I hate when Satan wins a battle.
Make no mistake – I clearly know that through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, God has won the war. But the defeated enemy fights on in this life on earth, endeavoring to take down and cripple as many of the children of God as he can. And I hate it when he is successful.
This week I became aware of couples with whom I minister who are going to make the choice to divorce. One of the men in this group asked me if he was going to hell if he and his wife divorce. We reviewed the Bible verses about salvation and how it is obtained, and he once again assured me that he had, indeed, placed his trust and faith in Jesus Christ for salvation and accepted the free gift of forgiveness and eternal life. I then asked him if he still thought he was going to hell. He said no.
But Satan is going to win a battle – and I hate that!
The devil really doesn’t have to be very smart to make things like this happen. He has understood the nature of man since the Garden of Eden. He has watched and manipulated the progression over and over. It is really quite simple:
- Get a man (or woman) to believe a lie
- Because what a man believes will dictate his emotions
- And a man’s emotions will drive his behaviors.
Think back to the Garden of Eden and you will see the progression. Satan says to Eve, “Did God really say” followed by “You will not die” and off it went.
That was a pretty direct interaction involving Satan himself; more often than not, I think the devil uses people to plant the lies in our lives. If significant people repeatedly tell me what a failure I am, what a burden I am, how useless I am – I will begin to believe I am a failure, a burden and useless. Then my emotions will kick into gear and drive me to do and say things to manage those emotions.
There is a war going on in the spiritual world and it is a battle for our minds. If we could grasp that reality, we might spend less time warring against behaviors and instead get right to the issue – what do we believe. “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind” is has the order right – change the way you think and believe and your behavior will be transformed.
Please pray with me this week for folks (and ourselves!) who live under the bondage of deceptive thinking.
Pastor Jim Groves