Shrewd as Snakes
Repent, Respond, Refocus, Repeat
If you have been in ministry longer than a day, you are probably aware there is a real enemy roaming around seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8). For the past few weeks this annoyance has tried every door and whispered every lie imaginable to push me off the pathway of purpose. He loves to partner with casual conversation laced with struggles. Our words are never meaningless when we carry oil from heaven. Satan evesdrops to partner with anything which may torment a child of God.
Let me make it clear, I am not writing this to give hell glory. But I do think it is important to understand the enemy. We cannot fight and stand against someone we do not know. And without a doubt Heaven has strategic plans empowered to defeat the deceiver. Holy Spirit taught me something vital this week and I wanted to share it with you. This strategy closed doors and released peace.
The Bible is clear in describing satan’s character, for a purpose. Jesus wanted us to know the difference between the one true light and the one who carries the counterfeit light. Matthew 10:16 says "Look, I am sending you out as sheep among wolves. So be as shrewd as snakes and harmless as doves.”
Genesis 3:1 speaks of the craftiness and manipulative character of the snake. Eve was not wise to his ways and she was deceived. We must be aware of this same danger today. From this time until now his tactics have not changed. He twists the truth and soothes sin.
As followers of Christ on mission to advance heaven’s kingdom we must know our enemy. His goal is to draw attention away from God and offer a similiar, conterfeit pathway. He comes in like peace, asking simple questions, soothing our flesh, hoping we exchange Christ for comfort. Stealing our focus, he receives the glory. Since he rebelled because he longed to be worshiped, any form of attention, other than a firm rebuke flatters him.
Using this wisdom we must speak truth against his lies. When we repeat what satan has said, he gains a foothold. Word attacks are meant to diminish the voice of God in daily life. Satan cannot stop the voice of God from speaking but he tries really hard to block us from listening! So what weapon do we use? Fight with the word of truth! Jesus taught us this when he was led into the desert by the Holy Spirit to be tempted.
Scripture says our Savior was tired and hungry. Matthew 4:3 tells us “During that time the devil came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become loaves of bread.” Satan offered Jesus an easy way out. If you are, then do this. God forbid! We do not have to entertain the attacks of the enemy. He is not our leader. Jesus Christ paid the price for our freedom and victory. When we refocus on the truth, all hell must flee. Let’s see how Jesus responded to this attack.
In verse 4 we see His clear pathway, “But Jesus told him, “No! The Scriptures say,”. Our first step is to recognize the subtle differences in the enemy’s voice and the voice of the Father. Just as Jesus did, we recognize and then respond with a firm “NO”.
Then, Jesus spoke the truth. He quoted scripture in correct context in response to the twisted truth. We recognize the voice, respond with the word, and refocus our senses on the truth.
Whether I have been given grace to engage in battle or wisdom to respond, the first step is the same. Speak truth! Repeating what the enemy said opens doors and plants seeds of deceit. Follow and imitate Christ, immediatly say "NO", cast down vain imaginations and speak life.
Today if you are under attack stand firm. The victory is yours!
*Repent for entertaining the attacks and give God all the glory and praise.
*Recognize the voice of the accuser and respond with God’s word and use worship as a weapon.
*Refocus all your senses purposed in advancing the kingdom.
We have a clear strategy to advance the kingdom. Remember, Jesus responded with the word, he did not repeat the deception. Know your enemy but do not entertain his ways. We are called to be wise to his attacks but more than conquerors through Christ. Our feet are shod in the gospel of peace! "For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus." (Ephesians 2:6)
Repent, respond, refocus and repeat.
“Get out of here, Satan,” Jesus told him. “For the Scriptures say, You must worship the Lord your God and serve only him.’” Matthew 4:10