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The Cabin: How to Do Battle with the Enemy and Win?

January 19, 2017

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The Cabin: Three Basic Truths About Spiritual Warfare.

May 15, 2017

 

 

Warfare happens every day, all the time. Whether you believe it or not, you are in a battlefield. You are in warfare.”

 

Three basic truths about spiritual warfare.

1. There is an invisible world that is just as real as the visible world. 

2. We are involved in an invisible war - a cosmic conflict that has eternal implications.

3. Our foe is formidable, and his goal is to destroy us and discredit the cause of Christ.

 

I recently read this, and the fellow who wrote it summarizes Satan's goal: "Satan and his forces have a plan" – I love the way he puts this – "to terrorize your soul, to render you impotent as a believer, to make you worthless to the cause of Christ, and to make your life one of misery and spiritual defeat."  I cannot improve on that.  Wow.  Do you realize, there are personal demonic spirits who want to terrorize your soul, that want to render you impotent as a believer, that want to make your life miserable?  Wow.

 

You say, "That's pretty strong."  Well look at the Scripture – 1 Peter 5:8.  Peter, in this situation, writes, "Be sober."  The word means “be serious.”   "Be sober of spirit, be on the alert." Literally, the word means, “Wake up.  Be watchful.  Get on top of your game.”  "Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour."  It doesn't say he's playing tag.  He's seeking someone to devour. 

 

And that's why He says, "Be sober, be alert."  Your enemy, your adversary, the one who wants to destroy you and those you love, he's prowling around.  What do lions do when they prowl?  They're looking.  What are they looking for?  Something that's vulnerable and easy to kill. 

 

So, it's not all the time.  It's at the right time, in the right way.  It's when you're low.  It's when you're tired.  It's when you're traveling.  It's late at night.  It's after everyone goes to bed.  It's when something pops up on the computer screen, and you think, Oh . . .

 

Now, I wanna stop right here, and give you one clear picture of one of the biggest lies ever in human history.   Satan has convinced us that God is a cosmic vending machine, that the world is a playground, and that's life goal is to just be happy.  And the way to be happy is to love Jesus.  And the way you love is Jesus is read your Bible and pray; go to church.  And, if you really wanna love Him, give money; give off the top. 

 

And then, the unconscious agenda is, you push all those right buttons – it's A1, B2, C4, H3.  If you do those things – and by the way, be morally clean, at least better than most people – you'll have an awesome marriage.  Your kids will all turn out right.  They'll all be upwardly mobile.  You'll never have a bad day.  Hard times, and bad times, and bad health, and cancer – that's for other people.  If you do what God wants you to do, He's a cosmic vending machine.  You just figure out the formula, and He'll come through for you.  See, personal fulfillment, that's what God wants for you.  He wants you to be happy.

 

In the film The Cabin, Roy Brown is having a difficult time in his marriage.  Although the film does not reveal the backstory, we do hear the voice of his wife playing in his head.  “I’m just not happy anymore,” she says.  Follow this scenario: Mrs. Brown wants to leave Roy because she’s unhappy and God wants everyone happy. Therefore, God will probably forgive the divorce and Mrs. Brown will find happiness elsewhere.  And folks, the majority of Christians are buying into this happiness cult.

 

And you know what?  There are a lot of people who don't do that, who are really disappointed, and really down on God.  "Hey, God, how could this happen to my son, if You really love me?  I've been serving You with all my life, and he was in a car wreck."  Or, “You know what?  I was real generous with my money, and I was saving it in some of those big money markets, and the economy went down the tube, and I lost 40 percent of my net worth.  And after all I've given . . .  What's the deal, God?”

 

Translation:  “I'm really mad at God, because I'm supposed to be in a playground, and the goal of a playground is to have fun, and be self-fulfilled.  And He's supposed to be my self-help genie to make my life work out, and make me a happy camper.”  Now, there's a lot of truth woven into it, isn't there?  God does love to bless us.  God is a good God.  God wants to meet the deepest needs and desires of our hearts.  However, it's not at a playground.  It's in a battlefield.  You're in a war. 

 

And you know what?  We're here for a very short time, and there's an invisible war.  And it is a battle, and the bullets are real, and the impact and the implications are eternal.  And we have bought the lie.

 

And so, we save up our money for our security, and we try and align everything so that we can be happy.  And then, we get mad at God when things don't come out our way.  The enemy has deluded us.  And on every magazine, and movie, and book, he's given us all the same message.  And now, we've got 15 million Christian books telling us how to be happy in Jesus, how to overcome loneliness, how to overcome everything so your life will work for you.  Our foe is formidable.

 

OK, let's dig in, back to Satan and demons.  The authority of the Scripture, the authority of Christ, and the amount of material that the New Testament gives to the reality of Satan and demons – it will blow your mind.  

