Sunday, 27 April 2014

Don't let Satan get an advantage {fighting ignorance}

I am loving how the Lord is using my husband's sermons to speak to my heart about issues that relate to women and the home. Loving that He not only speaks to my heart, and the heart of those in the congregation, but that I can share it on here, too.

Today's sermon was pretty hard-hitting, and oh so important.  This is the verse he preached about...

"Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices." 
II Corinthians 2:11

I know that I don't like anyone taking advantage of me. Being used, in an underhanded way, to benefit others and negatively affect me.   You often see warnings on the internet, or TV shows, telling you how you need to look out for scammers and tricksters, and what you need to be aware of in order to not let them take advantage of you.

If we need to be careful about people taking advantage, how much more vigilant we need to be about SATAN taking advantage of us.  We can NOT be ignorant of his devices. Our lives are too important, and our hearts should so desire to honour God, that we cannot let the devil get in.

You know, that's what the devil wants to do in our homes.

He wants to start off in our lives, on a personal level. He wants to tempt us and try us in our physical appetites, spiritual attitudes and our earthly ambitions (husband's outline, not mine!). He finds out our weaknesses, and he seeks to get in and use them against us.  If that's what he's trying to do, we need to make sure WE know our own weaknesses.  We need to take a long, honest, hard look at our lives, and identify where we are weak, in order to fight against his attacks.  Do we struggle with gluttony, pride, selfishness, a bad temper, sinful habits, impatience, unkindness, lack of love?  We need to read God's Word, seeking His teaching and truths about our lives, then plead with Him to open our eyes and hearts to identify where we are struggling. If we know, we can be armed, ready to fight off Satan's attacks, with prayer and scripture, and God's strength enabling us to win the battle.

On a personal level, we need to remember that Satan came and tempted Jesus - God himself. He used scripture - God's own words - to try and tempt to sin.  Satan will come along like that in our lives - try and turn us away from faith and trust, and tempt us to sin, instead.  Trust God's Word. Don't doubt it's truth, and God's ability to be faithful and true.

Don't be ignorant of his devices.

Single ladies (yes, I know you're reading this...) - he wants you to think that being single is a desperate state, and finding a man is all you need to complete yourself.  He'll tell you that once you meet someone, you don't need to be fussy, and so long as there is a glimmer of spirituality, that's worth pursuing.  He'll tell you that if you see imperfections, you will be able to sort them out after you're married, with a bit of nagging and persuasion. He'll tell you that pushing boundaries in your physical relationship, before you're married, is ok, because, well, you are getting married at some point, right? He'll tell you that you don't need to see eye to eye on primary issues, because you'll work him round to your perspective, or else it will work out by compromising, or something, surely?...

Don't be ignorant of his devices.  Seek God first, and His righteousness. Be complete in HIM.  Make sure you have unity established before you even pursue a friendship, or there will be a hard, rocky road ahead, fraught with problems, once you marry. Set boundaries to avoid temptations of the devil.

He wants, more than so many other things, to destroy our marriages.

Oh, sweet sisters, don't be ignorant of his devices.

He whispers things to us, oh so subtly.

"You don't have to put up with your husband's behaviour - you deserve more than that - you need to leave him"

"You're not to blame - look for HIS faults, not your own - it's up to him to sort out the problems in your marriage, and you're not to blame at all"

"It's OK not to submit to your husband.  Submission is old-fashioned and you don't have to follow every rule in the Bible. Do your own thing, you don't have to do what HE says... you'll be happier if you please yourself"

"You can be out living like a single woman after you are married - two shall be one? - nonsense, you can still be your own person and carry on as you always did - it won't do any harm - he needs to let you have your way, or you'll be miserable"

"You don't have to change if he doesn't - wait for him to change, and then you can start worrying about your own life, otherwise it's not fair"

Don't be ignorant to his devices. Don't listen to his sly, destructive suggestions. Know what God's Word teaches you about marriage - don't doubt its truth - take God at His Word, and obey.

He wants to destroy our families.

He'll tell you that that what the world teaches is more important than what the Bible teaches about training our children.

He'll tell you that children know better than their parents, and you need to pander to their every whim.

He'll tell you that being their friend matters more than being their parent.

He'll tell you that so long as they're happy, you'll be happy.

He'll tell you that giving them everything you can, materially, matters more than anything else.

He'll tell you that it's better to make the easy choices, than the hard choices, so you don't look too "different".

Don't be ignorant to his devices.  Strive to seek God's wisdom as you raise your family, and make choices about their upbringing. Makes choices based on scripture, not the world's wisdom. Have an eternal perspective, not an earthly one.

Every day, every moment, don't be ignorant of his devices. Put your armour on. Stand firm. Have a walk that's so close to God, that Satan can't squirm his way in between. Keep your eyes lifted high, and off yourself.

Don't let Satan get the advantage.

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