07 September 2007

Silence and Satan - Part 2

Being out on a boat in the middle of no where is a lonely place… and unfortunately there is only one person to blame when things go wrong and only one person to point the finger at… so here’s a few reasons why I’ve kept silent about Satan for so long…

REASON #1: If I acknowledge that Satan is at work then I have to respond…

This has been my biggest struggle… I’m not ready to be one of those flame throwing, demon chasing, snake handling, Satan binding preachers… besides why should I bind Satan when Scripture already has promised that he will be bound (Rev. 20:2)? And why should I bind him if God is permitting him to do his work (Job 1:8-12; 2:3-6; 2 Corinthians 12:7-10; 1 Peter 5:8-11)?

But on the other hand… I don’t want to be a tackling dummy when I’m allowed to fight back. I want to be ready to stand my ground… I don’t want to be a pacifist when God is putting a sword in my hand… so it was time to stop clutching my shield with two hands and running from the enemy…

My first attack failed… thinking that I was now Benny Hinn I invited my demon-possessed student to my office for an exorcism… now the demon didn’t grab me and beat me like the Seven sons of Sceva (Acts 19:13-16)… but to make a long story short I became tongue tied and didn’t have a clue what to say…

So I went back to the armory…. This time instead of watching Deliverance Hour on TBN and copying the script (which in hind sight if I do again I’ll make sure to memorize the script)… no, this time I realized I didn’t need to yell and call down power from heaven… all I need to do is combat the lies of Satan with the truth of God’s Word (Ephesians 6:17), while pleading God for a big assist ((6:18)… seemed to work for Jesus (Matthew 4:1-11).

REASON #2: Satan is good at deflecting attention… and keeps us fighting in the wrong battles (Eph 6:12; 2 Cor 2:5-11)

Recently I got pretty frustrated at another persons actions towards me … I’m being vague on purpose… just go with it! I couldn’t believe that they were doing something to intentional hurt me and I started to see that they had a hidden agenda… I was ready to strike back!

Fortunately for me that opportunity to strike back didn’t come… until they struck me again! Dumbfounded… I wasn’t able to respond. That night I prayed for fire from hell to burn that person… aren’t we supposed to pray for our enemies?

The next day I went to them… with a verbal arsenal ready comparable to the arsenal that Jack Bauer carries in the back of his CTU SUV. As I was about to begin my verbal firing… something struck me… ask the person what their motives were for their actions? Taking a deep breathe… since my heart was about ready to jump out of my chest…. I calmly asked…. or as calmly as I could...

The response amazed me… their motives were the same as mine (that is my motives before I took up the Jack Bauer arsenal) … even though they took a different course of action… we were working together for the same goal. The real problem was my mind was full of lies… who put them there?

Could it have been someone who likes to divide believers against each other (2 Cor. 2:9-11; Eph. 4:26-27)?

Could it have come from a known liar (John 8:44)?

Isn’t it amazing that I was ready to pound my teammate while my opponent was preparing to score….

And yes it is possible that those thoughts were all mine from the beginning (Jeremiah 17:9) but it sure seemed like they were getting an assist?

REASON #3: Satan is hard to recognize… or maybe he just looks too good to resist (2 Corinthians 11:14)

If I took off the blinders and saw my sin as God sees it… I’m pretty sure I’d see Satan in a short skirt and pom-poms… cheering me all the way!

1 comment:

David A. Rusco said...

Hi Jeff. I agree, I don’t think binding is the issue. God is permitting him to do his work, but He is also permitting us to do our work at the same time. “Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil (Eph. 6:11). It sounds like the believer has the responsibility to put on God’s armor, and then to stand firm against the devil’s schemes. It actually sounds like combat when Paul writes to the believer, “take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist” (Eph. 6:13). Paul says the evil one is actually shooting at us. But with faith “you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one” (Eph 6:16). Peter says the devil is trying to devour us. You shouldn’t be binding him, but we should be actively resisting him, and teaching others to do the same. Some of our brothers and sisters need training and equipping. Some are wounded soldiers that need healing. It’s an interesting paradox that God’s kingdom of light is growing in the midst of darkness. We see life and death, light and darkness, wheat and tares, God and Satan, holy angels and fallen angels, all working at the same time. And then the following wonder.
20 Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, (God’s power working in us to accomplish the “far more abundantly beyond all”). And all for God’s glory. 21 to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen (Eph 3:20-21). My prayers are with you and your family.