Most everyone has had a bad sales experience. You know, where some shady salesperson is trying to get you to buy something you don't need, like a timeshare, a gym membership, or a car. Behind their smile and smooth talk lies an opportunity to take advantage of you and leave you with a decision you might regret. Promises are often inflated, and the deals are covered in glitter and made to look irresistible.
Our enemy, Satan, uses many of the same tactics (for the record, I’m not saying all salespeople are evil. I used to be one myself) to get you to follow your flesh and leave you with decisions you’ll regret and that will cost you dearly.
Over the past few weeks at The Porch, we’ve been talking about the unseen realm and how it affects us, and some of the steps you can take to combat such a force. Last week we talked about the lies the enemy throws your way, and seven truths that can help you combat them.
The enemy is out there
The first step is always admitting there’s a problem, and the same concept applies to evil: you don’t stand a chance of surviving if you don’t acknowledge that there’s something out there trying to make you stumble.
Let me spell it out for you: Satan is real, and he wants nothing more than to see you wreck your life by following your flesh, not trusting God, and pulling you out of fellowship with Him. If you want to see real-life examples of Satan at work in our world, go to any major news site and spend a few minutes there; you’ll quickly see what I’m talking about.
Just as Satan disguises himself (2 Corinthians 11:14), he also disguises the consequences of following your flesh. A fish doesn’t see the frying pan when it bites the hook, and you’re probably not thinking about the consequences of disobeying God when you’re making the decision to do so. Satan has been around a long time, and he knows what makes humans tick. While he doesn’t know you nearly as intimately as God does (Psalm 139:13-18), he knows what our flesh craves: pride, money, sex, vengeance…you name it.
Satan’s lies and attacks
One of Satan’s biggest lies is to make you think that God is trying to keep you from having fun and that He is trying to keep good things from you. Satan wants you to think that you deserve whatever you feel entitled to, and that life is found in giving your flesh whatever it wants. Feeding these desires, however, always leads to negative consequences. Some of those consequences, for example, are broken families, unintended pregnancies, STDs, emotional baggage, discontentment, addictions, etc.
Satan will attack anyone. His goal is to try and ruin your usefulness for God. He tries to get you to waste gifts God has given you, and to hurt those in your life (John 10:10). It’s so important to surround yourself with other believers who are pursuing Christ alongside you, to help you fight those attacks. God gives us one another to strengthen and sharpen each other (Proverbs 27:17, Hebrews 3:13), push us into a deeper relationship with Christ, and get us back on track when we veer off the path.
If you know that the attacks are coming, you can prepare yourself to defend against them.
How is Satan trying to trip you up, right now, and how can you defend yourself against it? This is one of the most important questions you can ask yourself. Answer it well.
(with writer, Jordan Loa)