 

 

So,  who is this Satan?  Is he for real?  From the beginning, Genesis 3:1, about the middle of the Bible, in 1 Chronicles, and all the way at the end, in Revelation – he is a major player in all of Scripture.  Jesus thought he was real.  Twenty-five different references, and He has a personal encounter in Matthew 4 of the reality of demons.  The demons and Jesus . . .  I think someone said it's up to 25-30% of Jesus' interaction and parables and miracles had to do with demons.  He must have thought they were real.

 

Who is Satan?

A little background here.  He's a created spirit, according to Colossians 1 and Job 1.  He's an angel, there from Matthew 25 and Revelation 12.  Of the category of angels, he's a cherub – Ezekiel 28.  This is not a cute little angel, like on a Hallmark card.  This is not a puffy little cherub, like . . .  This is one of the highest class of angelic beings, and, in fact, from Ezekiel 28, he was the highest created being.  

 

Where did he come from?  He was created perfect.  He had a heavenly estate.  His job was to be the guardian of God's glory – Ezekiel 28.  The occasion of his sin – are you ready for this?  He had more power than anyone, in all the universe, except God, and he was more beautiful than anything, or anyone, but God.  The nature of his sin was pride, 1 Timothy 3:6 tells us, and Isaiah 14:13.

 

See, we've got these warped ideas of the little man in the red suit, with the pitchfork.  The Satan of Scripture is the most intelligent, the highest, most beautiful, awesome being in the universe that God created.  But then, what we find is, he gets full of himself.  His occasion is he wants to be God.  He's not satisfied with all that he has.  He wants to be God.  And he makes a personal choice.  According to Habakkuk 1:13, and James tells us that anytime anyone sins, it's a personal choice.

 

I actually jotted down something that may be of some help.  In Isaiah 14, there are five statements that he makes.  And I'll just highlight them, and you can go back and check them for yourself. They're what I call the "I will" statements.  And just listen to the pride.

 

He says, "I will ascend to Heaven."  He wanted to occupy the abode of God.  He wanted equal recognition with God.

 

Then, he said, "I will raise my throne above the stars," and the stars, in context here, the other angels.  He wants to be top spot.

 

Third, he says, "I will sit on the mount of the assembly."  And the mount of assembly, in the context here, is where God ruled.  He was saying, "I want God's rulership position."

 

Then, he said, "I will ascend above the heights of the clouds."  And the clouds indicate the glory of God.  He wants the glory of God.  And we know what God says: "I am the Lord.  That is My name.  I will not give My glory to another."

 

And then, finally, "I will make myself like the Most High."  And that's been his strategy personally, and once he fell, a third of the angels followed him.  And, basically, what he did in the Garden was tell Eve, "You can be like Him."  And that's been the strategy, through craft, and lies, and disguise, ever since.  We want to usurp God.  We want to be the center of the universe.

 

There's one Creator.  Everyone else is creatures.  There's one infinite, personal, reference point.  He is there, and He is not silent.  And all of us are created beings designed to know Him, be loved by Him, worship Him, be taken care of by Him, and have lives that are filled with fruitfulness and joy in relationship with Him and each other.

 

And at the heart of sin is breaking the barrier, or crossing the line, or missing the mark, and saying, "I . . .  I want to be like God.  I want to be the center of attention.  I want life to be about my dreams, my agenda, my fulfillment."  And that was at the heart of Satan's.

 

When Scripture speaks of Satan, it's not some small, passing comment, or a figure of speech, or a metaphor for evil.  He is a fallen, powerful angel, who led a rebellion of a third of the angels of Heaven, and he now seeks to destroy all that is good, and God ordained.

 

 

How they operate?

The apostle Paul was writing to the church in Corinth, and he makes a very interesting point here.  There's been a situation of immorality, and Paul had forgiven them, and, apparently, the church is not responding real well to situation.  And so, Paul agrees to forgive a brother, along with the Corinthian church, and he writes in 2 Corinthians 2:11, "In order that no advantage may be taken of us by Satan, for we are not ignorant of his schemes." 

 

Paul says, "There's something going on here.  I've forgiven him.  We dealt with him.  We did church discipline.  He's repented; he's coming back.  Now, let's make sure we don't have hardened, bittered hearts."  Why?  "Lest we're not ignorant of his schemes or strategies."  The apostle Paul was saying – what did we learn from Scripture?  "Be angry" – Ephesians 4:26 – "but do not sin, lest the devil have an opportunity, or a foothold, in your life."

 

Do you understand, when we're talking about demonic activity, it's not, like, weird stuff, necessarily, like the old Exorcist movie, or this isn't like paranormal activity.  We're talking about unforgiveness, bitterness, hardened hearts, deceived minds that break marriages, that split churches, that bring about depression, that cause people to go inward, and repress, and get ulcers, and destroy their body, and . . .  And he says, "We are not ignorant of his schemes."

 

I’ve got a question:  Are you ignorant of his schemes?   I mean, if he has schemes – but the apostle Paul said, "I understand his schemes."  Satan and demons have strategies.  Would you know what they are? 

