In the concluding part of our Series on the “Chess game” between wily ole’ Serpent and God’s children, today we come to some more of the Satan’s strategies to trip a believer.
What would the devil not do to make Christians fight with one another? If it is publicly all the more better … for it would serve his wicked ends of publicly tarnishing image of our good Lord. Ideally, when there is agape love in the hearts of God’s children, this problem would not arise. But there may be friction between two Christians on account of different levels of spiritual growth or it may be on account of doctrinal differences or perceived unfairness in business deals. This is where magnanimity or the greater spiritual maturity of one of the individuals (may be the one at the receiving end) ought to come to the fore to rescue the situation (Luke 12:48). For the Lord expects more from those to whom He has given more …
Say Child of God, is there any friction in your marriage or your Church? Without succumbing to the Satan’s temptation of “getting even” with the ‘hurting ones’, have you prayed to the good Lord along with those “hurting you” to take away any bitterness (Heb 12:15) from everyone’s heart, so that the Lord is pleased and His Name glorified?
Sometimes the devil will trip you (I would be the first to admit that he tripped me many a time), and worse urge, you to remain “in a fallen condition”. ‘You are of no use to the Almighty,’ he would whisper sinisterly into your ears, ‘you might as well call it quits!’ But do not let his words of discouragement “pin” you down. Remember the great Saints like David, Jonah and Peter who “got up from the canvas, after being down for a count” with a repentant heart and fought the “good fight for the Lord”. Claim the promise in 1 John 1:9 … Hey, Anand lost game 7, briefly went into a depression, and bounced back to win game 8 resoundingly. By the way, please do not take the comparison to its logical conclusion. Let me categorically state here: Gelfand is no devil …
It is historically proven that people can perish because of lack of spiritual knowledge (Hosea 4:6). Satan would try his best to obliterate from the minds of the believers the constant reminder (2 Tim 3:16,17) to be well versed in the Bible. He knows very well that if believers start claiming the Biblical promises (there are more than 7000 of them), he would not be able to sow seeds of doubt in their minds as to God’s goodness and faithfulness. In the absence of sound Biblical instruction, we are prone to delve deep into the deep, dry wells of self-sufficiency instead of waiting upon Him to provide for our needs (2 Corinthians 12:9) and that’s exactly what our spiritual adversary wants! Remember Asa’s self-sufficient ways of folly and the tragic consequences (2 Chronicles 16:1-9)?
Our Lord Jesus himself countered Satan in the midst of his temptations in the wilderness by quoting the Scriptures (Deuteronomy 8:3, 6:16, 6:13). Our Lord’s method of nullifying the Satanic temptations is still the best way to neutralize the latter’s subtle tricks.
While on the subject of Scriptures, disguised as legitimate doubts, would come some posers from the wily ole’ enemy …
Can you, living in the NT era, claim the Biblical promises of the OT era? The answer to that question is a resounding YES, all of the promises given to Abraham apply to Christ (Gal 3:16/3:29), and since we are in Christ, they apply to us also … As such, WE CAN CLAIM THEM! HALLELUJAH!
Considering that there are as many as 31,102 verses in the Bible how can you recollect the right scripture portion to counter my temptations at the right time? To settle this doubt, once and for all we can claim this promise!
“But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will REMIND you of everything I have said to you.” (John 14:26)
We do the job of reading the Bible reverentially over and over again, God will do His of reminding us of the right Scripture portion, at the right time. We ought to do the possible, leaving the impossible to Him. When the men at Lazarus tomb did the POSSIBLE of removing the tombstone, and did Jesus not do the IMPOSSIBLE of raising his dead and decaying friend to life (John 11:38-44)?
The above guiles may be by no means, the only aces Satan has up his sleeve. However in conclusion, let me affirm the simple “TRUTH” that God gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ (I Cor 15:57). The secret of leading a victorious spiritual life (John 8:30-32) by steering clear of Satan’s lies, as always, lies on us carefully following the ONE WHO CLAIMED TO BE THE TRUTH (John 14:6)!
Finally folks claim these promises of “checkmating” the enemy …
“The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.” (I Cor 10:13)
“The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet …” (Romans 16:20)
Prayer: Father, let the overwhelming victory be always yours, even as you help us stand firm in the wake of several “mental” assaults of our enemy. In Jesus’ Name.
(To access the entire “Checkmate…Pal!” mini-series, please click here.)