Teva. It looks like the poor thing, the meaning of her name, did a great thing.

The ultimate thing. Look, we don't control what hand is dealt to us in life. But we do control how we react to it. I think about our friends in our church over in Maui right now. We're so devastated by that horrible wildfire.

It completely leveled the old town of Lahaina. There's quite a few people in our church that lost their businesses and their homes. And some of them new people who lost their lives.

But the Bible promises that God can bring beauty out of ashes. So they're beginning to rebuild again over there. But I'm reminded of something that's so amazing that this devastating fire took everything down.

It looks like a bomb went off there in downtown Lahaina. But one thing that survived it all was this banyan tree. The biggest tree you've ever seen. And it survived the wildfire. And I read an article the other day where there was a new shoot of growth coming out of the banyan tree.

So it's budding again. And it reminds me of the motto of my family, the Laurie family. I was adopted into this family. And my father, Oscar, told me that the motto of our family, it's a Scottish clan, is rapul a lot, which means it buds afresh. And on the family crest, it's a tree that's been cut down with a little bit of growth coming out of it. So look, whatever has happened to you, no matter how you've been cut down on life, it can bud afresh because we serve a God who gives second chances.

Right? That's something to remember. Good encouragement today on A New Beginning from Pastor Greg Laurie. His message from the book of Joshua, Don't make deals with the devil.

And there's more to come. So if God gives second chances, how can we take advantage of that mercy? Have you come to the Lord to have your sins forgiven? To have a new beginning? Pastor Greg, what would you say to the person listening who wants to make things right with God right now?

What I would say is he's only a prayer way, which means if you will call upon the name of the Lord right now through prayer, he will hear your prayer and answer your prayer. Listen, if you want Jesus Christ to come into your life, if you want him to forgive you of your sin, if you want to know that you'll go to heaven when you die, just pray this prayer right now after me. Just pray, Lord Jesus, I know that I'm a sinner, but I know that you're the Savior who died on the cross for my sin and rose again from the dead. I turn from my sin now, and I choose to follow you from this moment forward as my Savior and Lord, as my God and my friend. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.

Amen. Listen, if you have just prayed that prayer along with Pastor Greg and meant those words sincerely, well, we want to welcome you into God's family, and we want to help you get started in your new faith. Pastor Greg wants to send you his New Believer's Bible free of any charge along with some other helpful resources. Just let us know you prayed with Pastor Greg and that you want the New Believer's Bible when you call us at 1-800-821-3300.

We can take your call anytime at 1-800-821-3300, or go online to harvest.org and click the words Know God. Well, Pastor Greg, we've really been looking forward to this month because we're launching a brand new animated series that you've been working on for quite some time. Let me ask you, what do your grandkids think about the adventures of Ben Born Again and Yellow Dog?

They're my toughest audience because they've grown up with my cartoons. I've drawn for them ever since they've been little babies, and so when I first started getting these ideas for these animations, you start with the basic idea, you storyboard it. It's not unlike what you do in a film. Then you have to write the script, and then once the script is recorded with the voice actor and you add music and sound effects, then it comes to an animatic. So an animatic is sort of a rough version of what it's going to look like.

Then it goes to the final animation studio, and it's completed. And that's what you see when you watch cartoons on television and so forth. So I'll show them to them, and when I get the kids to laugh, I know I've succeeded. And I've actually included their little stories into these cartoons. A lot of these things are based on stories I've told them over the years. I make up things. I make up characters. I tell them Bible stories with sort of a spin with humor added to it. So this is something I've been doing for years with my grandkids. In fact, I've had people say to me, why don't you do a children's book? And I've thought about that, and maybe one day I will.

But for now, I thought what I would rather do is animation because this is something I have more of a passion for. So this is dipping my toe into the world of bringing the gospel truth in a fun, entertaining, and humorous way to younger people specifically. So we're very excited about this because one of the things we try to do at Harvest is reach unexpected people in unexpected places with an unexpected message. I like to surprise people where they think, wow, I didn't even know I was watching a Christian film. Or I didn't know this was a Christian animation. But all of a sudden, hopefully they're being entertained and they're engaged by it. But all of a sudden, boom, here's the gospel message or here's some Bible truth.

And so we do that without apology. In fact, as far as I'm concerned, there's no other reason to do this. I mean, I'm called to communicate the gospel. I'm called to teach the Word of God. That's what I know I'm supposed to do. But I want to do it in the most engaging, interesting way and not bore people. So this is our newest attempt to do that through the adventures of Ben Born Again and Yellow Dog.

Yeah, that's right. And it really does fit into our mission of getting the gospel out far and wide. And we hope you feel strongly about that too. In fact, would you partner with us so we can keep reaching out in these innovative new ways?

Your investment couldn't come at a better time. You can reach out to us by phone at 1-800-821-3300. Or go online to harvest.org. But be sure to check out the newest episode of the adventures of Ben Born Again and Yellow Dog. You can find it on our Harvest Plus app free of charge.

And it's also available at harvest.org. Check it out today. Well next time, more words of caution and counsel from Pastor Greg's message, Don't Make Deals with the Devil. Join us here on A New Beginning with pastor and Bible teacher, Greg Laurie. This is the day, the day when life begins. Hey everybody, thanks for listening to A New Beginning. This is a podcast made possible by Harvest Partners. So for more content that can help you know God and equip you to make Him known to others, or to learn more about how you can become a Harvest Partner, just go to harvest.org.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-20 05:29:42 / 2024-02-20 05:41:00 / 11

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