As we approached Easter 06 there were numerous times I felt as though the enemy was lurking and ready to attack. Weather it is through discord and disunity, breaking equipment, or gossip and slander, there are times the devil can use circumstances and people in attempt to foil God’s plans. In Matthew 16 Jesus announced his death and suffering to his disciples. When hearing this Peter rebuked Jesus saying, “Never, Lord… this shall never happen to you.” At this point Jesus said in verse 23, “Get behind me, Satan!” Yes, God is sovereign, but he does warn us against our vulnerability to the attacks of the enemy.
Here are some ways that Satan and demons act out in the gospels:
Lying, John 8:44
Murdering, John 8:44
Tempting, Matthew 4:1
Sifting, Luke 22:31
Binding, causing disease, Luke 13:16
Snatching away the Word, Matthew 13:19
Enticing into moral and sexual impurity, Luke 4:33, 36
Causing mental disorders, Luke 8:26-35
Indwelling people and animals, Luke 8:2, Mark 5:8-14
One of the first ways we can be ready for the battle is to be aware of our enemy. Not to meditate or obsess about the enemy, but be aware. Mainstream evangelicals resist this reality to a fault, but we mustn’t fall into this area of naivety. Ephesians 6:10-12 reminds us “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
In closing, Pastor Jeff will be preaching a message on May 13th & 14th that is entitled “Jesus the Healer and Exorcist.” In this message he will address the lessons we can learn from how Jesus dealt with the Devil and demons. Also, in case you were wondering, the photo of the shark and kayaker is a true photo taken from a September 2005 article in "Africa Geographic".