We're not fighting the devil for our security in Christ.
That is gifted to us by means of our salvation. We are fighting for our growth in Christ. We're not battling for forgiveness from God. We're battling for fruitfulness for God. We're not battling, saying, hoping we can get a home one day in heaven, and if I fight well enough, I might make it there. We're not fighting for a home in heaven.
We're fighting for holiness on earth in our own lives. For the Christian, your salvation is secure in Christ. There's nothing that can separate you from God. Once God saves you, you can never lose that. And since that's true, what can Satan actually do to you? What are you fighting for when you fight against Satan and the temptation he brings your way? You're gonna learn today. Stephen Davey has a lesson for you today called, What Lions Want for Lunch.
Satan is the roaring lion, and he has a voracious appetite. But we have a God who's far more powerful. Keep listening to learn more today here on Wisdom for the Heart. Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote, When the eyes say one thing and the tongue another, you can rely on the language of the first.
Well said. There's a reason why our eyes are called windows to the soul. We can choose our words and we can control certain facial expressions, but our eyes never lie. They have the ability, a thousand different ways, to reveal our thoughts, reflect our feelings, express surprise, disapproval, unbelief, guilt, fear, even boredom.
I won't point anybody out on that one here. One article I read talked about the emotions that are reflected in the rate of how often you blink. I don't know, you know, who these researchers are.
It sounds terribly tedious. But one researcher made the claim that the presidential candidates during debates who blinked most often never won an election. Interesting thought. Research has revealed the connection between the dilation of the pupils to interest and even affection and the constriction of the pupils to disinterest and dislike. The eyes, and you can't control that by the way.
That's just the reaction of whatever it happens to be. They speak a language and they speak volumes without words. Think about it. We communicate with our eyes all the time. Our eyes have the power to condescend, to judge, to sympathize, to smile, to scold. My mother could silence four boys with that look. I mean, we'd freeze in midair.
The world would stop revolving with that look. God's given mothers a gift in that. Well, all our eyes speak volumes.
They can express love, affection. We need to be clear as we've been discussing this fallen cherub that Satan can influence our thoughts and minds, but he cannot read our minds. Only our omniscient God can try our thoughts and our hearts.
Psalm 26, verse 2. However, we are more of an open book than we would like to believe we are, especially to one skilled at studying us. And Satan and his millions of fallen angels have studied the human race. Ever since they first saw that flicker of desire in Eve's eyes, Satan saw it and took advantage of it. It's possible they can know what we're thinking only because before we ever say a word, they can study our actions, our reactions, our expressions, the dilating of our pupils, how many times we start blinking, the downcast eye.
And then temptations are custom made. Satan in his underworld that studies you like they studied Job, even the Lord Jesus. They take note of that momentary glaze in your eye of lust or covetousness. They notice that dilation of covetousness. They notice that shadow that crossed your eye with fear or doubt. They notice that brief cloud of anger that came across your eyes.
And Satan reloads and sends another flaming missile directed at that very reaction, at that very astute observation, hoping they have found that chink in your armor. In our last session, we began to lay down a biblical framework for the person and personality of the highest ranking cherub created by God, the very top of the angelic ladder order. We know him as Satan or the devil. He's real. He's studious.
He is astute. He is at war with us and we with him. In fact, the apostle Paul informs us that our battle isn't with flesh and blood. It is with that world behind this world that we can't see, those spiritual rulers in darkness that is that fallen spirit world, Ephesians 6-12. But even though we're going to spend more time in our next session, next Lord's Day on this subject, let's keep in mind even now that we're not fighting a fallen world. We're not fighting our flesh. We're not fighting the devil for our security in Christ.
That is gifted to us by means of our salvation. We are fighting for our growth in Christ. We're not battling for forgiveness from God. We're battling for fruitfulness for God. We're not battling Satan hoping we can get home one day in heaven and if I fight well enough I might make it there.
