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Be Not Ignorant of satan's Wiles and Intentions - Rev. Kola Ewuosho
IDENTIFYING THE ENEMY
The Bible is very clear in defining who our enemy is, what his wiles are, and what his allies are. Satan is the deceiver, opposer and adversary. He has allies in our flesh, the world and his cohorts (demons), so he takes advantage of the works of the flesh and the principles that govern how the world systems run; and through these means, deceives humanity into being against God and His purposes.
We are created for God"s pleasure. We are here to do His bidding. We find real fulfilment in finding and fulfilling God"s purposes for our lives. He created us and put in us all we need to fulfil the purpose He put us on earth for.
In 1 John 2:15-17, we read about the lusts of the eyes, the lusts of the flesh and pride of life. These are the governing principles that rule the world and all who live therein. Pride of life is when we seek our significance from our achievements rather than from our relationship with God. Lusts have to do with wanting, wanting, and wanting. What we have is never enough so we need to get the next thing. So they all work together to weave a web of entanglement that Satan uses to destroy the entire human race if allowed. He used the same tactics for Eve in the Garden of Eden as he did for Jesus on the mount of temptation in the wilderness. Each temptation from Satan was tied to one of these three things: lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh and pride of life. The marketing systems of the world are tied to these. The world"s system of motivation is wanting more and therefore seeking to get the next models of everything, otherwise you feel ‘out of touch" with things.
THREE LIES OF SATAN
Once Satan has sprung his trap caught his prey, he uses the following three lies:
1. You are powerless against your circumstances;
2. You are a victim to an unjust God; and finally,
3. God has abandoned you in the situation.
His goal is to paint God as unjust and unfair so he can break our love for and fellowship with God. He did it for Eve and he will do it for any and everyone.
I once heard a story of a pastor"s wife who was a very good singer, she had a wonderful voice and sang beautifully in church and church related programmes. One day a ‘voice" spoke to her mind, “you could be more famous, popular and earn a lot more money than you are doing here in church serving God”. She immediately recognised the ‘voice" as that of Satan and refused to think on such thoughts and prayed against such. The enemy sought another occasion and came back with the same thought patterns. He was relentless. She eventually gave in to the thoughts and began to imagine how popular she could really be and how rich too. She eventually had a divorce and left church to go sing at pubs. She got involved with other men and yielded completely to satan"s lies. He succeeded in stealing her marriage, killing God"s purpose in her life and destroying her family life.
In recent times, I see this trend again. The thoughts keep coming at people from various sources, “you can earn more than you are doing now serving God”. “You are just sitting down here in church when your mates are moving so far ahead of you”. “Look at your life, what have you achieved?” “Those who have stopped serving God have more money than you”... The thoughts may differ slightly from person to person, but it is along these lines of creating anxieties, worries over the future and generating fears of failure. On the one hand it is important to have a plan for the future, but God"s Word clearly states that we should not carry cares or anxieties. Is it possible to plan for the future without carrying cares and anxieties? Yes!
Let us see what is intrinsically wrong with these types of thoughts. Firstly, it is such a one-track thinking mode, life is never one-track. You don"t think in terms of just having money, or fame or any such thing without thinking about the health of relationships around you and your relationship with God. Secondly, such thinking encourages you to be ungrateful for what you have, hence you do not value anything that God has blessed you with. Thirdly, such thinking makes losers out of anyone who permits it. What you do not appreciate will lose its value in your estimation and you may lose it completely. For instance, when marriages lose their value, the relationship disintegrates. Also with that kind of anxiety, the mind is not in a position to think right so great things tend to elude such people. When we get things without the corresponding development of character and maturity, we tend to waste them, or use them wrongly. For many the lack of development in other areas is the reason for the great failures that they became in life.
There two dimensions of warfare: the personal and the cosmic dimensions. On the personal dimension, we have to deal with our thoughts, imaginations and strongholds. According to 2 Cor. 10:3-6, we are to “pull down strongholds, cast down imaginations and bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ”. We deal with our own thoughts when they are contrary to God"s Word in our lives. God"s Word says we should cast our cares on The Lord for He cares for us. We are admonished to be careful for nothing but in everything by prayer…. with thanksgiving we should make our requests known to God. “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and everything (we need) will be added to us”. The internal condition of our hearts and minds are is responsibility. Bringing our lives into harmony with God"s kingdom is a matter of warfare that many believers need to understand. Righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit is what describes the kingdom of God. Count it all joy, implies we should yield to the kingdom within rather than the trials without. It is the believer who has learnt to keep the forces of darkness at bay in his or her personal life, who can successfully deal with principalities and powers ruling regions of the earth. These (principalities and powers) rule by influencing thoughts and lifestyles. They are stopped when believers learn to resist the thoughts they send to our minds by replacing them with thoughts from God"s Word. Then, through prayers, we engage them with God"s power to bring their influence to an end. That is how we deal with the second dimension of warfare. Extended prayer and engaging different types of prayer releases tremendous power into the atmosphere and the ruler-ship of these forces is greatly reduced so that human beings can make intelligent decisions like submitting to the love and Lordship of Christ. God wants us to make progress but the process He takes us through is as important, if not more, than the outcome of our lives. It is in the process, that His character and nature are worked into us.
We all need the process God wants us to go through. With process we grow and we become; we do not just have things, rather we become people who can handle the things well.
So know that you are not a slave to your circumstances, you are not a victim to God who wants to punish you and He has not abandoned you. Know that God loves you and wants the best for you but also knows your frame and the effect of sin in our world so He works hard to protect us and prepare us for the future He has prepared for us. Believing the lies of the devil gives him a foothold to use our creative potential to create disasters in our own lives. Your imaginative ability has an element of creativity in it. The devil paints disasters on your imagination and if you carry that image long enough, you cause it to happen through the help of demons. So it"s time to arise and shine for your light has come! Your day of promotion is round the corner! Do not let anyone steal from you what God has ordained for you. Give Satan no room around your thoughts and words and actions.
May you be led forth with peace and go out with joy!
God bless you.