During the days of Ahaz, King of Judah, two evil kings conspired to attack the city of Jerusalem. These were Rezin, king of Syria, and Pekah, king of backslidden Israel. This was an unholy alliance of a gentile nation and God’s people who had walked away from their faith. Together, non-believers and unsanctified believers become a formidable team. They will fight to the death over an ungodly cause. They argue over things that have nothing to do with God’s purposes just to win the battle. And they are an embarrassment to God because the non-believing world is watching.
After telling us of this unlikely team attacking Jerusalem (which means ‘the city of peace’), Isaiah added the little phrase “but [they] could not prevail against it” (Isaiah 7:1). The rest of the chapter gives us the details of how and why the invasion failed.
I fully expect both non-Christians and deceived believers to be working hard to hinder what God’s new move is attempting to accomplish. The Book of Acts gives us many examples. Church history is filled with examples. My own life experience serving in the church from 1971 to today is loaded with examples. But, as we look back, God’s kingdom progresses. The enemy could not prevail against the spiritually mature. And he cannot.
Face your enemy with courage. Stand on what you know to be the truth. Don’t compromise your Christian values. Peter said, “Your adversary, the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). Stay on your guard.
Tags: peace, Satan, war
Evangelist Oral Roberts was always good at using simple illustrations for spiritual principles. He once told the following story:
“A Sunday school teacher, desiring to help her first grade students understand truth, came upon a simple illustration. She wrote the word “devil” on the chalkboard, then she erased the letter “d”, making the word “evil”.
‘The devil is evil,’ she said, ‘because he always takes away from us.’ Then she wrote the word “God” on the chalkboard and added an “o”, making the word “good.”
‘But God is good,’ she explained, ‘because He is always giving to us.’
Then Oral Roberts summarized, “The devil is a thief who comes to rob us of our joy and hope, our finances, our health, and even life itself. But our God is a giver, ever pouring His blessings upon us from His rich abundance. He is the giver of joy, peace, assurance, comfort, hope, and every other blessing we enjoy in life. And so that we might have eternal life, He gave us the greatest gift of all. He gave His Son to die for our sins.”
Tags: good, Satan
In the Australian bush country grows a little plant called the “sundew”. It has a slender stem and tiny, round leaves fringed with hairs that glisten with bright drops of liquid as delicate as fine dew. Woe to the insect, however, that dares to dance on it. Although its attractive clusters of red, white, and pink blossoms are harmless, the leaves are deadly. The shiny moisture on each leaf is sticky and will imprison any bug that touches it. As an insect struggles to free itself, the vibration causes the leaves to close tightly around it. This innocent-looking plant then feeds on its victim.
Satan doesn’t tempt us with ugly, painful things. He tempts us with lovely, exciting things and then springs his trap. Ugly and painful are the results of his snare. I lived long enough in a sinful lifestyle that I know the devastation the deceitful trap came bring. I know what being trapped feels like.
Paul said, “Your adversary, the devil, walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). Keep your eyes open for the trap today.
Tags: deceit, Satan, temptation, trap
In his book The Life That God Blesses, author and pastor Gordon MacDonald records that Oscar Wilde once told this meaningful story:
The devil was once crossing the Libyan desert, and he came upon a spot where a number of small fiends were tormenting a holy hermit. The sainted man easily shook off their evil suggestions. The devil watched their failure, and then he stepped forward to give them a lesson.
“What you do is too crude,” he said. “Permit me for one moment.”
With that he whispered to the holy man, “Your brother has just been made bishop of Alexandria.” A scowl of malignant jealousy at once clouded the serene face of the hermit.
“That,” said the devil to his imps, “Is the sort of thing which I should recommend.”
Tags: envy, Satan
We got a phone call from our bank the other day. It seems there were some unusual charges coming through on our Visa card. We don’t use it that often, so the likelihood of our number getting into the hands of someone else is slim. But, someone had ordered $150 in tickets to a cinema and ordered a sex book, among other things, in Great Britain, using my Visa card number!
Fortunately, because we have our Visa card through a local bank, they are covering the loss (over $500) and canceled my card. I have no idea how they got my number, so I can’t take action to keep it from happening again in the future. Its a scary feeling to be vulnerable to outright thieves like that.
But, it is the very nature of Satan to steal, kill and destroy. We are constantly vulnerable to his thievery and only Jesus can cover the losses we incur. We need to make sure our identity is in Him!
Ever had your identity stolen?
Tags: identity, Satan, thief
The Devil was once crossing the Libyan Desert when he came upon a group of small friends who were tempting a holy hermit. They tried him with the seduction of the flesh, they sought to sow his mind with doubts and fears, they told him that all his austerities were worth nothing. But it was all in vain. The holy man was impeccable.
Then the Devil stepped forward. Addressing the imps he said, “Your methods are too crude. Permit me for one moment to make a recommendation.” Going up to the hermit, he asked, “Have you heard the news? Your brother has been made Bishop of Alexandria.” Then a scowl of malignant jealousy clouded the serene face of the holy man.
What do you think? Would that tactic work on you?
Tags: jealousy, Satan, temptation
‘A Mighty Fortress’, verse 3:
And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us:
The Prince of Darkness grim, we tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure; one little word shall fell him.
Satan is depicted as the ultimate enemy, and he has filled the earth with demonic influences. At times, it appears that Satan, the Prince of Darkness, is winning, and we are about to fall. But we are to be encouraged that judgement day is coming and Satan shall surely be the one who falls.
So, Christian, you can endure Satan’s attacks! You can withstand his temptations! One little word shall cause him to fall. What do you think that little word is?
Tags: Satan, temptation, word