The Devil’s “D” Words

This is from a Bible study I wrote years ago and it seems to fit with our topic this month.

DECEIT–Satan always seeks to deceive us, and often his falsehoods sound good. “When he lies he speaks his native language for he is a liar and the father of lies.” John 8:44

DOUBT–The devil questions God’s Word and His goodness. “Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” Genesis 3:1

DIVERSION–Satan draws our attention the wrong things and makes them appear more attractive and appealing than the right things. “For God knows that when you eat of it (the fruit) your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.” Genesis 3:5-6

DISCOURAGEMENT–Satan uses our problems and difficulties to depress us and make us give up. He tried this with Job. “Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied. “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. But now stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.”

DELAY–Someone once said “if the devil can’t make you bad, he’ll make you busy.” He tries to make us put off doing what is good, so that we never do it at all. “Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” ….If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.” James 4:13-17

DIVISION–We are stronger together, so Satan seeks to separate us from other believers. In his letter to the Roman church, Paul says: ” I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. For such people are not serving our Lord Christ…” Romans 16:17-18

The result of all these “D” words is another one: DISOBEDIENCE— and we all know what that leads to:

“For the wages of sin is death,” Romans 6:23a

Thankfully that’s not the end of the story–

but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” Romans 6:23b

Satan may deceive, divert, discourage, delay and divide, but he will not defeat us. God has the last word. We are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. (Romans 8:37)

For more about disobedience see:

It Started in the Garden

,Grieving the Spirit

Against You Only

The Devil Made Me Do It!

I found this in going through old church newsletters and thought it went well with this month’s theme — SIN!

The Devil’s Beatitudes

*Blessed are they who are too tired to assemble with the church on Sunday, for they cause the world to say, ‘The church is failing.’

*Blessed are they who are bored with the mannerisms and mistakes of the minister; for they will learn nothing from the sermon.

*Blessed is the church member who expects to be invited to his own church; for he is important to me.

*Blessed are they who are easily offended; for they get angry and stop doing God’s work.

*Blessed are they who do not give generously to God’s work and mission; for they are my helpers.

*Blessed is he who claims to love God but hates his brother; for he will be with me forever.

*Blessed are the troublemakers; they shall be called the children of Satan.

*Blessed is he who has not time to pray; he will be easy prey for me.

For more posts about the devil see:

Resist the Devil

The World, The Flesh and … oh yes, THE DEVIL

The Gospel According to Satan by Jared C. Wilson–Book Review

Walking With Jesus — Devotion#1

Years ago the church I belonged to held a family retreat. The theme was walking with God. During the retreat, some families and individuals wrote their own devotion based on the theme. The devotions were later gathered together and made into a booklet. I thought I would include some this month. You can do these alone, or with a group.

Do you remember the story of “Little Red Riding Hood?” (If you’re doing this as a family or group, have someone tell the story). It told how the wolf tried to keep Little Red Riding Hood from getting to her grandmas’ house and wanted to harm both her and her grandmother. We all know how the story ended when the hunter saved them.

Our walk with Jesus is very much like that. St. Paul tells us that the devil is like a roaring lion who seeks to hurt us and keep us from walking with Jesus and our destination in eternity. As we walk our walk with Jesus, who guides and leads us and promises to bring us to eternity with Him, we need to remember that Satan would love to have us follow him instead. Thankfully, God sent His Son to defeat the devil and save us, and give us an example of how to walk faithfully.

1 Peter 5:8-9
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.

Suggestions:

*Make a list of the ways the devil might use to trick you into following him.

*Pray a prayer for strength, courage and faith to resist the devil.

For more about the devil see:

Resist the Devil

The World, The Flesh and … oh yes, THE DEVIL

The Gospel According to Satan by Jared C. Wilson–Book Review

Resist the Devil

Uncertain times provide the devil with a host of opportunities.  We tend to become depressed and discouraged.  We’re worried about what might happen next.  We begin to doubt.  Is God really at work?  Can we trust Him?  The book of James tells us:

”  Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. ”  James 4:7

What does it mean to resist the devil?  Well, for one thing, maintaining our spiritual disciplines, as I discussed in a previous post (Coping With Uncertainty), study the Bible, attend worship, celebrate the sacraments, pray, seek guidance from Christian leaders and friends.  Martin Luther, who was a musician and wrote many great hymns, had a strong belief in the power of music. Here’s his suggestion!

“The devil, the originator of sorrowful anxieties and restless troubles, flees before the sound of music almost as much as before the Word of God….Music is a gift and grace of God, not an invention of men. Thus it drives out the devil and makes people cheerful. Then one forgets all wrath, impurity, and other devices.”
Martin Luther

If you can’t sing in church these days, sing at home!  Hum your favorite hymn.  Dwell on the comforting words.  Sing with your children (my kids and I used to sing in the car all the time when they were little).  Turn on the radio.  Get out your LP’s (if you still have them), your CD’s or subscribe to Spotify.  Do whatever you need to do to put some music back into your life.  It will lift your spirits, focus your mind on God and foil the devil.

For more on music, see these posts:

Music as a Dynamic

Music as Prayer

Lutherans and Music

For more Martin Luther quotes on music, see these posts:

Why We Should Give Thanks for Music (according to Martin Luther)

Martin Luther on Music

Martin Luther on Music #2

For some inspiring music, check these out:

God Will Take Care of You

Just a Little Talk With Jesus

Built On A Rock

 

 

 

Martin Luther –Relax a Little!

“Whenever the devil harasses you, seek the company of men or drink more, or joke and talk nonsense, or do some other merry thing. Sometimes we must drink more, sport, recreate ourselves, and even sin a little to spite the devil, so that we leave him no place for troubling our consciences with trifles. We are conquered if we try too conscientiously not to sin at all. So when the devil says to you: do not drink, answer him: I will drink, and right freely, just because you tell me not to.”
Martin Luther

The World, The Flesh and … oh yes, THE DEVIL

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

1 Peter 5:8

In our environment, we are constantly barraged with sinful desires promoted by our culture, and our own unholy thoughts and deeds.  However, these aren’t the only enemies — the verse above from 1 Peter tells us that we are under spiritual attack from another source–the devil.  It’s unfashionable to believe in Satan these days;  admit it in a group and you may find yourself the but of jokes and snide remarks.  Unfortunately ignoring an unpleasant reality doesn’t make it go away. In fact, the devil is quite happy to have you disbelieve in his existence — it makes you an easier target because your guard is down!

Right now I’m convinced that our Fanning the Flame team is under demonic attack.  The roof of my life has (almost literally fallen in)!  Others are under stress due to relationships, financial problems, work issues, and grief.  Of course, these sorts of things happen every day, but why are so many happening to members of the same small group all at once?  Probably not a coincidence.

It’s simple.  The devil wants to distract us from the good work we are trying to do for St. Paul’s.  As my husband is fond of saying, he doesn’t need to bother with unbelievers — he already has them in his clutches.  The kind of pressure many of us are undergoing makes us irritable and quick to anger.  It disrupts our unity. It makes us anxious.  It causes us to feel disappointed, doubting and even depressed.  It encourages us to dwell on the negative.

There is, of course a Scriptural defense which is detailed in Ephesians 6:10-18:

Finally, be strong in the LORD and in his mighty power. 11Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the LORD’s people.

The team is preparing for an event called “Armourbearer Sunday.”  I’m not sure what it’s about, but I have a suspicion it may help us deal with the powers of darkness around us.  Stay tuned for more in September …..