SPIRITUAL WARFARE

CARES, WORRIES, PLEASURES

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(Subjects in this Section)

1-WHAT TO EXPECT AS THE SPIRITUAL BATTLE MANIFESTS ITSELF AFTER
    BEING SAVED
2-CARES, WORRIES, AFFAIRS OF THIS WORLD, AND PEOPLE
3-PLEASURES AND THINGS MAY STOP YOU FROM DOING THE WILL OF GOD
4-DO PROBLEMS HINDER YOU FROM DOING THE WILL OF GOD?
5-LUSTS MAY HINDER OR STOP YOU FROM DOING THE WILL OF GOD
6-SATAN MAY TEMPT YOU WITH RICHES: THESE CAN DECEIVE YOU AND HINDER
    YOU FROM OBEYING GOD
7-SATAN TRIES TO SEPARATE YOU FROM GOD'S PEOPLE FOR A WHILE

1-WHAT TO EXPECT AS THE SPIRITUAL BATTLE MANIFESTS ITSELF AFTER BEING SAVED

    We have just shown some ways that Satan will try to draw a converted, born-again Christian back into sin.

    There are no game rules when it comes to Satan trying to pull a person to hell. It is necessary that we be knowledgeable about his devices. This message cannot begin to cover all the ways Satan might attack a Christian, but we pray it will give some helpful insight.

    Some of Satanís weapons include: lusts, riches, problems, persecutions, deceitfulness, separating you from Godís people, material things, pleasures, cares or worries, people, depression, and hardships.

    Satan has these weapons at his disposal to try to keep a person from going to Sunday school, church, prayer meetings, Bible studies, and fellowshipping with other fruit-bearing, converted Christians. Satan may use these weapons to keep a person from reading and studying their Bible and memorizing Scripture. Satan may lie to a personís mind and tell them that going to church is enough. That there is no need to study the Bible. Satan can use these weapons to try to stop a person from serving God and doing Godís will. Satan may try to eliminate the fear of God from peopleís minds. For it is written, FEAR THE LORD, AND DEPART FROM EVIL-Prov 3:7. God wants you to serve Him with your time, your talent, and your possessions. Indeed, Jesus wants all of you.

2-CARES, WORRIES, AFFAIRS OF THIS WORLD, AND PEOPLE

    When these and other things that follow hinder or stop a person from doing the "WILL OF GOD," there is no doubt they are being used by Satan to accomplish his purpose. Will these things stop you from going to church, prayer meetings, Bible studies, fellowshipping with other strong believers, studying your Bible, memorizing Scripture, witnessing for Jesus, serving Jesus, and doing the will of God? These things may happen to you.

    Family problems may arise. You may need to go on a honeymoon, or go and see a house, land, merchandise, or an automobile you want to buy. Perhaps you have to sign papers to buy it, and it just happens to be when the church service is being held or a Bible study. As we cover these items, thoughts may come into your mind, that it is not Satan who is using these to hinder you. Open your eyes, and see. When the thoughts that come into your mind are contrary to the Bible, they are of the evil one. You need to paint your house, repair a faucet, wash the dog, mow the grass, clean the swimming pool, wash the car, and cook meals. Beware, FOR IF GOD SPARED NOT THE ANGELS THAT SINNED, BUT CAST THEM DOWN TO HELL...AND SPARED NOT THE OLD WORLD...beware, for THE LORD KNOWETH HOW TO...RESERVE THE UNJUST UNTO THE DAY OF JUDGMENT TO BE PUNISHED-2 Pe 2:4,5,9.

    One of Satanís devices that he uses in a personís mind is he gives an excuse and then the reason why we cannot obey Godís will. Satan may lie to your mind saying, "You canít do what God wants you to do, because you have no clean clothes, or you want to buy something, look at something, or do something. You canít obey God, because you have no shoes." The list of excuses may go on and on. AND TAKE HEED TO YOURSELVES, LEST AT ANY TIME YOUR "HEARTS" BE OVERCHARGED (weighed down) WITH SURFEITING, AND DRUNKENNESS, AND "CARES" OF THIS LIFE, AND SO "THAT DAY" COME UPON YOU UNAWARES (unexpectedly)-Lk 21:34. Are Monday morning things more important to you than the Sunday evening services? Is your mind focused ON THINGS ABOVE...or...ON THINGS ON THE EARTH? Has your faith prompted you to let Jesus become the "Lord" of your life?

    Other things that may stop you from totally surrendering to Godís will are peer pressures. Friends may come into town to visit you at that same time you were to go to church, a Bible study, or study your own Bible. Perhaps you need to pick up a friend at the airport at that exact time. A friendís vehicle may break down, and you have to go rescue him. You may disobey God by refusing to give up unsaved boy or girlfriends, or other friends. So you live in disobedience to God, and yet pray to God to help you with this or that. Are your prayers bouncing off the walls?

