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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Have You Made the Devil Angry?

Most Christians have nothing to do with the devil. He pays them no concern and they don't pay attention to him. That is because they are not a threat to him or his kingdom. He has bigger fish to fry. He leaves them alone.

However, if you attack him and his kingdom you will make him angry. He does not like losing souls. He does not want you to grow spiritually. He does not want you or your church reaching souls and helping people grow spiritually. He loves the status quo. He loves tearing people and churches apart when they have a potential for challenging him. He gets angry when he is slapped around. He will attack you.

The devil knows he must get the person attacking his kingdom's eyes off of the Lord. He employs others to achieve his task. He uses what appears to be unlikely people. He uses Pharisees, Weeds,the Lost and Tempters.

The Pharisees are people who believe they have exclusively discovered the way to God. You can be as perfect as they are if you do exactly and believe exactly as they do. Their main responsibility, at least in their minds, is to keep everyone pure. They resist anything that goes outside of status quo. They hate changes because they have just gotten things perfect. Why should change come when everything is perfect? They will resist any action of the church to reach people that does not follow a pattern from the past. 

The devil uses the Pharisees with glee. There is no need for the Holy Spirit or the creative nature of God when the Pharisees rule. They stop everything on the business floor. They pontificate of the potential evils of the new ideas. They point to the past when the church was full and we didn't do any of these new ideas. A church can die with Pharisees in control. The devil loves the Pharisee.

Weeds are people who appear to be Christian but really aren't. They have followed the church's rules for becoming members. They have made some public assertion that they know Christ and have been baptized. They have gone through the classes and may even be regular attenders. They do not understand why the church isn't more like a civic club. They are easily manipulated because they do not have the Spirit of Christ who helps them make decisions. They can join the ranks of the discouragers. They want peace before evangelism. They want to do some good things and go about their business. They are easily manipulated by the Pharisees.

The devil uses the Weeds to gossip and slander. They will talk about the person who is growing in the Lord or helping someone else grow. They will attack the idea of evangelism as archaic. They will discourage many because they will agree to be a part of reaching people but fail to show up. They will have excellent excuses but they discourage the one trying to reach people. They will help the devil through temptations. They tell the person growing in the Lord to give it up. They will say that people just don't want to do any of the things the growing person wants to propose. The devil will send these lost people to discourage an evangelism rally. They are his safest disciples because they believe they are on the Lord's side while being on his side the whole time. They don't think they need evangelism and can't see why anyone else does either.

The Lost are those people outside the church. They do not want the church to grow. They don't like churches because they don't produce tax revenue. They don't like churches because they create traffic problems on Sundays. They like churches that are pretty but do not affect the community around them. They will complain to others, call to complain about every little thing at the church and join groups to have churches ousted from the community. They don't realize how much hell the country would be in without the churches. They actually believe that things would be better because "people are already very good." (If that is true, stop locking your car and house when you leave!) 

Tempters come along beside growing Christians to entice them away from the Lord. The devil has won if he can get them to take their eyes off the Lord.  He uses the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life. In other words, he uses fleshly desires, desires for possessions and pride. These are his tools for getting a growing Christian's eyes off of the Lord. 

A seminary professor once said, "The reason you haven't met the devil lately is because you are going the same direction." Therefore, you are doing exactly what the Lord wants you to do if you have made the devil angry. Congratulations, you have joined those who are taking ground the devil never wanted to lose.

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