We're not fighting for a home in heaven. We're fighting for holiness on earth in our own lives and testimonies. One Puritan author wrote more than 300 years ago, Satan wants to keep the believer from all holy and heavenly service to keep us in a mourning, staggering, doubting, and questioning condition. At one time he will restrain from tempting that we might think ourselves safe and neglect our watch.
At another time he will seem to flee that he may make us proud of the victory. A man might as well count the stars and number the sands of the sea as reckon up all the devices of Satan. In our last session we began to study the devil. We turned the tables on him which he doesn't like because he wants to stay unexposed and in the darkness and we're studying him not to get to know him better but how to arm ourselves better so that we can follow the advice of the Apostle Paul in not being ignorant of the schemes of the devil. 2nd Corinthians 2 11. So that we can follow the warning of the Apostle Peter to watch out for our enemy. 1st Peter 5 8.
In fact let's go back to that text. Turn back to 1st Peter chapter 5 into that verse of scripture where we left off. We'll finish that verse today.
1st Peter chapter 5 where Peter writes in verse 8, 8. Be of sober spirit. Be on the alert. Those are two imperatives. That means you can write into your Bible and I recommend you do an exclamation point after each of those verbs. Be of sober spirit. That means be of a disciplined mind. Keep your mind within the corral of God's truth. That's what he means. Be of sober spirit exclamation point and be on the alert exclamation point.
Moffat translated this a little less than a hundred years ago and I like his translation. Keep cool and stay awake. So well said. Keep cool and stay awake. Yes we can keep cool. In fact we were told in the previous verse that Jesus Christ cares about us but we better stay awake because this warning immediately follows as if to remind us that just because Jesus cares as we've said doesn't mean that we can become careless. Just because Jesus cares doesn't mean we can coast.
There's no time in the Christian's life to snooze in some spiritual backyard hammock. We're in a war and there's a lion on the loose. Let's read further. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour. In other words this lion happens to want you for lunch.
And with that brief statement, Peter unmasks this deceptive, beautiful, gloriously robed angel of light. And what we discover underneath is this vicious animal-like devil. He's a real, living, breathing, threatening, lion-like enemy who cannot have your soul, Christian, but he wants your life. He wants to devour your joy and your integrity and your purity and your testimony.
He wants to stifle it all. And Peter essentially says don't panic, keep cool, but stay awake. There's a lion lurking around in your life and he wants to eat you for lunch.
Let's back up for just a moment. As Peter begins to describe this lion with two key words. First, he describes him as your adversary. This is a legal term. It was used in Peter's generation to refer to an opponent in a lawsuit. He is a legal adversary. So while he seems to want to give you everything, what he actually wants to do is strip you of everything so that you leave that courtroom utterly bankrupt. Satan only wants you to think you're getting a good deal, but his sinister, brutal, vicious, malevolent, destructive motives are unmasked.
He wants to take you to court and he wants to take you down. During the early 1800s, a pastor by the name of John Brown pastored a church by the name of Broughton Place Church in Scotland. He pastored it for 30 years and for 16 of those years he taught through the book of First Peter. Did you catch that? Just saying.
You thought I was slow. Took him 16 years. I have his commentary on this particular text. It's been spun off into a book.
You can imagine the volumes it would take to cover his entire series. But this is what he wrote. The devil is the friend of none and the enemy of all. Maliciousness is the very element of his moral being. He hates God and mankind and holy angels. The only tie existing between him and his subordinate demons is their common hatred is their common hatred against God and all that belongs to God. He has deeply injured the human race and he does not pity those whom he has injured.
Wow. Secondly, notice here that Peter refers to him as the devil. Your adversary, the devil prowls around.
The name devil from Diabolos means accuser. In fact, the verb form can be translated to press charges. He's the accuser. Again, you get in your mind this picture, don't you, of a legal opponent.
