When my wife and I want to get away for a few days, we like to drive to San Antonio. We usually stay somewhere close to the River Walk and just take time to rest, eat some good food and just sit and people watch. Of course, when we visit San Antonio, we have to drop by the Alamo.
In front of that historic complex, there are a lot of little shops and restaurants that tourists HAVE to visit. One place that we visit, when the boys are with us, is Ripley’s Believe It or Not! You wouldn’t think it was as big as it is, but there are a lot of exhibits and it takes a while to get through. Some of the exhibits are pretty cool. Some are very hokey and you pretty much NOT believe it! But then there are some that you just don’t know about. There are some exhibits that people just want an explanation for. These are things, items or happenings that we reach into our collective human experience and try to find a rationale for why it happened. And although we can come up with some great rationales, there are some that you just can’t reason away, but they happened.
If you are a person who tries to put everything in it’s place, you might now where I’m coming from. You might categorize it, think about it, research it, probe it, but there are times that things happen that don’t fit your mold or you just have to find a poor rationale to help you settle it.
One area where this tends to happen is in our faith. We go to church and have vacuumed carpets, good music, 1 hour services, maybe some good fellowship after – everything is nice, manicured and in it’s perfect place. But, there is an ugly aspect to our spiritual walk that many don’t discuss or want to hear about – they rather not think about it or intellectually explain it away – Satan.
Yeah, that’s right. The Deceiver, the Accuser of the Brethren, the Father of Lies…
“Be serious! Be alert! Your adversary the Devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour. Resist him and be firm in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are being experienced by your fellow believers throughout the world.” 1 Peter 5:8-9 (HCSB)
“You are of your father the Devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning and has not stood in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he tells a lie, he speaks from his own nature, because he is a liar and the father of liars.” John 8:44 (HCSB)
“A thief comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance.” John 10:10 (HCSB)
“Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: The salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Messiah have now come, because the accuser of our brothers has been thrown out: the one who accuses them before our God day and night.” Revelations 12:10 (HCSB)
It looks like Scripture says that Satan is pretty active in the world. He HATES God and the People of God! Did you get that??? Satan is active in our world, he HATES you and wants to do you HARM if you are a Child of God!
And I’m sorry, but no where in the Bible does it say that Satan is going to take it easy on you because you are elderly, in a poor financial status, have a medical condition or because you’re having relationship problems. He’s not going to take a break and give you a “chance.” In fact, he’ll kick you when you’re down!
I recently mentioned Luke 4 in Where Is Your Confidence? Where is Your EDC? In Luke 4, Jesus, after being baptized, goes out into the wilderness and fasts for 40 days. I don’t know about you, but when I fast for 3 days, I’m pretty weak. I can feel the lack of energy. I can’t even imagine a 40 day fast!
Notice, Satan didn’t come right after Jesus was baptized. Satan didn’t come at day 3 or 10 or 25. Satan came at the end, when Jesus was probably at His weakest, physically.
There are many instances in the Gospels where Jesus dealt with demonic forces. He dealt with them all! One such instance can be found in Luke 8.
26 Then they sailed to the region of the Gerasenes, which is opposite Galilee. 27 When He got out on land, a demon-possessed man from the town met Him. For a long time he had worn no clothes and did not stay in a house but in the tombs. 28 When he saw Jesus, he cried out, fell down before Him, and said in a loud voice, “What do You have to do with me, Jesus, You Son of the Most High God? I beg You, don’t torment me!” 29 For He had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. Many times it had seized him, and though he was guarded, bound by chains and shackles, he would snap the restraints and be driven by the demon into deserted places.
30 “What is your name?” Jesus asked him.
“Legion,” he said—because many demons had entered him. 31 And they begged Him not to banish them to the abyss.
