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February 11, 2022 1:00 am
Satan wants us to think he has godlike powers. But God wants us to see that Satan is on a short leash. Satan cannot trip us up unless God gives permission. In this message, we’ll learn how to submit to God, rely on the Spirit, and stand when the enemy hammers us. The conflict in the heavenlies is not between equal powers of light and darkness. Our God remains sovereign over the devil.Click here to listen (Duration 25:02)
Looking to Jesus and Satan wants us to think has godlike powers but God wants us to see the short leash. Satan cannot trip you up. Unless God gives the okay there's no heavenly conflict between equal powers of light and darkness. There's just God. From the Moody Church in Chicago this morning with Dr. Erwin Sir, whose clear teaching make it across the finish line in our series on God's devil were learning how God uses Satan in believers lives. Was this the case in the life of Paul the apostle gave the answer is yes if you remember in second Corinthians chapter 12. The Bible clearly says that when Paul was struggling with his thorn in the flesh. It was a messenger of Satan to buffet him, but also what comes to mind is Jesus Christ's words to Peter, Simon, Simon, Satan has desired to have you, that he might sift you like wheat.
I've prayed for you and when you are strengthened. You strengthen your brethren. So imagine this, Satan could not touch Peter without Christ's permission. I wrote the book entitled God's devil to help people to see that God is totally sovereign at the end of this message. I'm going to be giving you contact info as to how this book can be yours for now.
I want us to listen carefully as we go to the pulpit of Moody church and learn more about the devil but also blessedly more about God and he says most gladly will. I therefore now rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon an end this evil messenger evil toward Paul. Paul says even though he is my enemy God is using him for my good and my purification sleep. Paul didn't have this problem because he had committed some sin that he had to confess. In fact, he tells us that the reason it was given was to keep him from the possibility of falling into the sin of pride and God's as I'm going to give you a thorn in the flesh, and it is going to humble you and keep you on your knees and broken the form and leave it there. I will let you struggle with it. Can't you imagine Joe Saul Peter. This man in Corinthians, and people like the apostle Paul all going to a deliverance ministry saying you know were all having some kind of demonic activity in our lives.
At some level in all that we want to do is to simply haven't rebuked taken care of because that's the way we want deliverance not. I believe in deliverance but it isn't always that simple. And it isn't as clear-cut as some people would want us to think it is that we need to be careful and and that's why people who struggle with demonic activity.
One of the first things they have to do is to thank God for the struggle you never thank God for the sin. No, but you thank God for the struggle because number one you know now that God is in it, he's back of it. And number two, you know that in some ways using it for your God. He may be using it to discipline you. Even that may not be the purpose he may be using it to refine you and he is going to deliver you. Think of all the lessons you are going to learn.
As a result of it is God's teaching tool. So number three God may use Satan in our lives to purify us. Number four God and the devil, of course, have different purposes in our conflict.
There are different purposes, contradictory purposes. What does God want out of our conflicts and are and are wrestling with the devil and and we do wrestle with the devil I have wrestled with the devil you have wrestled with the devil. We all have. What's the purpose of it all.
Well, God has his purpose. God says what I want to do is to give you some real good chances to show that you love me and I will be glorified. If you are content with me rather than content with Sam.
I will be glorified. If you will obey me even when it's hard to obey me. I'll be glorified if you love me so much that you will be satisfied with my wheel even though it's tough. That's the way God is glorified.
He had one son, the Lord Jesus Christ. And now, the Scripture says that he wants to bring many sons into glory through suffering and usually it cannot be accomplished in any other way except through suffering. If you're suffering today you have a brother called the Lord Jesus Christ. That's God's agenda what Satan's agenda. Oh, his agenda, the thief cometh not been for this steel to kill and to destroy wants to steal what does he want to steal from you. He wants to steal your peace because he knows that if you are not at peace. You're going to make wrong decisions are going to do while things are going to cast about for some kind of an answer within your soul. He wants to steal your fellowship with God. If you're a believer.
He knows that he cannot steal your soul, but he wants to deal you're with. He wants to render you in operative. He wants to see you on the shelf. He wants to see you so filled with unbelief and hatred and and and negativism in such a preoccupation with your anxieties that basically so far as we can discern at least you are really not of too much value for the kingdom of God here on earth. He wants to paralyze you. That's what he wants, number four, and most importantly, now temptation is our clearest example temptation is our clearest example to develop the Christ likeness to prove that we love Christ temptation is the battleground upon which I'm going to put it somewhat delicately either Satan wins or God wins now that is correct theologically because God always wins.
But that's a whole other theological story that needs to be told that some other time. But whether we give into temptation or whether we resisted God is either honored or he is dishonored. Satan is either glad or Satan is very unhappy in order to understand that a little better turn with me in your Bibles to the fourth chapter of Matthew, it's a classic passage that is been preached on many times and I shall make only a few brief remarks regarding it and that is Christ and his encounter with Satan. Notice Matthew chapter 4 verse one says then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. I think the impression that is sometimes given. I think there are people who think that you know Jesus was there in the desert kind of running away from the devil and the devil was going up and down the Judean Hills saying we're easy where is he I can hardly wait to get to him. I think that the opposite was true. The Scripture says that Jesus was driven into the wilderness in order to be tempted of the devil.
