Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Gettin' Sassy with Satan

Job 2:2
"The LORD said to Satan, "Where have you come from?" Then Satan answered the LORD and said, "From roaming about on the earth and walking around on it."

Not exactly a lovely thought, huh? From this verse, it sounds like we could just bump into Satan at Target! He's just hanging out where we live...and his goal is to make us stumble in our faith. Oh, and he won't make it easy on you. Contrary to cartoon depictions and popular belief, he more than likely won't appear to you in the form of a little red guy with horns carrying a pitchfork. But when you find yourself in a situation where you have the choice to compromise your Christian testimony, you can bet that Satan is near.

I would love to tell you that Satan is dumb. Unfortunately, he's not. He's pretty crafty... much smarter than we would like for him to be. (Side note: He's also not nearly as smart as we sometimes give him credit for. There will be more about that in a later post.) However, it sometimes seems like he knows just where to get us - individually. Every Christian struggles with certain sins. Have you noticed that Satan always seem to hit you where you are most volunerable? Of course he does. He has a purpose - to make you give into his temptation.

It's exactly like a man who is going to propose to his girlfriend. Do you think he would propose if he thought she would say no? Not unless he just enjoys rejection. Satan tempts you in areas he knows you are likely to give in and say yes.

Do you know situations that you would be likely to give in to temptation? Personally, Satan likes to attack me in my physical appearance...specifically, my weight. I battled anorexia for four years, and I'm much better now. However, he still uses the same lies to try and make me fall back into old habits. It's important to know the areas where you are more likely to fall for Satan's tricks so you can be prepared when he attacks.

Do you know how to protect yourself from His temptations? Ephesians 4:27 says, "Do not even give Satan a foothold." Don't put yourselves in situations where you could be tempted. For example, I don't keep full-length mirrors in my house. When I stand in front of one, there's always the chance that Satan will start filling my head with lies. It doesn't eliminate the problem...but since I stopped keeping full length mirrors, I find myself in that situation much less.

Your struggles may be completely different that mine. Maybe you feel pressured to party with your friends. Instead of waitinf for them to invite you to do something that you know you shouldn't do, could you take control of the situation and plan a night of clean fun? Maybe you are so in love with your boyfriend, and you just don't want to wait any longer. It would probably be best to limit the time you two spend alone.

Maybe you are thinking, "I don't struggle with any of those things! I must be okay." Really? What if you walk up to group of friends, and they are talking about another girl you know? Do you join in on the gossip? Do you just stand there and not participate? Or would you have the courage to ask them to stop? If that doesn't work, do you walk away? Here's the bottom line: Your relationship with Christ is too precious. Don't put yourself in situations where you would be in danger of compromising your Christian standards.

These are all situations where Satan lies to you by whispering in your ear things like, "It's okay. It's just one time. No one is around, so no one will find out. You know if you speak up, your friends will make fun of you. Nobody's perfect. It's alright to mess up every once in a while. You're supposed to mess up."

DON'T FALL FOR IT. Do you realize who you are listening to if you give in to Satan's lies? The Bible refers to him with such terms as the devil, adversary, evil one, murderer, liar, thief, tempter, accuser of the brethren, prince of demons, and god of this world. He is in constant rebellion against God. Through his influence, Satan generates discord, deception, and disobedience among human beings.

In Christ, Satan is already defeated, and his dominion and influence as god of this world will cease at Christ’s return. (Luke 10:18; Revelation 12:9; 1 Peter 5:8; John 8:44; Job 1:6-12; Zechariah 3:1-2; Revelation 12:10; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Revelation 20:1-3; Hebrews 2:14; 1 John 3:8) If you've read the Bible, specifically the book of Revelation, you know the end of the story. God wins, and Satan loses. You have nothing to be afraid of because the battle is as good as over. As long as you are a child of God, NO ONE and NOTHING can take you from Him.

But here's my question. Do you take that attitude with Satan? Do you let him know that he is defeated by the One who lives in you? Or do you tip toe timidly around him - afraid that he will convince you to give in?

Imagine being at a football game. You are with your best friend. You are cheering for opposite teams. She has gone on and on about how her team is going to destroy yours. She's pestered you, sent jeering text messages, talked smack on Facebook. At the end of the first half, your team is up by seven. By the third quarter, her team's offense can't even seem to move the ball. With five seconds left to go, your team has ran up a score SO HIGH on her's that it looks like a basketball scoreboard.

Now, dear Christian friend, tell me. Would you sit back in those last five seconds and be afraid that her team would make up the difference? NO! If you're like me, you won't start your victory dance, pull out your cell phone and ask again, "Now wait a second, when you said your team was going to make us cry, did you mean tears of joy? Because we won. Can you see the scoreboad? Seriously. My eyesight is bad. Can you read it for me? A little louder? I'm sorry. What did you say? WHICH TEAM is it who won? So if we won, does that mean that your team lost? Can you say that again? It sounds so nice." (Yeah, you don't want to lose to me.)

In all seriousness...don't waste that awesome attitude on a friend. USE IT ON THE ENEMY! Get sassy with Satan!

And you know what makes him really mad? Don't use your own words. I mean, as fantastic as my Christian smack is, my words are nothing compared to God's Word! Quote Scripture. Seriously. He can't refute it. He can't beat it. When Jesus was tempted in Matthew 4, (another passage will will look at in more detail in a later post) that's exactly how He got Satan to beat it. And God has armed us with the same weapon!

I've been known on more than one occassion to retort back to Satan's lies about my appearance with the "Michelle Version" of Psalm 45:11. "Oh yeah? Well, guess what, Satan? My King is enthralled with MY beauty! And I will honor Him, and NOT YOU, for He is my Lord!" Oh, and you can bet my neck is working the whole time.

Memorize Scripture that teaches against where Satan tempts you. When you find youtself in that situation, SAY THE SCRIPTURE, and SAY IT SASSY!

John 10:27-30 quotes Jesus saying, "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. I and the Father are one." Once you belong to the Lord, Satan will never be able to get you. The Lord is too strong.

Take that, Satan.

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