Strategies of the Enemy sermon
Have you ever spent time trying to figure out if it’s God or the devil telling you something? I think all of us have at one time or another, especially if you are a new Christian and are learning; trying to figure things out. We need to know the strategies of our enemy, Satan. , and one of them is his being able to quote scripture to you and you think it is God speaking to you. Remember, Satan used to be God’s most beautiful angel and can quote any scriptures to try and fool you into believing it is God, while he tries to lead you astray. “He can masquerade as an angel of light”, as it is written in 2 Corinthians 11:14. He can access every strategy in the world to try and destroy you and your relationship with Christ Jesus. The enemy’s goal is to keep you away from God and His Son, Jesus Christ so that you will join him in hell! We need the full armor of God to be able to withstand his craftiness and deceit each and every day.
In 1 Peter 5:8 God says to…Be well balanced (temperate, sober of mind), Be vigilant and cautious at all times; for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring [in fierce hunger], seeking someone to seize upon and devour. Satan is a strong enemy; he is not compared to a lion and a dragon for no reason. We, as Christians, cannot afford to be ignorant of his strategies. The good news is that Jesus Christ is the LION OF JUDAH!! and is so very much more powerful than the devil. After all, Satan is a being created by God himself and Jesus is God’s Son. 1 John 1:4 tells us…Ye are of God, my little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He (Jesus) that lives in you than he (Satan) that lives in this world. And in Romans 8:37 in the amplified Bible it says…Yet amid all these things we are more than conquerors and gain a surpassing victory through Him who loves us. A spiritual battle is going on in this world as well as in the heavenlies. In Daniel 10:13-20, Daniel wrote, “Satan’s angels struggle against God’s angels for the control of nations”. You and I are a part of this battle. Knowing this makes “walking in victory” a crucially important thing to us and to God.
Colossians 1:13 (Amplified Bible) explains; The Father has delivered and drawn us to himself out of the control and the dominion of darkness and has transferred us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, who is Jesus Christ. And again, in Luke 10:19 (Amplified Bible), Behold! I have given you authority and power to trample upon serpents and scorpions, and [physical and mental strength and ability] over all the power that the enemy [possesses]; and nothing shall in any way harm you.
A choice strategy of Satan’s is dissention; being cynical and judgmental within the body of Christ. He will crawl through any little crack in your foundation to get to you. There is entirely too much offense in the church today, and this is one of the signs of the end times as well. Jesus told us in Matthew 24:10-12… (10) And many will turn away from me and betray and hate each other (11) And many false prophets will appear and will deceive many people (12) Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold. The enemy will talk to you through thoughts and through people, some of whom are close to you and don’t realize they are being unwittingly used. They may say hurtful things to you and make you feel badly, but don’t hold a grudge as Satan wants you to do. Do not be offended if your feelings are hurt by someone who loves you, and you thought should know better. Take a deep breath and forgive them as you show them the love of Christ, as JESUS wants us to do. Satan, our enemy, uses offense to push in a wedge between us and God so that we will be ineffective witnesses for Christ. Would you rather be in a church that is warm and welcoming, or, in one that gives you dirty looks because perhaps you don’t have a way to get a shower before coming to church (such as a homeless person). There are so many hurting people who very much need to be shown love and compassion, especially in today’s oppressive world. God’s love is all inclusive and that means everyone, not just those who smell good and look pretty. We are not to judge someone by the way they look for looks can be deceiving. Remember, as I mentioned before, in the scriptures it says that the devil himself can come to you disguised as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14) and that he is the master deceiver. After all he was created as God’s most beautiful angel; a worship angel, and was loved by God before he chose to rebel against God. Another tactic of the enemy that he quite often favors is discouragement. This can indeed be a devastating tool in our corporate worship as a church, or individually. When we become discouraged we can often lose hope and this, in turn, causes us to give up. Say for instance, that we are planning a wonderful service for homecoming (just an example) and the chosen special speaker comes down with the flu at the last moment. It is very tempting to become discouraged and postpone the entire service. This could be detrimental to that one person whom the Holy Spirit was tugging on to come, but the change of plans discouraged them from coming to church at all that day. That may have been the time they were open to salvation. Discouragement can have quite the domino effect and the enemy will absolutely use it to his advantage to keep us from reaching our full potential; be it encouraging and uplifting a severely depressed person or preaching the gospel and reaching many souls for Christ; disrupting the plan that God has for us. Again, this could in turn cause murmuring and grumbling within the ranks, so to speak, and work to further put in that wedge between us and God.