You capture the nuance of a legal environment where the enemy spends most of his time pressing false charges. He is revealing evidence about you and me and we do give him evidence, don't we? And he makes these charges against God and he makes charges to us about God. The apostle Paul writes that the devil is the accuser. John, the apostle in Revelation 12 says that he is accusing the brethren before God day and night. So he's spending more time in the presence of God than he is in your presence. In fact, it won't be until the mid part of the tribulation as I've mentioned that he is cast down from having access before God. And what's he doing? He's accusing you to God and then every so often will come down or through his minions, he will accuse God to us.
Some of those accusations sound like maybe you've heard them. God is against you. Look at what you're suffering today. God is it all powerful. Look at what's happening in the world today.
Been reading the news. God is absent. He's left us on our own. Christian, you're not growing spiritually. In fact, it's probably proved that you're not even really saved. You think that you've been forgiven just like that. Don't you think God has a payback?
He's deserving of one. Shouldn't you do something? What assurance do you have of heaven? Look at your track record. And what's your track record been this week by the way? How many of you in here would admit by raising your hand that this past week you sinned? Raise your hand. Yes, sir. What did you do? I'm teasing.
I knew it was big. His wife's raising both of his hands. This skillful opponent makes false charges, true charges. In fact, listen, apart from the promises of God's Word and the truth of our redemption through Christ alone, he has the goods on us all. Nobody can close an argument like the devil. You and I are no match for the devil. We don't go around bragging and binding and casting him down.
Even Michael dared not bring an accusation. He says, I'm going to leave you to the Lord. A lot of false teaching today.
There's nothing but hot air. He is a skillful opponent and is matched only by our advocate. He is an incredibly skilled, double-crossing, mud-slinging, fault-finding, nit-picking, belittling, vilifying, tattletale. There is only one, and it is in him we go who is our advocate, our sure defense for who can bring a charge against any of God's elect. Romans chapter 8, verse 33. For God is the one who justifies, declares us righteous, robes us in the righteousness of Christ. God has then, by the atoning work of God the Son, wiped your criminal record clean.
Past, present, and future. The answer to this skillful adversary at law is our advocate at law. Little children, John writes, if anyone sins, and he writes in a condition that means end and we will, if any of my little children, referring to believers, sins and you will, we have an advocate with the Father Jesus Christ the righteous. Satan then is a good and great accuser, but Jesus is your great defender. Satan knows everything about you up to this point, and he knows more about you than you would ever imagine.
He sees how many times you blink. He can read every expression on your face, every word, uttered through your eyes, but Jesus is our great defender. He has forgiven everything about us for all of eternity. Satan can bring things to the attention of God, and he does.
He says, do you know what he just did, what he just said? He only loves you because of this or that, and it may be, and Jesus stands there to say, I've taken care of that sin problem for good. And Satan, by the way, knows, he's read through the end of the book. He's a great theologian.
He is the devil still, as Luther said, but he is a great theologian. He knows. It's one of the reasons he hates you so much. He knows your end as well. He will want you to limp to heaven, but he knows you're going to heaven. You're secure in the Father's hand. You're going to live where he once lived and where he can no longer live, and he hates you for that, and he hates God for giving it to you as a free gift, which is amazing.
I mean, think about it this way. It might be a little bit too contemporary language, but you're going to get all his stuff. You're going to get all his stuff. You ever have an older brother or sister get upset with you because you went into their room, you know, their bedroom, and you started rummaging through their stuff, and they came to you, and I had that happen to me and my older brother. I was rummaging through his record collection.
There were round things made out of plastic, but I was rummaging through there, and he came in and beat red. He said, get out of my room and leave my stuff alone. I just said, get behind me, Satan. I quoted scripture.
Quoting scripture is sometimes fun. Can you imagine the level of anger and bitterness and the intensity of hatred and revulsion and contempt and spite that Satan has against us in knowing that we puny little human beings are going to inherit everything he lost. He wanted his own throne, and we're going to be given one. He wanted the glory and heaven of heaven, and we're going to live there.
