Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: devil, prayer, satan, sermon, spiritual warfare
Adam and Eve gave birth to two sons – Cain and Abel. Abel lived in such a way that he enjoyed a close relationship with God. Cain didn’t. In fact, when he came to place something in the offering plate, God didn’t accept it because he wasn’t really doing it from the heart. God accepted Abel’s offering, making Cain jealous of his brother. When you’re jealous, disappointed, angry, or confused, it can open the door to a wrong decision.Cain was furious and depressed. Somehow God warned him of what was happening in his mind and in his life.
“If you do right, won’t you be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door. It desires to have you, but you must master it.” (Genesis 4:7)
Is it a sin to be angry? No. But centuries later a man would write a letter to some friends, saying, “Hey, it’s OK to be angry. Just don’t lash out and sin in your anger. Maybe you don’t necessarily feel like killing them. But your words can be just as sharp. Cutting remarks can kill someone’s self esteem. Don’t let the sun go down while you are ticked off. You won’t be able to sleep anyway, so you might as well talk it out. If you don’t, you’ll give the Devil a foothold in your life.” You give him a place to stand. You give him something to hold on to.
You know what a foothold is, right? If you have ever been on a climbing wall, when you can put your foot on a foothold, it allows you to reach for something more. The Devil always wants more. When he can take hold of something in your life, it allows him to reach for more. If you’re angry and you’re lashing out at someone, the Devil then begins to reach for your kids, your parents, or your friends. If not dealt with properly, your anger will allow him to walk right in through the front door of your life and take hold of everything in your home.
My camouflage Bible says, “Don’t let the sun go down on your anger and don’t give the Devil an opportunity.” (Ephesians 4:26-27) Opportunity knocks. Don’t answer the door!
Out of his anger, Cain attacked and killed his brother. The devil came knockin, and Cain opened the door.
During the springtime when kings were marching out to war, David decided he would hang back at the palace, sending his General Joab to fight his battles for him. Did you catch that? David should have been taking care of his responsibilities. He was lazy, complacent, and now, maybe a little bored.
One night, David couldn’t sleep. From his roof top patio in his palatial palace, he saw a woman bathing – a very beautiful woman. She was drop dead gorgeous. She was hot. So David sent someone to find out more about her.
You don’t think he sent a note asking whether she liked him, do you? I guess that is a little junior highish! He gets the 411 on her, and tells his employees to go get her.
I wonder if God whispered the same thing in David’s ear. “If you do right, David, won’t you be accepted? But if you don’t do what’s right, sin is crouching at your door. It desires to have you, but you must master it.” David didn’t master his passion. In fact, he gave in to it. It mastered him. It conquered him.
Why was David walking around that night? Couldn’t he sleep? Were visions of other women, other escapades, in his mind? Could it be that he was frustrated with his wife Michal?
Things were obviously not going well. They weren’t on the same page spiritually. They probably weren’t on the same page in a number of ways. The day David brought the Ark of the Covenant into the city of Jerusalem for the first time, he “was dancing with all his might before the Lord.” And check this out. David’s wife “Michal looked down from the window and saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord, and she despised him in her heart.” (2 Samuel 6:14-16) To DESPISE means to regard with contempt, distaste, disgust, or disdain; scorn; loathe; to dislike intensely.
Things were not going well for this couple. Call in Dr. Phil. Call in Dr. Ruth. Call in Oprah, because this couple needed help. Cold shoulder. A rift in their relationship. Brick wall. They have fallen out of love and they have fallen hard.
And that night, when David’s men were out taking care of his responsibilities, David’s mind started to wander. He and Michal were in a world of hurt and were worlds apart. Their marriage was on the rocks. He took a walk, but his mind was wandering as well. Instead of taking his thoughts captive, his thoughts held him captive.
