Welcome to the In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley for Friday, May 19th. It's difficult to win a spiritual battle if you don't first understand what's going on. Today's podcast shows us key aspects of how our enemy operates and how we are enduring a satanic attack. Have you ever found yourself facing a very strong, inviting, alluring temptation, seemingly almost absolutely irresistible to you?
What did you do? Did you walk away or did you find yourself debating with yourself and finally succumbing to Satan's temptation? Well, people respond to temptation all kinds of ways and oftentimes because we don't understand what is going on, we yield.
And so what I want to do is I want to title this message, this simple title, a title that will deal with what you and I have to deal with on a daily basis and oftentimes we don't even understand it. It is enduring a satanic attack because when you and I face those temptations and those trials and those difficulties, that is exactly what we are facing, a satanic attack. And the apostle Paul warns us about that in Ephesians chapter six. And I want you to turn, if you will, to that chapter and look, if you will, in verse 10, how he describes what our enemy is all about. He says, finally, be strong in the Lord in the strength of his might, put on the full armor of God that you may be able to stand firm against what?
The schemes of the devil. His strategy 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. Paul is warning us here of the nature of this battle, and I want you to notice one phrase in this particular passage when he says here in the 11th verse, he says, being able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. Now, what does he mean when he talks about the schemes of the devil? He's warning us of this, that Satan has a definite strategy that he uses against God's people.
He has tactics, he has strategy, he has a way in the means. What he's simply saying is this, that Satan comes to us with a plan, a very definite plan as to how he will bring us down, how he will destroy us, how he will defeat us. And so what he's saying here is he's reminding us that our battle is not against flesh and blood. It is against an evil force. It is against Satan and his evil forces who have a specific strategy by which to destroy the people of God. Now, when we talk about the whole idea of a satanic attack, what do we mean by satanic attack?
A satanic attack is a deliberate, willful assault by Satan upon an individual in order to destroy, listen, to harm them or to destroy them in their spirit, their body, their physical being, their material possessions, or even in their emotional life, or all of those things. But his goals are always the same, and that is his purpose in attacking us, in seeking to unseat us in some fashion. Here's what his goal is. He wants in every way possible to lead us away from God unto himself. Secondly, he wants to thwart God's purpose in our life, whatever that may be. He wants to deny God the worship and the glory that we give him by our yieldingness to him and our worship and praise of him. Ultimately, he wants to destroy us.
That is always his ultimate object. So what he does, he plots and plans, and so he attacks us. He presents us with those temptations and trials and difficulties in life that he believes that he can use to defeat us in our relationship to Almighty God. Now, what I want us to do is to at least examine this strategy.
There are probably lots of ways that Satan would try to defeat us, but there are some very definite things that are very clearly given to us in the Scripture. Now, somebody says, well, but these are different days than we're talking about 2,000 years ago or 1,000 years ago or longer than that. These are different days. This is a different culture.
We don't even think the same way. Well, the truth is that Satan has not changed his strategy. His strategy, his schemes, his cunning ability is the same. And so the apostle Paul warns us of Satan's strategy. Look, if you will, in 2 Corinthians chapter 11 for a moment and notice what he says. Here is his warning to those who are in the church there at Corinth. And if you'll notice beginning in verse one in his preface here, he says, I wish that you would bear with me a little foolishness.
And what he's talking about is really about him bragging a little bit. And so he says, but indeed you are bearing with me, for I'm jealous for you with a godly jealousy, for I betrothed you to one husband, that is to Christ, that I might present you as a pure virgin. And what he's saying is, he says, I've taught you in order that you may be acceptable in the eyes of the Lord, that you may walk holy before him. But listen to what he says, but he says, I'm afraid lest as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds should be led astray from the simplicity and the purity of devotion to Christ. Now, he warns us about at least three of the ways he operates. But then he says, he says, I want to tell you where the battlefield is. Look at this. He says should that you should be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.
Why? He says that your minds should be seduced. Now, the mind of man is the battlefield where Satan operates. Now, think about this for a moment.
Satan offers no temptation except to the mind. That is, he makes a presentation to us. He offers us some enticement to do wrong.
And what does he do? He invites us to think about a particular thing, to think about something we desire, to think about something that we feel like we have a need of. So first of all, it begins in our mind. In order for us to walk godly in Christ Jesus, we must keep our thoughts under control. That is, our thought life must be in submission to the Holy Spirit. We must think the way God thinks. We must look at things the way our Heavenly Father would have us to look at them.
And so what he's saying in this passage is this. That is, he says we must guard our thinking. That whatever, listen, however Satan may entice us, we must take that thought, bring it back into submission to ask ourselves the question, how would God have us to think about this? What would the Spirit have us to think?
And ask the Holy Spirit to enable us to think God's thoughts, God's way. So when we think in terms of a satanic attack, it is more than to say that we're just tempted. It is an assault upon, listen, upon our emotion, upon our thinking, upon our possessions, upon our physical body. It is an assault that Satan performs upon us in order to defeat us in some fashion, thwart the purpose of God, draw us away from God into his own lifestyle, into his will for our life, which ultimately is destruction. So all of us are continually being barraged by Satan in some fashion or the other. Now a lot of people probably wouldn't think of it being a satanic attack, but that is exactly what it is. It is subtle.