No wonder we have become enemy number one on earth. All right then, enough of that. This is who you are to him and who he is to you. Now then, let's look at what he does. Let me put the remainder of verse eight into the form of two descriptions. Description number one, he roams the earth like a lion. Notice your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion. He roams the earth like a lion. He's prowling around.
He's roaming the earth. Job chapter 1 shows us that incredible conversation between Satan and God the Father. And God says to Satan, where have you been? And he's not saying that because he doesn't know somehow Satan slipped off his radar. He's saying that to get Satan to admit where he's been. And Satan says, from roaming about on the earth. Same expression Peter uses.
From roaming about on the earth, from walking around to and fro. What a chilling observation. Later in the conversation, God essentially makes Satan admit, yeah, you're walking around, but you are focusing on, you are studying Job. And he admits it. And he says, yes, I have been. And then you've blessed him mightily.
And the only reason he loves you is because you've given him all that. And the conversation continues. Job obviously has no idea that Satan has been watching him.
Might I suggest the dilation of his pupils and the rate of his heartbeat, his reactions, the volumes spoken in his eyes. And he believes he's found the chink in his armor. Peter uses the same observation. It hasn't changed from Job to you.
It hasn't changed at all. In fact, he uses the present tense here in this phrase to inform us that the devil never stops roaming around the earth. He just persistently prowls around. The idea of roaming indicates, one author said, his restless energy. He's restless in his search for someone to participate in his rebellion against God.
He's always recruiting. He knows his time is limited. He doesn't know how much time he has, but he's read to the end of the book. He knows what's going to happen. That's why when Jesus comes along, the demons say, hey, have you come to torment us before our time? They know they're going to be tormented.
It's now the time. He knows his time is limited. He doesn't know how much time he has, but because he knows his time is running out, he never sleeps. He's not a human.
He doesn't need rest or food or sleep. He's constantly on the prowl. And for thousands of years, ever since he first succeeded in the Garden of Eden till today, some 6,000 years later, he has been mastering his schemes and his devices as he attempts to hunt down humanity. Peter drops in this interesting simile, this word picture.
It's rather chilling. Notice he's not just prowling around. He's prowling around like a roaring lion. Since the next phrase tells us he's looking for someone to devour, we assume that he's roaring because he's hungry. Lions don't roar because they're hungry. And they don't roar when they hunt because they're hungry. We might miss the implications of this word picture by not understanding why lions roar.
So let's get that right and then we'll apply correctly this. So I did a little digging on your behalf, found out that lions roar for two basic reasons. First, they roar to tell other lions in their pride, in their family, so to speak, where they are. They're communicating with one another by roaring or huffing or grunting.
It's a system of communication. Secondly, they roar to let everybody know that this is their territory. And I'm a torn male who's roaring out that fact I have read. Their roar can be heard five miles away. And the louder they roar, the bigger they must be and the stronger they must be and they should be feared more. So don't invade their territory. They're basically roaring to say, this is my place.
Don't come mess it up. A lion roars for the purpose of communication and intimidation. That's what Peter has in mind. Satan is like a roaring lion. That is, he's communicating with members of his family, those fallen demons, the fallen world system and the unbeliever.
There is a communication, indirect, direct, silent, unheard by human ears, yet very active. And they all know his voice and they follow him. Just like we know the voice of our Good Shepherd and we follow him. There's more about the roar of Satan that you need to be aware of.
But since we don't have time to complete this message today, we'll interrupt it here and bring you the conclusion next time. The belief that you can lose your salvation is an error into which many Christians fall. Instead of their hearts being full of worship, their hearts are full of worry. If you or someone you know could use help understanding the eternal nature of salvation, Stephen's resource can help you. It's called Blessed Assurance. We're emailing a free copy to anyone who requests it. All you need to do is visit wisdomonline.org. Do that now, then join us next time on Wisdom for the Heart.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-14 00:45:33 / 2023-03-14 00:54:40 / 9