I want to return to our study on demonic influence. By now most of us would agree that demonic influence is real. We could probably cite cases of such occurrences weâ€™ve personally witnessed. But what about the doubters? What about those in the Barna study we looked at recently that showed nearly 6 out of 10 self-described Christians stated they either strongly agreed or agreed somewhat that Satan â€œis not a living being but is a symbol of evilâ€?
I will not attempt to answer for them, but let me say Scripture is clear about one thing. You cannot straddle the fence on this issue. You cannot have one foot in hell and try to put the other in heaven. In other words, you cannot embrace this world and desire heaven at the same time. To embrace this world is idolatry, even if itâ€™s a little bit. I remember before and even after I got saved that I tried, and sometimes I catch myself trying, to mix this evil world with my heavenly walk. The Bible warns us to flee from idolatry:
â€œ…the things which the Gentiles sacrifice they sacrifice to demons and not to God, and I do not want you to have fellowship with demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the Lordâ€™s table and of the table of demons. Or do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than He?â€ (1 Corinthians 10:20-22)
To whom is Paul talking Bro Dave? Go back to the start of 1 Corinthians 10 and you will see: â€œMoreover, brethren…â€
He is talking to we who profess Christ. But we who profess Christ so often possess the world and its system of beliefs. This past weekend at our Family Conference, Dr. Charles Fowler said something that I believe everyone in attendance caught. At least so far everyone Iâ€™ve talked to remembered this:
â€œWhat you welcome into your home will find its way into your childrenâ€™s lives and it will eventually produce bitter fruit.â€
Hmm! That did preach!
The Apostle Paul was warning the Corinthian church, one surrounded by the disgusting evilness of Corinth, Satanâ€™s playground, that you cannot eat from the table and drink from the cup of demons and try to do the same with that of the Lordâ€™s. Why? Because â€œwe provoke the Lord to jealousyâ€! And to answer Paulâ€™s question; â€œNo, we are not stronger than Heâ€!
Why would anyone try to do such a thing Bro Dave? Why do you?! Why do I?! Because we become double-minded:
â€œFor let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.â€ (James 1:7-8)
Jesusâ€™ brother James is telling us that we too often ask of God but do so doubting His ability to come through for us. We provoke God to jealousy and we think we are stronger than Him. And this manifests itself in our trying to mix the worldâ€™s belief system with that of the Bibleâ€™s.
Why does this happen? Because if you are truly saved, blood-bought by Jesus and born-again of the Holy Spirit, Satanâ€™s has lost your soul. But he has not given up on affecting you. He will do anything he can to ruin your testimony. Heâ€™s content with you being saved, well he has to settle for that, but he will work overtime to keep you from winning other souls to Christ.
This is why that one person you are trying to witness to for Christ seems so close and yet he or she will not surrender to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. How does this happen? Satanâ€™s onslaught upon this poor miserable lost soul is relentless. The great and mighty 19th Century preacher Charles Haddon Spurgeon described it thusly:
â€œHow does the devil do this? Well, we have seen it done in this way:â€”When the man had almost believed in Christ, but not quite, Satan seemed to multiply his temptations around him, and to bring his whole force to bear upon him…The devil finds willing servants, and they worry the poor awakened one; is there any wonder that, as he has not yet found Christ and is not yet saved, he should for the time be carried away by these assaults, and feel as if he could not go further in the right road?â€
Do you see what weâ€™re up against? As my pastor always says, â€œThe Devil is the best devil there is.â€ And he is and his onslaught never rests from us. We can only overcome it through prayer and fasting and surrendering to our Lord Jesus Christ. We must put on the whole spiritual armor and fight the devil off with the Sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. (See Ephesians 6).
What about you? Is your Christian walk one of constant victory through surrendering to Christ, or are you constantly â€œovertaken in any trespassâ€? (See Galatians 6)
Dear Christian, stay the course, do not lose heart. The Apostle Paul promises on the authority of Godâ€™s Word that â€œin due season we shall reap if we do not lose heartâ€ (Galatians 6:9).
Or perhaps youâ€™re the man of whom Spurgeon spoke, one who â€œhad almost believed in Christ, but not quite.â€
You donâ€™t have to win it all at once. Jesus has already won the victory. All you have to do is give all you know of you to all you know of Him, the Lord Jesus Christ.
No matter our walks with Christ, if we will submit to God and resist the devil, the devil will flee from us (see James 4:7).
If we will do this, then Scripture promises that we will indeed go further in the right road.
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Copyright Â© 2012 David Jeffers