Daily Thought - "dealing With The Devil"

Discussion in 'Thoughts for Today' started by anthony wade, Nov 17, 2012.

  1. “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift each of you like wheat. But I have pleaded in prayer for you, Simon, that your faith should not fail. So when you have repented and turned to me again, strengthen your brothers.” – Luke 22: 31-32 (NLT)

    Nothing creates more opinions than dealing with the devil. The Bible says that he is the enemy to our souls and he prowls like a lion looking for someone to devour. You have poor theology on both sides of the devil. Some say that Christians pay him too much attention and should just put him out of their mind. While it is true that we often blame the devil for our own failings in the flesh, it is extremely dangerous to think you can just ignore him because we will do so at our own peril. The other side says that we need to be constantly in fear of him. That is equally foolish because we are to take authority, stand on God’s Word and resist him and watch him flee. As with everything there needs to be a balance. He is a worthy adversary but he is a defeated foe. This exchange between Jesus and Peter from the key verses reveals some further insight for us to realize today.

    First of all, we must remember that God is acutely aware of the enemy’s incursions into our lives. Specifically here Jesus intimates that the devil had to ask permission to sift the disciples as wheat. Similarly, in the Book of Job we see that the devil could not have done anything to Job without God approving of it first. But what does sifting wheat refer to? Here is a description:

    “First, harvesters gathered the wheat stalks from the field. Then, they beat the stalks against a hard surface or used farm animals to pull a threshing sledge over the stalks to break them into pieces. This process dislodged the grain from the stalks and the husks. Next, the farmers tossed the mixture into the air. The kernels, or whole seeds of grain, fell back onto the threshing floor, while the breeze blew the chaff away. Finally, the kernels were carefully sifted to remove from them any undesirable materials.”

    Think about this the next time you think you want to underestimate the enemy. Jesus used the illustration of wheat because He knew the disciples would understand the reference. What the devil intends for evil however, God uses for good. While the devil is content with beating the stalks against a hard surface and pulling a threshing sledge over them to break them into pieces God is busy separating the chaff from the kernels and then removing any undesirable materials. It is the process of confrontation with the enemy that we can be strengthened in our faith and draw closer to God. It is an opportunity for God to remove from us the chaff that makes us impure. Specifically here the enemy was going to instill in the disciples the fear and uncertainty of the impending cross to drive them away from Jesus and abandon Him. While the devil would win the battle, he would lose the war when the disciples would return and proceed to turn the world upside down spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ.

    The next insight we must take away from the key verses is that prayer is more powerful than the devil. Jesus could have stopped the devil from messing with the disciples. He could have not given the enemy permission. Instead He submitted the matter into prayer because ultimately God is in charge of everything. Sometimes when we are struggling in the valley we forget prayer or relegate it to a second tier of attack. Instead we seek out our friends for advice, we seek out the solutions of the world, or we over-church the problem. Prayer is our direct life line to God and should be our number one means of combating the attacks of the enemy:

    And we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him. And since we know he hears us when we make our requests, we also know that he will give us what we ask for. – 1John 5: 14-15 (NLT)

    Thirdly, the key verses reveal the true nature of the problem when confronting the enemy is always faith. Did Jesus pray that Peter be able to beat up the enemy? Did He pray that the disciples grow their endurance, strength or even Scriptural knowledge? No. He prayed that their faith should not fail. He did so because underlying any confrontation with the enemy is a struggle over what we believe. The Bible refers to Satan as the father of lies and says that when he lies he is speaking his native language. The devil is not bilingual! All he does is lie! What is he lying about? God! We hear all the time people claiming that the devil made them do it. This is always untrue. If the devil could make you do anything he would kill you. No, the truth is the devil cannot make us do anything. All he can do is present us with a thought that is in direct opposition to the word of God and what we believe as Christians. All he can do is attack our faith. The choice is always ours to decide who we are going to believe.

    Lastly, we see that Jesus understands that we will fall from time to time. He knew the disciples would abandon Him. He told Peter he would deny Him three times. God does not expect perfection in execution. He expects that we keep getting up every time we fall and march forward, towards Him. But there is a process after we fall. That process requires repentance – a dirty word in many church circles today. It is critical that we go to God with our shortcomings in order to receive His forgiveness:

    If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts. – 1John 1: 8-10 (NLT)

    Too often these days we marginalize our sin. We rationalize it. We find “godly” excuses for it. We justify it in our own minds so that we do not have to go to God and admit what He already knows. I have written before that there is no more dangerous place to be than being in need of repentance yet still thinking you have done nothing wrong. I have heard the misguided logic that we do not know if someone has repented to God or not but the Scripture always clarifies:

    Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God. – Matthew 3: 8 (NLT)

    Not prove by our words but by how we live our lives. The NIV calls it “fruit of repentance.” Fruit is always something that can be easily judged. The devil is very real beloved. He is not some caricature with a red suit and pitchfork. He hates you and me and will stop at nothing to make us ineffectual for the kingdom of God. We must realize today that God is aware – we are never alone no matter how deep the valley goes. The sifting process might be painful but God will use it for our good and His glory. Whenever we are confronted by the enemy it always is a matter of our faith. He is attacking what we believe. That is why Jesus responded to the devil in the desert with the Word of God only! Lastly, we must recognize that there are no super-spiritual people. If King David and Peter the Rock can fall – so can I. But we get up and turn back to God in true repentance, producing fruit, and come out of the battle stronger in our faith and more determined than ever to continue to follow Jesus.

    Rev. Anthony
  2. Very good post...:)
  3. Thank you sir

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