32 A large herd of pigs was there, feeding on the hillside. The demons begged Him to permit them to enter the pigs, and He gave them permission. 33 The demons came out of the man and entered the pigs, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and drowned. 34 When the men who tended them saw what had happened, they ran off and reported it in the town and in the countryside. 35 Then people went out to see what had happened. They came to Jesus and found the man the demons had departed from, sitting at Jesus’ feet, dressed and in his right mind. And they were afraid. 36 Meanwhile, the eyewitnesses reported to them how the demon-possessed man was delivered. 37 Then all the people of the Gerasene region asked Him to leave them, because they were gripped by great fear. So getting into the boat, He returned.
Luke 8:26-37 (HCSB)
You know, when we read words on a page, we tend to not think about what it must have looked like and sounded like. Do you think that the demon spoke with a professional, business like tone? No! I’m sure it was slow, methodical and creepy! I don’t even think this video is close to what it would have looked like and sounded like. Maybe it was more like this.
If this happened today, many people would explain it away. They would say they have a medical condition, they have a mental condition or they were abused when they were a child. No one ever says this is the work of Satan and his demons.
Maybe it is the condition of where we are in society. Society is so far removed from the Bible and a strong relationship with God. Society has become too smart and wise, believing that the Bible is for weak people who need to believe in something to help them hope in a better world, this and the next.
For those of us who believe the Bible is the Inspired Word of God, we know better! No where in Scripture does it ever say we don’t have to worry about Satan. In fact, I quoted 1 Peter 5:8-9 above that says to be “serious and alert.”
Like I said before, Satan HATES you. If you are living for Jesus, you are a target. He will come against you! But, Jesus said in 1 John 4:4, “You are from God, little children, and you have conquered them, because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. ” That’s awesome news for the Children of God!
1. Understand that Satan cannot possess you! If you have ever watched a horror movie where someone gets possessed by the devil, you might have asked yourself if that could ever happen to you? Colossians 1:13 says, “He has rescued us from the domain of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son He loves.” (read the whole chapter) So, unless you purposely go looking for Satan to possess you, you are good. However…
2. I believe Satan can oppress and tempt you. In Luke 4, I mentioned that Satan tempted Jesus. If Satan, tried to tempt Jesus, the Son of God, you don’t think he will try to tempt and derail you? He HATES you. He wants to make you feel guilty, embarrassed, unloved and wreck you so that you won’t turn to Jesus.
During the Last Supper, Scripture says, “Now by the time of supper, the Devil had already put it into the heart of Judas, Simon Iscariot’s son, to betray Him.” – John 13:2 (HCSB). The word “put” is the Greek word ballo. It means, “to throw or let go of a thing without caring where it falls, to scatter, to throw, cast into, to give over to one’s care uncertain about the result.” It is the same word found in Revelations 12:9 where the dragon is “thrown” into the pit! So imagine that Satan was “throwing” thoughts and ideas towards Judas. Since Judas wasn’t prepared or ready for it, he acted on the temptation of turning Jesus in. He had a choice to act or not.
3. Stay prayed up and in His Word! Jesus didn’t sit and have a conversation with Satan in Luke 4. He quoted Scripture! You need to know the promises that God has for you in His Word. You need to have faith and peace that only comes from spending time with Him. The saying, “I am strongest when I’m on my knees” is not a cliche. It is truth!
4. Know that you are in a spiritual war! You don’t hear too many churches talking about this because it freaks weak Christians out! But Paul said in Ephesians 6:11-13 – “Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the tactics of the Devil. For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens. This is why you must take up the full armor of God, so that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having prepared everything, to take your stand.” (HCSB) So, what would you do to prepare for war? Are you being purposeful? Do you take time to prepare and train? Do you have a plan? Do you know how to fight spiritually?
As Chrsitian Preppers, we prepare for everything under the sun! But do we ever stop to think that when the Poop His the Fan, that we need to be ready spiritually, specifically to fight against the power of Satan? 1 John 4:3 says that the “spirit of antichrist” is already in the world. Even if you are not dealing with Satan and demons directly, there are people out there who HATE Christians just because! That “spirit” is directly opposed to the Spirit of God and to you!
Yes, we will deal with economic collapse, medical issues, job losses, natural disasters and all that…but we are also dealing with forces that you cannot see. Be prepared….physically and spiritually!