How Teens View Heaven
I came across this letter I had saved from a previous year concerning how a teen saw heaven. It was posted by his parents after he tragically died so very young and I would like to pass on their wish to share it with the world.
A TEENAGER'S VIEW OF HEAVEN
17-year-old Brian Moore had only a short time to write something for a class. The subject was what Heaven was like. "I wowed 'em," he later told his father, Bruce. "It's a killer. It's the bomb. It's the best thing I ever wrote." It also was the last. Brian Moore died May 27, 1997, the day after Memorial Day. He was driving home from a friend's house when his car went off Bulen-Pierce Road in Pickaway County and struck a utility pole. He emerged from the wreck unharmed but stepped on a downed power line and was electrocuted. The Moores framed a copy of Brian's essay and hung it among the family portraits in the living room. "I think God used him to make a point. I think we were meant to find it and make something out of it," Mrs. Moore said of the essay. She and her husband want to share their son's vision of life after death. "I'm happy for Brian. I know he's in heaven. I know I'll see him." Brian's Essay: The Room...
In that place between wakefulness and dreams, I found myself in the room. There were no distinguishing features except for the one wall covered with small index card files. They were like the ones in libraries that list titles by author or subject in alphabetical order. But these files, which stretched from floor to ceiling and seemingly endless in either direction, had very different headings. As I drew near the wall of files, the first to catch my attention was one that read "Girls I have liked." I opened it and began flipping through the cards. I quickly shut it, shocked to realize that I recognized the names written on each one. And then without being told, I knew exactly where I was. This lifeless room with its small files was a crude catalog system for my life. Here were written the actions of my every moment, big and small, in a detail my memory couldn't match. A sense of wonder and curiosity, coupled with horror, stirred within me as I began randomly opening files and exploring their content. Some brought joy and sweet memories; others a sense of shame and regret so intense that I would look over my shoulder to see if anyone was watching. A file named "Friends" was next to one marked "Friends I have betrayed." The titles ranged from the mundane to the outright weird "Books I Have Read," "Lies I Have Told," "Comfort I have given", "Jokes I Have Laughed at." Some were almost hilarious in their exactness: "Things I've yelled at my brothers." Others I couldn't laugh at: "Things I Have Done in My anger", "Things I Have Muttered under My Breath at My Parents." I never ceased to be surprised by the contents. Often there were many more cards than I expected. Sometimes fewer than I hoped. I was overwhelmed by the sheer volume of the life I had lived. Could it be possible that I had the time in my years to fill each of these thousands or even millions of cards? But each card confirmed this truth. Each was written in my own handwriting. Each signed with my signature. When I pulled out the file marked "TV Shows I have watched", I realized the files grew to contain their contents. The cards were packed tightly, and yet after two or three yards, I hadn't found the end of the file. I shut it, shamed, not so much by the quality of shows, but more by the vast time I knew that file represented. When I came to a file marked "Lustful Thoughts," I felt a chill run through my body. I pulled the file out only an inch, not willing to test its size and drew out a card. I shuddered at its detailed content. I felt sick to think that such a moment had been recorded. An almost animal rage broke on me. One thought dominated my mind: No one must ever see these cards! No one must ever see this room! I have to destroy them!" In insane frenzy I yanked the file out. Its size didn't matter now .I had to empty it and burn the cards. But as I took it at one end and began pounding it on the floor, I could not dislodge a single card. I became desperate and pulled out a card, only to find it as strong as steel when I tried to tear it. Defeated and utterly helpless, I returned the file to its slot. Leaning my forehead against the wall, I let out a long, self-pitying sigh. And then I saw it. The title bore "People I Have Shared the Gospel with." The handle was brighter than those around it, newer, almost unused. I pulled on its handle and a small box not