    Children may keep you from obeying God or even your wife or husband. Satan may say to your mind that God gave you these children. They come first: before church, before witnessing, before anything. I serve God by taking care of my children, my dog, my cat, etc. If you obey God, your husband or wife may threaten to leave you. Do you love wife, or husband, or children more than God? Satan may lie to your mind, and say, "It is not important if you miss one church service, or one Bible study. You can go another time." Donít listen to Satanís lies. Praise God, when Jesus called Matthew, and all the apostles, none of them let their jobs, or family, or friends stop them from immediately following Jesus. And these are examples for us to follow. Deny self. Follow Jesus.

3-PLEASURES AND THINGS MAY STOP YOU FROM DOING THE WILL OF GOD

    Opportunities to date a beautiful girl may come up just at the time you had planned to study your Bible, or go to church, or partake of a Bible study. Vacations or wanting the "better things in life" may hinder you. You want to go to a party, visit relatives, go to the beach, or to the mountains. Guys or girls distract you. Perhaps a special program comes on the television at a certain time, and hinders you from obeying God. Which is more important to you? Does the radio, records, cassettes, reading books, going to movies, home videos, hinder you from reading your Bible and obeying God? If these things offend you, cut them off. Do you get tired when reading the Bible or when sitting in church? Do you love worldly things and comforts? Does the newspaper or some other form of entertainment keep you from obeying God, and take time that should be spent reading your Bible? You say, "I donít see it that way." Did you know these are Satanís words?

    The Scriptures tell us of Demas. He was a follower of Paul. But then Satan tempted him with the pleasures of this world. It is written DEMAS HATH FORSAKEN ME, HAVING LOVED THIS PRESENT WORLD-2 Tim 4:10. THIS KNOW ALSO, THAT IN THE LAST DAYS (that is right now)...MEN SHALL BE LOVERS OF THEIR OWN SELVES...LOVERS OF PLEASURES MORE THAN LOVERS OF GOD-2 Tim 3:1,2,4. Note: it didnít say they wouldnít love God, but that they would love pleasures more than God. A great enemy of Christianity is the "cult of comfortableness." Beware. Following Jesus may not be the path of the least resistance, but it is the one that leads to eternal life.

4-DO PROBLEMS HINDER YOU FROM DOING THE WILL OF GOD?

    Satan can be expected to try to hinder you from going to church, prayer meetings, and Bible studies that God wants you to attend. Satan can be expected to try to stop you from fellowshipping with other fruit-bearing, converted Christians. Satan can be expected to cause things to happen to try to hinder you from reading and memorizing Scripture, from witnessing, from serving God, and from doing the will of God. Your vehicle may break down. Your battery may go dead. Tires may go flat. The telephone keeps ringing, and people want to talk on the phone to you almost without end. You may be involved in an accident, or things may get stolen.

    Right after you decide to go to church, go witnessing, or set times to attend Bible studies your work hours may change. You may have to work overtime. Another employee has gone out of town, so you must work. Someone quits or gets fired, so you have to work. Others may go on vacation, so you are expected to work. Your employer may expect you to work on the Lordís day . Satan can be expected to put in your mind that if you refuse to work, you will get fired. Submit to God, resist Satan. Tell your employer, "No, God comes first." Let your light shine. Jesus and the apostles did. You are in a spiritual battle. Which is more important to you? Is it obeying God or your employer? Are you a servant of man or of God? Beware, for the Scriptures warn us that in the latter days, which is now, God shall be provoked, because people put their jobs (the work of their hands) before Him.

    Whatever comes before God is an idol and is sin. EVIL WILL BEFALL YOU IN THE LATTER DAYS; BECAUSE YE WILL DO EVIL IN THE SIGHT OF THE LORD, TO PROVOKE HIM TO ANGER THROUGH THE WORK OF YOUR HANDS (your job)-Deut 31:29. This latter day generation we are living in, is so evil, that they wipe their mouth and say, "I have done no wrong." And this latter day generation REPENTED NOT OF THE WORKS OF THEIR HANDS-Rev 9:20.