The devil may have been doing the hiding and Jesus was going to smoke him out because they needed a confrontation. They were on a collision course and I want you to notice here again, the devil is God's devil. Christ is driven into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. You and I are put in situations of temptation in those situations of temptation. In some instances at least a been ordained by God to give us a chance to show how much we love Christ and how committed we are to fellowship with him, which incidentally is the only real motivation that you and I will ever have.
To choose Christ rather than the devil. It is love for Christ that is the greatest of all the motivation but now notice quickly. The tempter comes to him verse three and says to him, if you are the son of God more accurately since you are the son of God, command that these stones become bread. He takes a very common desire of the body. Jesus had fasted 40 days if you ever fasted 40 days.
I'm told that after 40 days you become hungry and that's exactly what happened in the life of Christ.
Some of you are smiling because you think you'd be hungry before that time, but that's actually what happens is after a while your system shuts down and you're not hungry for about 40 days but after that and so the tempter comes and he says that because these stones to be made into bread and God has the ability to create the Old Testament. He created man made little wafers go ahead and do it and eat now just in and of itself without a context, there'd be nothing wrong with that Jesus turned fish into being able to feed a huge multitude and he took five loaves of bread and feta multitude. Theo had already done it. I was the wrong time in the wrong way and it wasn't the right time and the father's will. That was the point, Satan comes to us in the very same way and says you have a desire for food. You have a desire for sexuality. You could actually put into this text. Any lust of the flesh you wanted what it was alcoholism or drugs or gluttony or pornography you have these desires also fill them. And we as humans rationalize, we say yes will if I have the desire, it must be okay to fulfill the desire answer is no, not overtime know you can't make that equation. Christ had the desire he had the ability, but it wasn't the right time. You know what Jesus said man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds of the mouth of God. Christ said I have bread that is come to me from heaven and and I'm feeding on that brand. It's it's the bread that my father and I have an end. That's so satisfying to me that I can say no to this temptation. I can live by the words that come out of my father's mouth that's your temptation that's my temptation and what we need to do is to recognize that these desires. No matter how explosive, no matter how great they may be, no matter how hooked we might convince ourselves that we are if we learn to eat the bread that comes down from heaven in fellowship with our heavenly father we will be able to save big on the Satan, for it is written, man shall not live by this alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God but of the second temptation. He takes them to the holy city notices authority and power. I don't know how he does he scoop Christ up were not told. He stood him on the pinnacle of the temple pinnacle of the temple preps the Southeast wall to goes into the Kidron Valley and he takes Christ there and desist to him. In effect, very modern loose translation of become a bungee jumper just stand there and cast yourself down and the Angels are going to scoop you up in a bring you back in word is going to go throughout the city of Jerusalem, how fantastic you are and that do it because after all, I got a verse for you got a verse for you. He'll give his angels charge concerning you and in their hands they shall bear you up, people don't recognize that Satan knows a lot of the Bible by memory and he comes with a verse Jesus said you shall not test the Lord your God, you shouldn't put God to the test.
My heart broke. One day when I was watching television I was watching one of these deliverance ministries were a man I believe came very close to to being so presumptuous that that the very words that were taking place here would be applicable to him. He was talking about his ability to heal his ability to cast out demons and then he says I was in this funeral home and he said I was just a tempted to raise the dead, and I thought to myself what you know if you are tempted to.
Why didn't you try, but he spoke with such arrogance bothered me.
God is his judge. Sorry I said it stroke from the record but but I'm troubled by people who think they have such authority that they can do whatever they want and God is just in heaven waiting to do nothing but to do. There will).
We do not have absolute control over the devil. Only God does that. If we had absolute control. We gather together we have a prayer meeting.
We banished him from Chicago.
Then we banish them from the United States, then the whole world and we get rid of him once for all. We can't do that God has a purpose. God is going to do it at the end but we can. God is given us all these resources to fight them individually, personally and as a church, but it's not as if we have absolute control notices.
Jesus said don't test God, believe him, but don't test the appeal to Christ. Pride, then the covetousness, the lust of the eyes. He took him to a high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory.
And he said all these things I give you Lisa's Jesus. I'll give you the scepter. He said I'll give you the scepter and theologians debate as to whether or not he had the right to say that he would give that scepter to Christ places. I'll give you the scepter and Satan knew that whomever you worship has the right to be obeyed. You worship me and then you obey me, and you can have the kingdoms of this world and you can have those kingdoms without going to the cross and Jesus comes back and said be gone. The Satan, for it is written, you shall worship the Lord your God and serve him. The notice it says in verse 11. The devil left him, and behold, angels began to minister to him. And there is such a thing as having resisted temptation. Having come through it. Have you had this experience I know that I have in resisting a particular temptation and later on having such a sense of God's presence and in such beautiful fellowship. You say to yourself that if I had given into that temptation. No matter how pleasurable it may have been it could never have been worth the presence of Almighty God.