As he looked down, he saw an opportunity. Maybe David ignored a line he wrote in one song: “I will pay attention to the way of integrity….I will live with integrity of heart in my house. I will not set anything godless before my eyes. I hate the doing of transgression; it will not cling to me.” (Psalm 101:2-4) At that point in his life, he was not going to let anything into his house.
This night was different. She came upstairs to his private quarters. Did she know what he wanted? Scripture doesn’t say, but that night David stole a wife, destroyed a relationship, and killed a man to attempt to conceal the evidence.
Guys, is it a sin to want a woman? No way. Check out the Song of Solomon. It’s a beautiful poetic picture of a married couple in love. It talks about the fact that it is incredible within the bounds of marriage.
The same man who wrote some friends about anger wrote to some other friends about their marriage. He said, “Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.” (1 Corinthians 7:5)
What’s he saying? Sex is not the most important aspect about your relationship. You have to pray. You have to worship together. You have to be on the same page spiritually. David and Michal were not. She should have been down on the streets with him dancing with him. She should have been celebrating with him. David. Michal. Give some attention to spiritual aspect of your relationship, but, do this by mutual consent. Mutually agree together how much time to take for prayer. Why? Because your desire for each other will grow to the point that you might start looking at someone else. Don’t give the devil an open door to your relationship.
The devil came knockin, and David opened the door.
Where am I going with this? We are in a four week series on the supernatural. The first week we learned that what we see is not necessarily what we get. There’s more to this life than what meets the eye. Last week we learned that we’re not alone. God has an army and He’s not afraid to use it to protect His people. This week we’re focusing on the demonic: Satan and his angels.
You’ve heard the phrase: opportunity knocks. Well, Satan and those who work with him look for opportunities to gain entrance into our lives. When the devil comes knockin, don’t open the door.
In a letter to his friends in Ephesus, Paul wrote about the spiritual forces of evil that are at work waging war against us. I want to show you where these spiritual forces came from first, and then we’ll look at ways we can keep the doors of opportunity shut so he can’t have his way with us and in us.
Isaiah 14:12-15 tells the story of “the shining morning star,” “day star,” or “son of the dawn.” The word for day star is where the name Lucifer comes from. The “Day Star” said to himself: “I will ascend to the heavens; I will set up my throne above the stars of God….I will make myself like the Most High.” That act of rebellion set things in motion for a war in heaven.
Revelation 12:7-11 gives the details of that battle. Within the heavenly realms, the Archangel Michael and his angels fought against the dragon and his angels. The Bible calls that ancient serpent, the devil. When Satan could not win, “there was no place for them in heaven.” He was thrown to the earth along with his angels.
Since Satan knows his time is short, knowing that God will crush his head under our feet (Romans 16:20), all hell is breaking loose to make war with God’s children (Revelation 12:17). If he’s going down, he is going to take down as many people as possible. So he and his angels deceive the nations (Romans 20:10), incite people to sin (1 Chronicles 21:1), sow weeds into people’s lives to choke the word that God is trying to plant in them (Matt. 13:39). They take possession of peoples’ lives. They bind people. They steal, kill and destroy. Satan’s name means accuser (Zechariah 3:2). He captivates people. He plans his moves in each of our lives. (Ephesians 6:11). He is a roaring lion looking for lives to devour (1 Peter 5:8). He tests, tempts and torments people. He disguises himself as an angel of light (1 Corinthians 11:14). For a time he hinders God’s work from happening (1 Thes. 2:18 and Daniel’s story).
All of this in an attempt to bring us down, tear us down, tear us up, chew us up and spit us out.
The only time we have to fear spiritual forces of evil is when we let them into the doors of our lives. When the devil comes knocking, don’t open the door. When the devil came knocking in Cain’s life, Cain opened the door. When the devil came knocking in David’s life, David opened the door.
When the devil came knocking during Jesus’ 40 days of fasting, Jesus didn’t open any doors. In fact, he slammed them shut. You can find this account in Luke 4. The Spirit led Jesus out into the wilderness, and after the 40 days, Scripture says he was hungry. Really? I know it’s hard to believe. But he was hungry. And that hunger created an opportunity for Satan to tempt him.