    Other devices Satan uses to hinder you from obeying God is sickness. You may get sick. Your dog may get sick. People may come to visit you from out of town, just at the time you are about to leave for church, a Bible study, or to go out witnessing. Many things may happen to you as you "go forth" to obey God. Your faith will be tested to see if you love God enough to obey Him above all, or if you will succumb to Satanís devices and lies. When neighbors come to visit (at the wrong time), Satan can be expected to put in your mind you canít offend them by rushing off to that church service or Bible study. Something that was told me many years ago, which has proven to be true, is that if a chance to witness comes up just at the time you are to go to church, or a Bible study, or a prayer meeting, then obey God and go to church or the Bible study. Ask God to set that certain witness up for you another time. Expect Satan to put things before you that appear to be for God, yet hinder you from obeying other commandments of God. Satan is very subtle, conniving, and crafty. Put NOT FORSAKING THE ASSEMBLING OF OURSELVES TOGETHER first (which includes church, Bible studies, prayer meetings, and Bible School).

    Put God first. Perhaps you have to leave town in an emergency. You may "feel" you have to leave town right now to go witness to relatives you have not seen for years. You may have to go to a funeral. You may find that certain items you need to use for Godís work break down. The people you call to fix them may have problems fixing them like they have never had in their whole life. They fix one thing, and it goes bad again. Then another thing goes bad. Remember, we are in a spiritual battle. Forsake not the Lord thy God.

5-LUSTS MAY HINDER OR STOP YOU FROM DOING THE WILL OF GOD

    A person wants to get married, so dating comes first, and Godís will may come second. Opportunities to see a certain person just happen to come up when you were to witness, or go to church or a Bible study, or study your own Bible. You may be an older person, and you want companionship. May I suggest that you fill yourself with the Holy Ghost and with Godís love. God knows what you have need of. BUT SEEK YE FIRST THE KINGDOM OF GOD, AND HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS; AND ALL THESE THINGS SHALL BE ADDED UNTO YOU-Mt 6:33. When the apostles followed Jesus, how much did they let other things stop them from following Jesus?

    Beware of falling into Satanís trap of illicit sex. Beware of drunkenness. God warns THEY ALSO HAVE ERRED THROUGH WINE, AND THROUGH STRONG DRINK ARE OUT OF THE WAY-Isa 28:7. WOE UNTO HIM THAT GIVETH HIS NEIGHBOUR DRINK, THAT PUTTEST THY BOTTLE TO HIM, AND MAKEST HIM DRUNKEN ALSO-Hab 2:15. The Scriptures show us not to even eat and drink with the drunken. It is written-IF THAT EVIL SERVANT...SHALL BEGIN TO SMITE HIS FELLOWSERVANTS, AND TO EAT AND DRINK WITH THE DRUNKEN; THE LORD OF THAT SERVANT SHALL...CUT HIM ASUNDER, AND APPOINT HIM HIS PORTION WITH THE HYPOCRITES: THERE SHALL BE WEEPING AND GNASHING OF TEETH (hell)-Mt 24:48-51. The Bible warns us not to fellowship with those who are claiming they are saved, but are A DRUNKARD, OR AN EXTORTIONER; WITH SUCH AN ONE NO NOT TO EAT-1 Cor 5:11. It is written, BE NOT DECEIVED: NEITHER...DRUNKARDS...SHALL INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF GOD-1 Cor 6:9,10.

    Beware of Satanís temptations. He may tempt you to take drugs, smoke, or gamble. Beware of greed, covetousness, and all lusts. THIS KNOW ALSO, THAT IN THE LAST DAYS...MEN SHALL BE LOVERS OF THEIR OWN SELVES, COVETOUS, BOASTERS, PROUD...WITHOUT NATURAL AFFECTION ...WHICH CREEP INTO HOUSES, AND LEAD CAPTIVE SILLY WOMEN LADEN WITH SINS, LED AWAY WITH DIVERS LUSTS EVER LEARNING, AND NEVER ABLE TO COME TO THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE TRUTH-2 Tim 3:1,2,3,6,7. They may study the Bible, but because of sin, they are deceived. They donít know they are going to hell, until it is too late. KNOWING THIS FIRST, THAT THERE SHALL COME IN THE LAST DAYS (that is now) SCOFFERS, WALKING AFTER THEIR OWN LUSTS-2 Pe 3:3. God wants the born-again Christian to KEEP HIMSELF UNSPOTTED FROM THE WORLD-Ja 1:27. Beware, for EACH ONE IS TEMPTED WHEN, BY HIS OWN EVIL DESIRE, HE IS DRAGGED AWAY AND ENTICED. THEN, AFTER "DESIRE" HAS CONCEIVED, IT GIVES BIRTH TO "SIN"; AND SIN, WHEN IT IS FULL-GROWN, GIVES BIRTH TO DEATH-Ja 1:14,15 NIV. As has been said, Satan may tempt you to sin. Then when you do, he puts in your mind you are unworthy and cannot go to church, prayer meetings, Bible studies or serve God. Repent, confess your sins. Do not obey Satan.

