Daily Devotional for Wednesday June 18, 2014
Satan is not Subtle
(1 Corinthians 10:13)
***ASK BILL: Pastor Bill, I was flipping through the channels the other night and came across Joel Osteen preaching. What do you suppose blinds so many (obvious in the stadium) people to his "feel good" preaching?
ANSWER: Sadly, the better percentage of the past 2 generations have never even been to church, and those who have, are mostly in churches that water down the Truth. We live in an age of Biblical illiteracy where people are fed sermons to make them feel good for an hour, and Osteen is the king of the "feel good," "motivational" preachers!
Satan is NOT subtle when he sends people and circumstances to try and destroy you. Flip Wilson was a comedian in the '70s who made famous the line, "the devil made me do it." Flip Wilson incorporated into his comedy routine the common excuse many make when they sin, blaming their actions on the devil. In reality, while the devil may tempt you, YOU are the one who makes the choice to sin or to not sin. The devil can't make you sin, he can only entice you to sin. You are the one who ultimately has to make the choice to follow God, or follow satan.
Let me give you a word of encouragement this morning. Satan is never subtle when he sends people or when he sends circumstances into your life. This is a very important point for you to understand. Satan is NEVER subtle when he sends people or when he sends circumstances designed to destroy you. Never forget that Jesus clearly exposed the goal of satan in John chapter 10 when He told us that satan comes to kill, steal, and destroy. Please never lose sight that satan is out to destroy YOU!
The fact remains however, that when satan sends a person or people, when he sends circumstances to destroy you, there is that moment in time where there is NO DOUBT this is NOT coming from God but from the enemy of our souls. People give satan way too much credit. Yes he can be clever, yes he can be subtle, but think with me for a minute.
Look back on your own life and experiences. Whether you were saved or not, when satan sent a person or circumstance into your life it was like the jackpot on a slot machine, lights flashing, whistles and bells going off. Even if it was only for one of those "frozen moments in time," you KNEW that person or that circumstance was NOT from God.
This is so important, I want to make sure you don't miss what I am saying to you. We all have that "still small voice" that speaks to us. When you are saved, in that daily intimate relationship with Christ, you hear that voice loud and clear. But even for those who are not saved, not walking with the Lord, actually living their lives in rebellion to God and His Word, that voice still exists. Though it may be faint, though that person may not understand who it is, God speaks to all of us. When satan sends a person and circumstance into your life, God will tell you this is NOT from Him. The key becomes, do we listen to that "still small voice" or do we simply ignore it.
Now we are at that place I speak of so often when during the course of the day we have many opportunities to follow God or follow satan. Whether you like to hear it or not, when you are not following God, YOU ARE FOLLOWING SATAN. When you choose sin, YOU CHOOSE SATAN. It is the free will God has given to us to obey Him or to not obey Him. We get those opportunities many times throughout the course of every day. It is our opportunity to prove that we really do love the Lord as we claim to, since Jesus said, "if you love me you will obey me."
I love you and care about you so much. I will be praying for you today. Praying that you will not succumb to the temptations satan will send into your life. If you look back on your life, look back on those people, those circumstances that clearly were not from God but from the enemy, you will remember that "frozen moment in time" when that "still small voice" was speaking to you, trying to warn you. In that moment, you KNEW, you KNEW, you KNEW, that this person, this circumstance was NOT from God and you should RUN. Like I shared with you one day last week, we must run FROM sin, not run TO sin.
Know that God loves you very much and has given us wonderful defense mechanisms to protect us from the evil one. God has given us a built-in alarm system like you have on your home. When someone tries to break in, the alarm sounds, lights come on, the police are called, it is obvious someone is trying to break in. Likewise, when satan sends a person, sends a circumstance into our lives, the alarm sounds within us as God's way of trying to protect us from falling into sin and destroying our life. God clearly warns us that that person, that circumstance is NOT from Him. It now becomes our choice to listen to God's warning or to ignore it.
Again, I will be praying for you today as God reveals to you those people and circumstances sent by satan. I will be praying that you will call upon His strength to not fall into satan's trap. Don't forget, the devil can't make you do anything. He can try and tempt you, try and trap you, but in the end, it is YOUR CHOICE. Satan is not subtle when he sends people and circumstances to destroy you, the key is for you to listen to God's warnings when they come and flee from temptation.
In His love and service,
Your friend and brother in Christ,