It is camouflaged. It is cunning. But it is very successful the way he goes about it. So what I'd like for us to do is I want us to examine some of those ways in which Satan utilizes his strategy in order to defeat us. And so I want us to look at one that is very evident from the Scriptures. And if you'll think, we could go back to the third chapter of Genesis and just take the way he operated in Eve's life and Adam's life alone and see most all of the strategy that he uses. But I want us to look at this from several Scriptures here. Now, realizing that the mind is indeed the organ of our thought and that all temptation, first of all, is offered to the mind, think about this, think about that, think about the way you would achieve this need or this desire in your life.
What did he do? Satan came to Eve, and the first thing he did to her is one of the aspects of his strategy. Here's the first aspect of his strategy I want you to think about. And that is that Satan focused Eve's attention upon a specific thing. He always focuses our attention upon a specific desire or a specific need in our life. So with her, it was a desire. He said to her, you know, you could be like God. You could know the difference between good and evil. And so that sounded like a good idea. And so she desired to be like God.
Listen, this is how deceptive that was. First of all, Eve was as much like God as she possibly could be. She was more like God than she would ever be there after this conversation. So the whole idea that you'll be like God knowing the difference between good and evil, she was already as perfectly like God as she could possibly be. But what he did, he narrowed down her focus to one particular desire.
Now, this is his approach. Think about this. You think about all the trees in the garden, all the avenues, all the walkways, all the streams or all the lakes, all the beauty, all this absolute perfect environment that this infinite God who has the power to create all things beautiful, this place that God had created could not have been improved upon.
She had all of that. So what does he do? He did the same thing to her that he'll do to us. He will focus our attention and narrow it down on what we don't have because Satan knew that he could rob Eve of her joy over all that she did have by pointing out, narrowing down and saying, but look what you don't have.
Look what is missing in your life. And so what does he do? He narrows it down to get her focus on what she does not have. And so if you'll think about how Satan operates today, he does the same thing.
A person can have almost everything in life. And what does Satan do? He points out something they don't have.
Satan does not tempt us in generalities. He goes after something. He goes after something, something that he knows that we desire or we have some need of.
And so what does he do? He offers it to us, not necessarily that it's a bad thing, but he offers it in a fashion. That is, this is the way to get this, which is not God's way.
This is the time to have this, which is not God's timing. So he can offer something that is absolutely wrong and illegitimate or he can offer something that is legitimate, that is right, wrong timing, wrong method. And so what did he do?
He focused her attention upon something that she did not have to the neglect of all the wonderful things she did have. How often Satan does the same thing. Instead of us thanking him and being grateful for all that we do have, if we're not careful, we will complain of what we don't have and Satan will use that against us. He knows exactly how to deal with us. And so what does he do? He points out, he narrows it down to a desire or some particular need that we have. That's part of his strategy. The second part I want you to notice is this, that he, listen, he determines the time of the temptation.
Satan is not going to tempt us just any old time, any old place, any old way. You see, because he knows that all of us have weaknesses and frailties in our life. There are moments when we are more vulnerable than in other moments. There are times in our life when we are very weak. And the truth is we all have our areas of weakness, whatever it may be. Somebody says, well, I don't know what mine is. If you don't know what your area of weakness is, then my friend, Satan already has at least a little toe hole in your life because if he knows what it is, and he certainly does, you say, well, is he infinite in his knowledge?
No, all he's got to do is watch how we live. He knows what our areas are. So you say, well, how do I find out what it is? Here's what you do.
You ask yourself this question. In what area of my life do I fail continually? In what area of my life do I have the most difficult time being obedient to God? In what area of my life am I having to come back over and over and over again and confess and repent of the same sin? Well, more than likely, you can just chalk that up.
That's the weakness. You say, well, how do I take a reading on my life? Well, ask yourself this question. The last time you had those feelings and the last time you fought or you failed or you kneeled into sin or temptation, you surrendered to the devil.
Ask yourself this question. What was I thinking at that time? What was going on in my life? What was the circumstances? What had I been thinking? Where was I?
What was the situation? What was going on in my life when I faulted, when I failed at that time? You'll begin to understand the times, the circumstances, the situations in which Satan knows that you and I are the most vulnerable. We need to take a reading on our life.
If it is something we keep going down over, then more than likely that is the area that Satan is going to do his best to get a toehold, a stronghold, a fortress, as he says, built into our life. Now, if you recall some time ago, I mentioned to you H-A-L-T, which means what? It means stop, halt. H, don't let yourself get too hungry. A, don't let yourself get too angry. L, don't let yourself get too lonely.
T, don't let yourself get too tired. When a person gets too hungry, too angry, too lonely or too tired or all of those, more than likely we become more vulnerable in those times. The third thing I want you to notice is this, and that is that he, one of his strategies is he creates doubt in our mind. If he can create doubt in your mind about God, well, if God were so good, why would he do thus and so? If he can create doubt in the Word of God, he not only has a toehold, a stronghold, he begins to build a fortress. When you begin to doubt any portion of Scripture, somebody says, well, I believe some of the Scripture. Well, which part do you believe? Well, I believe this part and that part, and I don't believe certain things. It's interesting to me what I've discovered when anybody has ever told me what portion of Scripture they don't believe usually if you will keep talking, there is something about that portion that personally bothers them. Naturally, that's what Satan would do.