6-SATAN MAY TEMPT YOU WITH RICHES: 
THESE CAN DECEIVE YOU AND HINDER YOU FROM OBEYING GOD

    Beware, one of Satanís tricks is to give you a better job that will pull you away from the place God has called you to be. It will pull you away from the Bible studies God wants you to partake of. It will pull you away from the church God wants you to go to, and from works God has called you to do. Many of these things may come upon you. Beware of the deceitfulness of riches. Jesus told the rich, young man to SELL THAT THOU HAST, AND GIVE TO THE POOR-Mt 19:21. You cannot trust in riches, and enter heaven. Your trust is to be placed in Jesus. He shall provide your need. WHEN THE YOUNG MAN HEARD THAT SAYING, HE WENT AWAY SORROWFUL: FOR HE HAD GREAT POSSESSIONS-Mt 19:22. Which are more important to you, riches or Jesus? Satan may lie to your mind, and tell you to seek after great riches; and you can have Jesus also. You cannot serve riches and Jesus. Jesus tells us, THAT A RICH MAN SHALL HARDLY ENTER INTO THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN- Mt 19:23. God wants us to repent of trusting in IDOLS OF GOLD, AND SILVER-Rev 9:20. The Bible tells us, IN THE LAST DAYS. PEOPLE WILL BE...LOVERS OF MONEY-2 Tim 3:1,2 NIV. Lk 8:14 shows us, riches choke the Word of God. God commands us, LAY NOT UP FOR YOURSELVES TREASURES UPON EARTH...BUT LAY UP FOR YOURSELVES TREASURES IN HEAVEN...FOR WHERE YOUR TREASURE IS, THERE WILL YOUR HEART BE ALSO-Mt 6:19-21. Paul tells us what our attitude should be, I COUNT ALL THINGS BUT LOSS FOR THE EXCELLENCY OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF CHRIST JESUS "MY LORD": FOR WHOM I HAVE SUFFERED THE LOSS OF "ALL THINGS", AND DO COUNT THEM BUT DUNG, (rubbish) THAT I MAY WIN CHRIST- Phili 3:8. A saved person should esteem the reproach of Christ greater riches than all the riches of this world. Thus, by faith the born-again Christian should forsake this world, and live for the world to come. Love not this world, or the things that are in this world.

    It seems much of the advertising around us is centered around getting, keeping, maintaining, insuring, and loving the things of this world. Thus much, of what we see and hear, tends to pull us in the opposite direction that God would have us go. Beware of Satan and his cunning devices. Beware, lest the world pull you in like a magnet, and you cannot get free. Put all your trust in Christ and get rid of those things which hinder you from following Jesus totally.

7-SATAN TRIES TO SEPARATE YOU FROM GOD'S PEOPLE FOR A WHILE

    Many times we have seen Satan set traps for new born-again Christians that are getting more involved in Bible studies and attending church on a regular basis. They are growing in the Lord. He sets up some circumstances that cause them to stop fellowshipping with other soul winning, fruit-bearing Christians and from going to church and Bible studies for a period of time. In other words, Satan gets them alone "in the wilderness," away from believers who are able to correct them when they are being deceived by him (Satan). Finally after a couple weeks or months, they return, but their countenance has changed. The love of God has disappeared. Their response toward the Word of God is no longer meek and childlike as it once was. Their hearts have hardened. They have grown to despise correction and those in authority over them, such as the pastor. They may also be bitter toward the church and their fellow brothers in Christ, whom they once loved and held in high esteem. We have seen children, who were bearing fruit, pulled away by their parents. After a period of time, when they returned, they were hardened. Their old nature had returned. The new nature had been put off. Their whole attitude had changed. We have seen people seeking Christ. They were pulled away by Satanís devices for a time. When they returned, they were no longer seeking to follow the ways of the cross. We have seen Christians go on vacations. They were bearing good fruit before they left. When they returned, their minds had become set on this world and were no longer centered on the love of Jesus. Yet in many of the cases, the "once fruit-bearing Christian" was positive there was nothing wrong. They were positive they were still abiding in the will of God, even though the love of God towards their brothers in Christ had changed. They might speak behind their brotherís back, murmur, complain, sow discord, and cause others to pull away from the church, the Bible school, or from witnessing. They were blinded and could not tell they were wandering about in darkness.

    Beware of Satanís cunning ways. Beware, for he may use pleasures, lusts, relatives, vacations, parents, children, a job, a relativeís sickness, or a relativeís death to pull the Christian away into an environment that will enable him to deceive the converted follower of Jesus.

    Beware, for Satan will try to bewitch you so that you do not obey the truth. Take heed, once you have begun in the Spirit that you have not suffered so many things in vain. Beware, that you do not turn back to the ways of this world.

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