This message was written by Pastor Mike Walls of Freedom Baptist Church in Smithfield, NC. It is published here with his permission. What an excellent message for the believer! Take heed brethren – apply this message to your heart and may the Holy Spirit of God convict you. Allowing the Holy Spirit to work in our hearts is like fresh rainfall! It is cleansing and the sweet smell of freshly fallen rain is so wonderful!
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. ~Ephesians 6:10-12
We have been in the cold and flu season again. One way to combat colds is to build up your resistance. You can drink lots of orange juice; certain foods with onions and garlic in them also help. One of the newer methods to deal with upper respiratory problems, which the Indians have used for centuries, is Echinacea with Golden Seal. Vitamin C and Zinc are also good during cold and flu season.
We are in a battle with Satan and his friends daily. Satan continually tries to break us down like a cold or the flu does. So how can we build up our resistance up to the devil? Brother James has this sound advice in his book in Chapter 4, verses 7 and 8:
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil and He will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. ~James 4:7-8
Believers can build up their resistance to the devil by:
- Reading the Word of God. This is our power for resisting Satan.
- Receiving the will of God. This is our purpose for resisting Satan.
- Respecting the Warning of God. This is our prosperity by resisting Satan.
- Rejoining the Worship of God. This is our place for resisting Satan.
- Restoring the Work of God. This is our praise for the Lord in resisting Satan.
If I would show you my driver’s license, you would recognize my picture. After being saved for more than 35 years – helping people while in the gospel ministry – pastoring for almost 18 years and seeing the times I have failed the Lord – I have been able to recognize the working of Satan in the lives of the believers.
Please don’t think I am a “know-it-all” when I preach against the sin in our lives. If I could preach what I wanted, I would preach those sweet cotton candy type messages. But in obedience to the Father, I must preach against sin. Not in generalities, as some may do, but I must name sin like the Bible calls it. 3rd John 4 sums up my feeling for you:
I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth. 3 John 4
I. The Working of Satan in a Believer’s Life is Evidenced by Disobedience.
And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. ~Genesis 2:16-18
Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. ~ Genesis 3:1-6
A. Who did Eve disobey?
And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. Genesis 2:16-17
The Lord. His Command was plain, planned and perfect.
B. What did Eve disobey? She did not basically; she was deceived.
C. When did Eve disobey?
And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat. ~ Genesis. 3:13
II. The Working of Satan in a Believer’s Life is Evidenced by Deception.
But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession, And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles’ feet. But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God. And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things. And the young men arose, wound him up, and carried him out, and buried him. And it was about the space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in. And Peter answered unto her, Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much? And she said, Yea, for so much. Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out. Then fell she down straightway at his feet, and yielded up the ghost: and the young men came in, and found her dead, and, carrying her forth, buried her by her husband. And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things. ~Acts 5:1-11
A. Their deceit was uncalled for.
And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles’ feet. Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God. ~ Acts 5:2, 4
B. Their death was unexpected.
And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things. Then fell she down straightway at his feet, and yielded up the ghost: and the young men came in, and found her dead, and, carrying her forth, buried her by her husband. ~Acts 5:5,10
- The Lord killed them for lying to Him.
- They did not have time to confess their sin.
- They were immediately standing in the presence of God.
C. Their Dishonesty was unprofitable.
III. The Working of Satan in a Believer’s Life is Evidenced by Devices of Satan.
Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices. ~2 Corinthians 2:11
A. Devices of pleasure.
But she that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth. ~1 Timothy 5:6
B. Devices of popularity.
For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God. ~ John 12:43
C. Devices of property.
For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. ~1 Timothy 6:7
D. Devices of pride.
Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall. ~ Proverbs 16:18
E. Devices of profit.
For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? ~ Matthew 16:26