Monday Minutes With Pastor Chris McCool (December 12, 2022)

*Sorry about last week! I was out of town and unable to post.*

We have been looking at our primary enemy, the devil, as we learn about the spiritual warfare that we face. We have learned a little about his origins and his power, and today we want to look at some of his tactics. In order to combat him, we need to know a little bit about how he operates!

In 1 Pet. 5:8, Peter warns us, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” Notice that he compares Satan to a “lion.” This tells us a little bit about his tactics!

If you’ve ever watched the nature shows on TV, you know that the wildebeests don’t go marching up to the lion’s den! On the contrary, the lion slips up on the wildebeest in the wildebeest’s natural habitat. That’s how the devil operates when it comes to God’s children. He will slip up on you when you least expect him! He operates from ambush, and pounces when you’re not looking.

Moreover, a lion exploits the natural weaknesses of its prey and attacks at its most vulnerable point. If the prey has a lame leg, the pride will single this one out for attack. If the prey has a tendency to be a “loner,” and separate itself from the herd, the pride will approach and surround it and take it down! Likewise, the devil and his henchmen single out the weaknesses of our own personalities to exploit for his malicious attacks. More on that in a moment!

In John 8:44, we read a little more about the devil and his tactics: “. . . He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” Here we find another important principle: the devil’s design for us is death, and his method of effecting his designs is deceit! He lusts for power, and he lies to get it; he desires our death, and he deceives us to kill us!

Remember, my friends, that the very first time we see Satan interacting with mankind he is lying and deceiving! He told Eve that God really didn’t mean what He said, and that God was trying to keep her from something good. Gen. 3. We all know how that turned out! Because of his lies, we have sin in the world today.

Satan is still lying to us today! In our colleges and universities – so-called “institutions of higher learning” – our young people are being taught that evolution is fact and gender is fluid; that marriage is outdated and all kinds of fornication should be promoted. How did all those lies work out for the prodigal son? He found out that, while there is pleasure in sin for a season, ultimately the outcome is a slow, sad separation from the bounties of his father! He found himself in just about the worst place a young Jewish boy could find himself: right in the midst of the pigpen! My friends, the devil will deceive you and lead you straight to the pigpen of life!

I mentioned earlier that the devil will exploit your natural weaknesses and attack you at your lowest point. He knows you better than you know yourself in many ways, and turns your weaknesses against you in an effort to keep you out of the Kingdom of God (the Church)! For example, if you are a workaholic, he’ll tell you you’re too busy to engage in the Kingdom of God right now. If you have a weak constitution, he’ll tell you that you don’t have the strength to labor in the Kingdom of God right now. If you are fearful by nature, he’ll try to scare you away from the Kingdom of God through persecution, or fear of people, etc. If you are an extrovert, he’ll tell you there’s not enough people here in the Kingdom of God for you. If you are an introvert, he’ll tell you there’s TOO MANY people in the Kingdom of God for you!

If you are depressed, he’ll tell you there’s no hope for you to ever find peace in the Kingdom of God. If you are lacking in confidence, he’ll tell you that EVERYBODY’S better than you and there’s no need for you to even make the effort to join the Kingdom of God! If you think your life is in shambles, he’ll tell you that you don’t belong in the Kingdom of Gad because everybody else has it all together. If you are physically ill, he’ll tell you to check out from the Kingdom of God, you’re going to die anyway! If you have a short attention span or ADHD, he’ll distract you from the Kingdom of God. If you are an addictive personality, he’ll get you to obsess about ANYTHING OTHER than the Kingdom of God. If you are short tempered, he’ll cause you to lash out at those in the Kingdom of God. If you are overly sensitive, he’ll make you offended by those in the Kingdom of God!

Remember, the devil is not out to annoy you, he is out to destroy you! He desires to devour you in this life. Praise God, he can’t do it eternally, but he would slay you to the Kingdom of God here and now!

Next time, we will look at the ways in which we can resist him. But in the meantime, be on the lookout for the devil and his attacks! He is subtle, he is smart, and HE IS GOOD AT WHAT HE DOES!

May the Lord bless you is my prayer.

Elder Chris McCool, Pastor