That's part of his strategy. Doubt God. You remember what he said to Eve? He said now, Eve, he said, has God said that ye shall not, that is implying, injecting some doubt? What did he say to Jesus? For example, he said, if thou be the Son of God, not trying to create some kind of doubt in Jesus' mind, which he absolutely could not, but this is part of his strategy to get us to doubt. And so he says to someone who is unsaved, he says, well, listen, you don't have to receive Jesus. You don't have to, listen, do you mean to tell me that God is so narrow-minded, that he is so narrow-minded that you can't get to heaven unless you receive some person? And so he interjects that doubt.
That sounds real logical. It sounds real good for a person who's unsaved to think, well, that is, if I'm good enough, this good God, if he's a good God, he's going to accept me into heaven, which is absolute error. Because to do so would be for God to have made a horrible mistake at Calvary when he crucified his only begotten Son.
Why did Jesus Christ have to come? You see, listen, all of that sounds good until you lay it down beside the Word of God. Why do you think Satan hates the Word of God? Why do you think he fills schools with professors, for example, who would teach their students to doubt the Word of God? When I think about the fact that parents spend so much of their earnings to send their children to school in order to pay the salaries of men and women who are committed to teaching their children that the Bible is not the Word of God, that it is not infallible, it is not inerrant, that it is full of errors, and that you can't believe that.
There's no such thing as creation according to the Bible, that evolution is the issue. And this person, Jesus Christ, is one of many prophetic leaders and one of many religious leaders, and therefore we need to get this foolishness out of your mind that if you're going to heaven, you've got to receive Jesus Christ. And what do we do? We pay their salaries to poison our children.
And what do they do? They want to create doubt in their minds and in their hearts. This has been going on for years and years and years, and it'll go on until Jesus comes, just into a little bit of doubt.
So what happens? A person becomes a Christian by trusting the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal saving. So what does Satan do? You don't have to be baptized. Listen, you don't have to be baptized to go to heaven.
There's nothing in the Bible that says to go to heaven, you've got to be baptized. So what does he do? He interjects a little doubt. Listen, he never ceases.
Doubt's one of his major tools. You don't have to be baptized. Why does it say that in the Bible? And so a person says, well, you know I don't have to be baptized. Well, no, you don't have to be baptized to go to heaven, but you have to be baptized in order to be obedient to God because he said, go into all the world, preach the gospel to every creature.
He says baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all the things that I've commanded you and lo, I'll be with you all the way even to the end of this age. It is a command of Jesus Christ if I deliberately, willfully disobey his command. I'm walking in disobedience. I cannot be full of the Spirit.
And what I've done is I have opened myself up. Listen, opened myself up for disobedience in other areas when I deliberately, willfully disobey God in a particular area that is so absolutely, clearly written in the Bible. Satan will twist and turn everything he possibly can.
Now, listen, if a person has some need, they say, well, yeah, you know, that, boy, that's right. What happens is we believe the devil's lie. You know how Jesus described him?
He said he's a murderer and a liar. And so here's a person that God begins to work in their life and so Satan says, well, now, wait a minute now, you can join the church, but one thing you can't do, don't start committing yourself to any kind of service because you don't have time for that. Don't join the orchestra. I mean, after all, you should be playing somewhere else where you get paid to play.
And you should play somewhere where you'll be more famous for playing there. And therefore, teaching Sunday school, you don't have time to study on Saturday and you don't have time to teach and listen, you've got to go to the lake, you've got your children and they expect you to come on Sunday morning and be there every Sunday. Well, you can't commit yourself to being there where every single Sunday, talk you right out of it and you think, well, you know what, I evaluated that and I figured I couldn't come.
No, you didn't. The devil told you couldn't and you believed him because he didn't say, you know, if you don't do this, God couldn't lay you out. He doesn't tell you that.
Satan, listen, listen to this, there's not a single solid positive thing the devil has ever told you and me. It is always, listen, some kind of seductive, subtle, cunning, treacherous scheme that he has to do what? Draws away from God, draws away from his service, draws away from his church, draws away from being obedient to him and do what?
Waste away our life. That's the way he operates. You see, what he says ultimately is this, God is not giving you his best. God is depriving you of his best.
Therefore, if you want the best and you want your needs met, here's what you do, I'll help you get them. He doesn't come on as the devil's saying that, but he comes oftentimes through other people, oftentimes in our thought processes, things that we hear, things that we see. It is his way of absolutely undermining and destroying everything good within us.
He is a deceiver of all things. Thank you for listening to Enduring a Satanic Attack. If you'd like to know more about Charles Stanley or In Touch Ministries, stop by intouch.org. This podcast is a presentation of In Touch Ministries, Atlanta, Georgia.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-19 04:01:48 / 2023-05-19 04:11:01 / 9