 

Well, here's a good example.  Okay, it's the Super Bowl.  What do the two coaches, and their entire staffs, do leading up to the Super Bowl?  They watch film, don't they?  Why do they watch film?  They watch film to discover the strategy of the other team. They wanna know all the schemes, right?

 

I mean, when Peyton Manning was just blitzing everybody all apart, and it looked like he was unstoppable, someone watched a bunch of film and when Manning got up to the line of scrimmage, and the offensive line was like this, and he's doing this and making all these signs . . .  Someone watched a lot of film, and the next time he got up and did that, they knew the schemes.  

 

They know all the schemes.  Why?  Because they wanna win, and they're in a battle, and they take it seriously. 

 

And we’ve got a whole generation of believers that don't know have a clue of what Satan's schemes are.  And there's an invisible war going on, and the implications are for eternity.  We’ve gotta know his schemes.  So, you say, "Well, how do you get to know his schemes?"  His names reveal his schemes. 

 

Satan means he's an adversary

 

Devil means slanderer. That means his schemes are gonna say false things about other people. 

 

Lucifer it means “son of the morning,” or “shining one.”  That means he's gonna come to you in ways where he's not ugly and scary.  He's beautiful, and attractive, and winsome, and he will seduce you. 

 

Beelzebub literally meant “the lord of the dwelling.”  “Belial” means it was a false god.  “The evil one” – hoponeros.  It's the word for absolute corruption.  He wants to take everything and corrupt it, to make it as evil and bad.

 

I read, a while back, of a ten-year-old boy, who took a hammer and smashed the skull of a six-year-old little girl.  There's evil in the world!  There's real evil!  What possesses people to put a bomb on their body, and kill themselves, and kill people they don't know?  What possesses a company to know they're putting stuff in water that gives people cancer, but it means so many millions of dollars because they don't have to clean it first?  It's evil!  There's evil in the world!

 

So, notice, he's the evil one.  He's behind it.  He's the tempter.  That means he's gonna come and say, "Hey, you think food is something you need, and you have a great desire for.  Let me give you too much, in the wrong way, at the wrong time.  Let me get you to believe that it can satisfy your emotional needs.  Sex is a great thing.  It's a gift from God.  Let me try and give it to you in an artificial way across the screen, or with a different person, or in a perverted way."

 

He wants to tempt you.  He wants to move you off of what is good, and true, and right, and healthy, and wonderful, and winsome, and loving, into shading it to evil, and negative, and destructive.  And he'll always make it look attractive.  He'll tempt you, and, “Oh, no one will find out.”  And he'll twist it in such a way . . .

 

He's the prince of this world – literally, of the age.  He has a whole system designed.  He's got a system. He's working to create an image so that young girls think that what is attractive is on the front of Seventeen, or Cosmopolitan.  He has a system where guys think that if they don't have ripped abs, and take some steroids, and are really tough, and really cool, they don't amount to anything.  He's got a system to make people think until you get a certain kind of watch, and a certain luxury car, and a really nice home, and so much in your 401(k), and a beach house, or some place in Vail, you're not really with it yet.  He's got a system, and he's got us chasing our tail.  Because he's the god of this world.

 

He's the accuser of the brethren.  He condemned me.  That's what I experienced. You know, “You're no good.”  “You're a terrible wife.”  “You're a bad dad.”  “You're a terrible Christian.”  “You're worthless.”  “No one will ever love you.”  Have you ever heard any of those voices?  I'll tell you, they're not God.  It's the enemy.

 

He comes in different ways: as a serpent, as a dragon, as an angel of light, as the father of lies.  He is going to come at you.  The serpent will be crafty.  The dragon will produce fear.  The angel of light will just win you over.  And the father of lies is behind it all.

 

And then, provoking sin.  Look at the list of sins that are in the New Testament that are tied with demonic activity: anger, pride, worry, self-reliance, discouragement, worldliness, lying, immorality.  He produces sex and cults, according to 1 Timothy 4:1.  He's a deceiver. 

 

The Good News.

Satan can be resisted by the Christian.  Remember in The Cabin, Roy Brown echoes the scriptures,  'Resist the devil and he will flee from you."  Josiah the angel at the end of the film reiterates that promise by completing the whole verse, ‘Submit yourself to God.’  There is a way to resist him because of who you are, and what Christ has done but we need to submit to God.

 

 

Below are four promises that I would ask you to memorize.  You need to know these!  These are truths that you need to hang on to, because these will remind you of who you are, and what you have.

 

1. John 4:4: "You are from God, little children, and greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world."  That's a fact.

 

2. John 5:4-5: "For whatever is born of God" – that's you – "in Christ overcomes the world.  And this is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.  And who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?"  If you're a child of God, that is true.  You have the victory.

 

3. Revelation 12:11.  It's speaking of this conflict with Satan, and it talks about how they overcame him.  And they overcame Satan, why?  "Because of the blood of the lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even unto death."  They overcame him.  He's defeated.

 

4. "Submit therefore to God.  Resist the devil and he'll flee from you," from James 4:7-8.

 

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