Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Know your enemy


Many Christians do not expose and rebuke evil because they do not take it seriously. They laugh and joke about things that are unadulterated wickedness, that are immoral and ungodly in the extreme. They recognize the sinfulness of those things and would likely never participate in them; but they enjoy them vicariously from a distance. In so doing, they not only fail to be an influence against the evil but are instead influenced by it—contaminated by it to the full extent that they think and talk about it without exposing and rebuking it…some things are so vile that they should be discussed in as little detail as possible, because even describing them is morally and spiritually dangerous.

The devil is on the attack.

Every morning as soon as you wake up the enemy is there to tempt you, discourage you, and he will do everything to make you feel weak, grumpy, and lonely.

He'll remind you of all the regrets, fears, and guilt.

When you look at the image in the mirror, he'll emphasize every wrinkle in your face, your failing health, and how you are aging fast.

That's how the devil works every single day.

He takes no break. No holidays. No vacations. No time outs.

Read what 1 Peter 5:8 says about the devil...

"Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour."'

It's so true then and as it is today.

Listen, I'm telling you all these things not to scare you but to remind you that the enemy is real and he's active.

And you're in a spiritual attack before you even take your first sip of your morning coffee.

The question is, what are you doing to defend yourself and hit him back?
The devil’s charge against Job was that Job didn’t really love God—that the only reason Job served God was that God had bribed him. God said, “To prove He loves me, Satan, you can take anything from him but his life.” Job continued to serve the Lord and said, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him…” (Job 13:15). Isn’t that great?

God often gets the glory through our trials. There are servants of God today, special people who’ve been chosen of God to shut the devil’s mouth by saying, “Though I do not have physical health or a lot of this world’s goods, I love my God. Jesus Christ is real to me, and Jesus Christ is enough for me.”

Sometimes sickness may glorify God. Andrew Murray, a dear old saint, wrote:

“In times of trouble the trusting child of God may say, ‘First He brought me here, it is by His will that I’m in this great place. Next, He will keep me here in His love and give me grace in this trial to behave as His child. Then He will make the trial a blessing, teaching me the lessons He intends for me to learn and working in the grace He means to bestow. And in His good time He can bring me out again. How and when—He knows.’”

So many people have an “if” faith: “Lord, if you do this...” But what you need is a “though” faith. “Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him.” And that shuts the mouth of the devil!

Watch out for the enemy.

Jennifer couldn't believe that she had been taken in so completely. The man had talked of love and peace and equality, and it had all sounded so right. Then he began teaching that the only way to achieve peace was through violence. She had gone along with it for awhile because she really waned to believe the man was good. What he really was was a terrorist, using young people to wage his war for him. Why did people have to live by the lie?

We live in a world dominated by smooth talkers who proclaim goodness but are corrupt to the core. Jesus warned that many false prophets would come preaching harmony and love, but that they were wolves in sheep's clothing. Ask God's wisdom and guidance as you make choices in your life. He will expose the darkness of lie and deceit through His holy light.

Other religious groups are one of the most threatening tactics Satan uses against the church of Jesus Christ. In the book of Acts we see over and over that the primary opposition to the spread of the gospel in the early church was from religious groups. Again we must never view these groups as the enemy. We know who our real enemy is. In some parts of the world, the small percentage of extremists among Hindus, Buddhists and Muslims have encouraged mob violence and other forms of persecution against Christians. Our attitude toward them should be as Brother Andrew’s acronym for ISLAM suggests - I Sincerely Love All Muslims.

The tactic that our enemy uses in these major religions of the world is the same. It comes from his character of deceiving and lying. Some people are able to perceive elements of truth within the major religions of the world, but their essential teachings are deceivingly false.

Every morning you and I need to wake up running because we are running from sin, and Satan is running for us. You know the difference between my life before I was saved and after? Before I got saved, I was running to sin, but now I’m running from sin. But sometimes we are overtaken by sin, and the Bible tells us to “restore one other.”

God absolutely cares about all the small details of our lives. Right now, you might be facing a situation that makes no sense. We live in a sinful world, and bad things happen. It may seem that your prayers are going unanswered. But God promises that he has a perfect plan for the lives of those who truly love and follow Him and who have received salvation through Jesus. You may not realize right this moment – or ever – why things happen just the way they do, but if you have accepted God’s call of the gospel, you can trust that He is working everything in your life together for His ultimate purpose.

We need to be crystal clear about where we are headed in life if we want to ensure that we stay on the right track. Every decision we make and every step that we take ought to be guided by our desired destination. Wherever we go, let’s make sure that we are headed toward God.


Raj Kosaraju

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