1 Peter 5:8 (ESV)
8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
TRUTH:As we are faced with NEW LEVELS spiritually, we can be sure that NEW DEVILS will follow.
Note:A sure way to avoid NEW DEVILS is to stay at the same level. Yet, with this mindset, so goes the blessings of God.
4 DEVILS to be faced as we strive for new LEVELS:
1. THE DEVIL OF DISTRACTION – Heb. 12:2
Hebrews 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Yogi Berra story:
There is a story involving Yogi Berra, the well-known catcher for the New York Yankees, and Hank Aaron, who at that time was the chief power hitter for the Milwaukee Braves. The teams were playing in the World Series. Yogi was keeping up his ceaseless chatter, intended to pep up his teammates on the one hand, and distract the Milwaukee batters on the other. As Aaron came to the plate, Yogi tried to distract him by saying, "Henry, you’re holding the bat wrong. You’re supposed to hold it so you can read the trademark." Aaron didn’t say anything, but when the next pitch came he hit it into the left-field bleachers. After rounding the bases and tagging home plate, Aaron looked at Yogi Berra and said, "I didn’t come up here to read."
TRUTH:DON’T GIVE PLACE TO THE DEVIL OF DISTRACTION.
2. THE DEVIL OF DEFICIENCY – Col. 2:10
Col. 2:10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:
Illustration:America is suffering from a spiritual deficiency.
• It is spiritual deficiency that took prayer out of public schools
• It is spiritual deficiency that legalized abortion
• It is spiritual deficiency that has placed a greater emphasis of politically correctness over biblical correctness.
• It is spiritual deficiency that has perverted God’s plan for marriage
• It is spiritual deficiency that is causing the breakdown of the home.
• It is spiritual deficiency that can rob the power of God from God’s people.
TRUTH:DON’T GIVE PLACE TO THE DEVIL OF DEFICIENCY.
3. THE DEVIL OF DISCOURAGEMENT – Gal. 6:9
TRUTH:More of us will become victimized by this devil than any other devil in the year to come.
Galatians 6:9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
1 Samuel 30:6 And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.
TRUTH:WHY FIND ENCOURAGEMENT IN THE LORD?
1. He has promised never to leave us
2. He will never forsake us.
3. He will never let us down.
4. He is always faithful to His promises.
Note:DISCOURAGEMENT IS NOT A SIN, BUT IT IS A STRUGGLE.
PROBLEM:MOST PEOPLE FLEE THE TWO SOURCES OF VICTORY OVER DISCOURAGEMENT WHEN IT IS NEEDED THE MOST:
i. PRESENCE OF GOD
ii. PEOPLE OF GOD
TRUTH:The spiritual battle is one that must be fought at a unified army of God living in subjection to the Great Leader.
Many years ago a young mid-western lawyer suffered from such deep depression that his friends thought it best to keep all knives and razors out of his reach. He questioned his life’s calling and the prudence of even attempting to follow it through. During this time he wrote, "I am now the most miserable man living. Whether I shall ever be better, I cannot tell. I awfully forebode I shall not." But somehow, from somewhere, Abraham Lincoln received the encouragement he needed, and the achievements of his life thoroughly vindicated his bout with discouragement.
TRUTH:DON’T GIVE PLACE TO THE DEVIL OF DISCOURAGEMENT.
4. THE DEVIL OF DIVISION – Ps. 133:1
Psalm 133:1 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!
Saber tooth cats killing each other:
AN issue of NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC included a photograph of the fossil remains of two saber-tooth cats locked in combat. To quote the article: “One had bitten deep into the leg bone of the other, a thrust that trapped both in a common fate. The cause of the death of the two cats is a clear as the causes of the extinction of their species are obvious.
TRUTH:Just as the divisive, selfish conduct killed both cats, the same can be true of the Spiritual vitality of Christians.
• PROMISES OF VICTORY FROM JESUS:
Psalm 60:12 Through God we shall do valiantly: for he it is that shall tread down our enemies.
1 Cor. 15:57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Romans 8:37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
1 John 4:4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
Matthew 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
• THE VICTORY DAY PREDICTED IN THE FOLLOWING PASSAGE DECLARING THE DOOM OF SATAN AND HIS FOLLOWERS:
Rev. 20:10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
TRUTH:THE DEVIL WILL TAKE US DOWN WITH HIM IF WE LET HIM.
Will you let today be the day you join the winning side?
Are you being held back from new spiritual levels due to the devil?
This Sunday, we begin the new year with a new series at Calvary entitled, “FAITH FACTOR”. Join us this Sunday at Calvary as we DISCOVER HOW TO FACE THE FUTURE WITH FAITH.
REMEMBER, GOD LOVES YOU AND SO DO WE AT CALVARY!!!!!
Posted on Fri, December 30, 2016
by David Goins