God is with us and his blessing comes to those who believe. I think maybe some would say Satan is coming through the pipes this morning, but let us remember if that is true. If that is true. It's been approved by God. So that means we no longer have to pay any attention to it we can just finish the message. Let me summarize today with three passes three passes number one submit to God submit to God. Number two, the holy spirit the holy spirit. You see, it isn't just submission. We don't win the battle, only by submission. Submission is very very important but it is faith and faith comes by receiving the Holy Spirit in his fullness. Jesus went up to heaven. Bible says and when he is there he poured forth the gift of the Holy Spirit and we received the spirit of God in faith. If you walk by the Spirit will not fulfill the desires of the flesh. Nobody has ever been able to live the Christian life by determination.
Nobody ever live the Christian life because they feel guilty and they think it's about time to change.
We can only live the Christian life victoriously when we receive in simple faith. The filling of the Holy Spirit and then we stand so you have submit. You have the spirit then stand it says in the book of Ephesians that we are to stand against the wiles of the devil. Where do we stand we stand on territory that Christ conquered when he died.
This was the last message that I preached we stand there absolutely convinced that he has won a victory for us, that we do not have to be a part of his wiles and I believe some people disagree with me that we have every right to talk to him as long as we tell him to be gone and we say be gone in the name of Jesus, for it is written and you have to say it maybe three times maybe five times Jesus here had to say it three times and the later on he came back and and we stand and we stand and we stand and we recognize the victory that he has one in our behalf.
Some of you heard me tell the story before but II need to tell it here because it fits about the the time when I was studying French at one of the universities here because I was supposed to pass a French exam and I don't know any friends at all. Still don't by the way, but the only thing I could say in French was the cut the grass, which as you know is the mode belong, and I had to go into the professor's office. He took a journal off-the-shelf philosophical journal and I was supposed to translate on-site flaunted the first time flunked the second time third time I was so afraid I tell you I could hardly eat breakfast. I was there have been few times in my life that I been so intimidated is that time I began to think you know Satan could be involved in this somehow. As I began to recite Scriptures be gone for it is written, the Scripture says be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, and then I'd vote peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you. I quoted all these verses and they didn't help. I got into the car and I began to just say these verses over and over again. I said this is really something. How could I be so shook over French exam and I got there and before I got to the University I remember is about 1/2 a mile away. Suddenly such a sense of peace flooded over me was just overwhelming.
I have few times in my life so sensed the intimacy of God's presence.
It was just as if every worry every vestige of concern left me I was in that car alone with God. What a moment walked into the office. He took the journal off-the-shelf gave me something to translate. I flunked it cold.
I went back to Edgewater Baptist Church where I was the pastor that time I was in such a good mood. My secretary said why are you in such a good mood.
What got into you. I said I just flunked French, three times in a row. So I say to the students were present. If you've got to flunk, do it victoriously so you don't have to ask me. I did pass it on the fourth try one of the things I learned is that he doesn't leave just because you throw verse and you submit your receive the fullness of the spirit and then you stand and you stand and you stand and you stand in after you've stood you continue to stand because he will hammer you and hammer you and hammer you and hammer you and you have to say it is written, be gone and eventually he says to himself, I can't take this anymore and he leaves. We have a lien was going about seeking whom he may devour. I want you to know that the Bible says they overcame him by the word of their testimony, and by the blood of the Lamb.
Folks concluding line today.
It's our responsibility to glance at the lion to gaze on the Lamb because they lien has been tread upon by the Lamb of God who has opened the book who has crushed the head of the serpent and invites all of his people to say and with me in victory and enjoy God and enjoy God. That's the whole point of it and with his help and strength we can we can. Let us pray father, thank you that your word says that we have exceeding great and precious promises that by these we can overcome the world and the devil help us to receive those in our spirit today, for those who struggle for those who feel hopeless, we asked the Lord that you will engraft in them. In this moment, the truths of your word that they may stand father here the prayer of all of those who prayed and granted strength that we might be victorious in Jesus name, amen. This is Pastor Luther and today I want to give you an admonition that I hope will be a blessing. Yes indeed is this message has indicated, we are able to stand against the wiles of the devil. But I need to emphasize that we also need the help of others. That's why fellowship within the church is important. That's why corporate prayer is important when the apostle Paul says in the book of Ephesians so clearly above all, take the shield of faith in those days.
Shields were beveled. By that I mean they were linked together so that as soldiers went into war. It was as if there was an entire wall that was walking forward, you do need others. I feel very deeply that the book entitled God's devil will be a tremendous blessing to you, it will expose the work of the devil, but also the absolute triumph of Christ, that we must accept for gift of any amount. It can be yours.
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