“If You really are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread,” the devil said. When the devil comes knockin, don’t open the door.
Jesus closed the opportunity by quoting Scripture. “Man must not live on bread alone.”
As Jesus was looking at all the kingdoms of the world, all that authority created an opportunity for Satan to tempt him. He whispered in His ear, “I’ll give You all this. If you worship me, all this will be Yours.” When the devil comes knockin, don’t open the door.
Jesus closed the opportunity by quoting Scripture. “Worship the Lord your God and serve Him only.”
Jesus then walked into the center of Jerusalem, to the pinnacle of the temple. That situation created an opportunity for Satan to tempt him.
“If You are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here.” Satan then quoted Scripture himself. You do realize that the devil knows the Word of God? In fact, James says that all in the demonic realm believe in God – but shudder with fear. When the devil comes knockin, don’t open the door.
Jesus closed the opportunity by quoting more Scripture. “Do not test the Lord your God.” Then there is this key line in this whole spiritual battle.
“After the Devil had finished every temptation, he left Him until an opportune time.” He is always looking for the opportunity to walk right into your life to steal, kill and destroy. Think about it. He got you to fall last night and that’s all you’re thinking about this morning. You’re thinking you shouldn’t even be here because of what you did last night or last week. When you start hearing those voices, realize that Satan’s name means accuser. He is bringing accusations against you in order to take you in, chew you up, tear you down and spit you out.
What opportunities do we give the devil to enter in and influence our lives?
• Anger. When we’re angry. If we don’t deal with those feelings of anger and resentment, we will give a devil a place to hold onto in our lives. (Ephesians 4:27)
• Fatigue. When we’re tired. “The Spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.” Jesus found his disciples sleeping, exhausted from their grief. “Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray, so that you won’t enter into temptation.” When you’re tired you start to let down your guard.
• Desire. Our own desire for sin can give him an opportunity. (James 1:14) We’re tempted when we are drawn away and enticed by our own evil desires. Sometimes we want it. Sin is fun, right? It’s fun for a very short time.
• Singleness or marital problems, where you’re married but you feel like you’re single. That can give the devil an opportunity to steal your love, kill your marriage and destroy your family. (1 Cor. 7:5)
• Doubts. Jesus’ story about the farmer showed how the devil comes in to sow doubt in your life so you won’t believe the words of God. (Mark 4:15)
• Getting drunk or high. “Be on your guard, so that your minds are not dulled from carousing, drunkenness, and worries of life.” (Luke 21:34) You are more prone to do something worse when you have had something to drink or taken something in order to take the edge off.
When the devil comes knockin, don’t open the door. How do you keep the door shut when opportunity comes knockin? I’ll get into more next week
- Get an alarm system. “Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the tactics of the devil.” (Ephesians 6:11) “Be sober! Be on the alert! Your adversary the Devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone to devour. Resist him, firm in the faith.” (1 Peter 5:8)
- Lock the door. “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the well spring of life.” (Proverbs 4:23)
- Stand up for your right to bear arms. “Stand, therefore, with truth like a belt around your waist, righteousness like armor on your chest, and your feet sandaled with the readiness for the gospel of peace. In every situation take the shield of faith, and with it you will be able to extinguish the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is God’s Word.” (Ephesians 6:14-17)
When the devil comes knockin, are you opening the door? In fact, are there ways you have turned the light on, opened the door, shaken the dust off the welcome mat, and have asked him to come in?
Think about the last time you let him come in and influence your life? What were the circumstances leading up to that? If you can get a handle on the plans he has for your life, on what he used to influence you to not follow Jesus Christ, you can then take a stand against him, resist him firm in the faith.
You can, as James says, “draw near to God, and God will draw near to you. Resist the devil, and he will flee.” When the devil comes knockin, don’t open the door.
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