Daily Devotional for Friday June 18, 2010
Satan Doesn't Play Fair
(Ephesians 6:11-17; 1 John 4:4)
Breaking news! Satan doesn't play fair! Like many boys growing up, I used to watch "professional wrestling." This was before Vince McMahon and the highly polished and produced sports entertainment of today. In the old days of Bobo Brazil, Gorgeous George, and the pioneers of wrestling, they had what was called a "lights out " match. After the last match they would blink the lights and the two combatants would fight without rules. There were no holds barred, anyhting was OK, it was simply a fight until one person was left standing.
That is EXACTLY what fighting satan is like, no rules, no holds barred, anything goes. He will fight dirty, he will attack you where you hurt the most in his attempt to destroy you. Make no mistake about it, his goal is to destroy you!!! Jesus told us in John Chapter 10 that the stated goal of the enemy is to "kill, steal, and destroy." His number one objective is to take out those who serve Jesus. If you know the Lord as your Savior by faith, satan can't have your soul but he can do his best to kill you, steal your testimony, and destroy your ability to serve the Lord!
Jesus said, "The harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few." The biggest reason why there are not more laborers is the voracious and never ending attacks of satan. Most people simply can't handle a confrontation and don't want to be exposed to the relentless and never ending attacks in their life. I understand that. The vast majority who do serve, do so from a distance or from what I call "behind the wall." Most churches and ministries are fighting "behind the wall" which affords them security and protection from many of satan's attacks. The problem with fighting "behind the wall" is that you can only do so much. The real battles to be fought and won are outside that wall.
Let me make this real easy to understand. Have you ever wondered why today we have more churches, more Christian TV stations and programs, more Christian radio stations and programs, more Christian books and magazines, more Christian music, more ministries of every kind, yet at the same time we have a world that is more lost and depraved than ever.
We have the better percentage of two-full generations that have never even been to church. We have a nation and world that for the most part has rejected God, rejected His Word as Truth, and rejected His Son. Quite a paradox isn't it? The explanation? Most who serve God are serving Him in the safety and comfort "behind the wall" and are simply limited in what they can accomplish.
Listen, I fully understand. Life is a challenge just dealing with the day-to-day issues we all have to face. Health problems, relationship issues, school or our job, financial difficulties, raising children, people we love who die, not to mention the weaknesses and bondages everyone of us has to confront at times. On top of that we all have to find our own personal relationship with the Lord, make time to pray, read and study His Word, and be involved in our local church. Additionally, we all have gifts and talents God has given us to fulfill our purpose in life to serve Him.
So as we try to allow God to use our life and serve Him, along comes satan and his attacks. He sees someone serving God and they become a target. When you make the choice to serve God not only do you get a bulls-eye pasted on your back, you now have a very real adversary who will do everything to discourage you and make your life miserable. Satan becomes like the wicked witch in the "Wizard of Oz" going after Dorothy with everything she had. So it is no wonder most people simply don't have the stomach or will to serve God knowing that they have to battle satan each step of the way.
When I was being released from Federal Prison in 1992, my wife and I had nothing left. Everything we had went to lawyers and for her to live on the 31 months I was incarcerated. God opened the door for me when I was released to work at TV38 in Chicago and start preaching in area churches, sharing my testimony and holding evangelistic meetings. At this time, I had the opportunity to go back into the business world. It would have been easy to justify going back into that world. I had nothing left and needed to survive, so it made sense to take that option even for a while to "get back on my feet."
However, that was NOT where God wanted me. He wanted me serving Him full time. Despite the opportunity to make mid-6 figures again, I chose to trust God to provide. It was a huge transition from living on the 62nd floor of Lake Point Tower on Navy Pier in downtown Chicago to a tiny one-bedroom apartment in a dangerous part of the city. I had my own car since I was 16, but for the first 6 months had to get back and forth to the television station and to preach by using the trains and buses.
I'll never forget on a very cold February morning while waiting for the bus, satan came to have a chat with me. I was used to him coming after me as I was waiting for the bus or train. I would see a nice car and satan would remind me that I could be back in a nice car in just a few hours if I would go back to the business world.
That morning he told me that even though I made the noble choice to serve God, if I really loved my wife I would go back into the business world for a year or so for her. After all, she had been through so much herself, stuck by me through all of the legal problems and 31 months of prison, she didn't deserve to live like we were. He told me God would understand since I was responsible for her care and provision and I would be honoring my role as her husband.
Never forget, satan is the great justifier. All he said sounded right. Then the Holy Spirit started to speak to me and remind me satan is a LIAR! All of a sudden I realized how dirty, how low, how nasty satan was. He knew I was committed to serving the Lord so he tried to use my wife to get me to leave the ministry and go back into the business world. My friend, satan will always attack you where he can hurt you the most!
I love you and care about you so much. Is satan a very real enemy? Yes! Is satan going to attack you for serving the Lord? Yes! However, God already knew this. That is why we have the full armor of God spoken of in Ephesians 6. That is why we have the abiding power and presence of the Holy Sprit within us. That is why God promised us in 1 John 4:4 that "greater is He that is within us (the Holy Sprit) than he (satan) that is in the world." We don't have to fear the attacks of satan, just expect them and know they are part of the price of serving the Lord.
Know in advance satan is coming after anyone who serves the Lord. Fear not because he is a defeated foe, a toothless lion who can roar but not bite. God has promised you victory over your enemies and that includes satan. Don't let the attacks of satan keep you from fulfilling your purpose in this life which is to serve the Lord. There is NOTHING that satan can do to you unless you allow him to. Going back to the "Wizard of Oz." Dorothy lived in fear of the witch when all the time she had the power of the ruby slippers to give her victory over that wicked witch. You have the power of the Holy Spirit that gives you victory over satan!
So live your live without fear, knowing that God is by your side to protect you and help you withstand the attacks of the evil one while you faithfully serve Him. It is time for those who are serving the Lord to leave the safety of the "wall" and attack! WE ARE THE VICTORS! VICTORY HAS ALREADY BEEN WON! WHY ARE WE HIDING BEHIND A WALL WHEN WE ALREADY KNOW WE HAVE WON!
It is time for the children of God to take back the territory we have given away and get serious about battling with satan for the souls of men. He is going to attack us anyway so why wait, let's attack him first!!! I can only speak for myself but I am not interested in sitting in the comfort and safety behind the "wall." Time is short, the real battles that need to be fought and won are outside the "wall."
Twenty years ago I made my choice to serve God and I have not backed down or retreated one inch, but have steadily pressed forward. I already know Satan will attack where it hurts the most, I am prepared for that. Rather than sit back and wait for his attacks, I am going to attack him first where it hurts him the most, and that is snatching souls off the conveyor belt to hell and redirecting them to Heaven!
In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ, Bill Keller