Moments in the life of a Pastor

Walking with God

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8 Firm Faith part 2

1 Peter 5:8-9

Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.

We are not immune from Satan’s attacks against us, either within or without. Often we leave the door open to Satan by our spiritual weakness or lack of faith. Peter’s admonition leaves no doubt as to the warfare in which we are engaged. Satan is a master at his evil craft; he has been at it a long time. In 2 Corinthians 2:11 Paul reminds the church “Lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices.” To know the things we need to beware of will strengthen our position in the battle, “To be forewarned is to be fore-armed!” Peter as he reminds us to stand firm in our faith reveals the reality that we are not the only ones suffering. Today in our progressive culture we have made the purpose of life pleasure and we have little time for persecution. When Satan came asking to strip Job through suffering he was convinced that Job’s faith would fold, but here is when we see the power of persecution, you see suffering can silence Satan. Lions hunt by separating those they hunt from the herd, Peter reminds us that we are not alone in our suffering because he doesn’t want you to become separated. Satan wants to convince you that you are all alone and that it is hopeless because then you will give in and give up. As we continue with part 2 we are reminded of some of Satan’s devices that we dare not take lightly.


Satan loves to distract us so that we turn from God’s purposes to our pleasures. I John 2:15 reminds us: “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”  Jesus said: “No man can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” Matthew 6:24. Today in our desire for satisfaction we are trading the Savior for the temporary shinny things of this world. To Judas the thirty pieces of silver seemed so appealing before the betrayal; only after the trade did he realize their worth. The things of the world are like that; to covetous eyes they sparkle and shine and we give up things of much greater worth to obtain them. The only way to weigh the worth is by comparing the cost. Today in our mad rush to get we fail to realize what we give. We turn from the truth for the temporary trinkets. Satan wants to divert us onto the road of destruction, today in our attempts to get love we sacrifice our lives, we trade our bodies for beauty, we give sex to feel special, we give all to get attention, we give up holiness to get ahead and to obtain love we give in to lust. To stand firm in the faith means we must turn to truth, true riches are found in the Redeemer it’s not about the money it’s about the Master. Has Satan distracted and diverted you, what are you trading?


Satan’s first plan of attack with Adam and Eve was to sow the seeds of doubt, Genesis 3:1 “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” Doubt is designed to cause you to distrust because then you will disassociate. When Jesus rose from the dead he revealed himself to His disciples and asked them a pointed question we need to ask ourselves today: “And He said to them, ’Why are you troubled? And why do doubts arise in your hearts.” Luke 24:38. When Peter took his eyes off of the Savior he began to sink and Jesus said to him: “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” Matthew 14:31 Today are you focusing on the foundation of your faith, on The Lord or a lie?


We will all deal with disappointment sin this life the question becomes how we will deal with them? Most of us have a plan of how things should go and when God doesn’t fit into our plan He becomes the problem and focus of our disappointment. Satan loves to play the selfish card and convince us that life should be about self, he knows that is he can get us to exchange God’s plan for ours it’s only a matter of time before disappointment derails us. Judas had an expectation of Jesus, that He would follow man’s plan not the Fathers.  Disappointment was how Satan got to Judas. When he realized that Jesus wasn’t going to overthrow the Roman government and give him his place in the kingdom his attitude dissolved into disappointment. Disappointment caused him to depart, he was determined that his actions were justified. Today many depart from Jesus during times of disappointment, we justify our actions using the phrase “I deserve to be happy” Like Judas, Satan can convince us to focus everything through the lens of self so that all we see is our disappointment. It’s amazing that while Jesus was on his knees serving Judas like a slave, washing the dirt from his feet, Judas felt justified to make plans to betray Him. Be careful about what disappoints you in serving God. Jesus said in Luke 7:23, “God blesses those who do not turn away because of me” The devil can use disappointment to snare you and devour you.


Even though God delivered His people from Pharaoh they still got stuck in the muck and mire of discouragement.  Numbers 21:4-5 “Then they journeyed from Mount Hor by the Way of the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom; and the soul of the people became very discouraged on the way. “And the people spoke against God and against Moses: “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and our soul loathes this worthless bread.”  Discouragement caused them to despise Gods provisions, instead of living in wonder they saw His bread as worthless and began to whine. Are you discouraged today? What are you focusing on, the circumstances or Christ?


In our give it to me now world we get very distressed by any delay. In Daniel 10 we are told of a delay that Daniel experienced because of demonic activity:  “In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia, a revelation was given to Daniel. Its message was true and it concerned a great war. The understanding of the message came to him in a vision. 2 At that time I, Daniel, mourned for three weeks. 3 I ate no choice food; no meat or wine touched my lips; and I used no lotions at all until the three weeks were over.”  We are then told the reason for the delay “12 Then he continued, “Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them. 13 But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia. 14 Now I have come to explain to you what will happen to your people in the future, for the vision concerns a time yet to come.”

Are you waiting on the Lord today, delay does not need to result in despair.

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7 Firm Faith Part 1

1 Peter 5:8-9

Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.

Who has not heard the roar of Satan’s voice? I would dare say that everyone at some point has heard his roar, may be even right now you are hearing his roar in your ear, in your mind and in your heart. The goal of his roar is to strike fear into the ear that will hear, into the mind that will meditate upon him, and into the heart that is willing to believe him. His roar is designed to drown out the voice of God, to convince and confuse you. The roar of Satan speaks to our sin nature, he wants humanity bound for hell instead of hope. He wants you living in sin instead of standing on your salvation, convincing you to trade God’s holiness for happiness. He doesn’t want to maim you he wants to make a meal out of you, to destroy and devour you. So what are the devices of Satan designed to make dinner out of you:


Genesis 3:3-5 reminds us of his ploys “…God has said, ’You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’ Then the serpent said to the woman. ’You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” From the very beginning he used lies to lure mankind away from God. Today we live in a time of great deception, how do we keep from being deceived? We must focus on the foundation of our faith as we filter his lies through the Lord’s word. Paul reminds us in Ephesians 4:14 that deception comes when we are not grounded in the Word of God: Eph. 4:14 “tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming.”


The devil loves to see people living in delusion. This is a warped mental state, were we believe the lie and end up with a wrong concept of who we are. Some today have delusions of grandeur, believing they are the best.  Paul reminds us in Romans 12:2-3 not to be conformed to the patterns of this world but to be renewed in our thinking so that we don’t become high minded. The devil wants to deceive and delude us but he can’t if we have the mind of Christ. Christ shared his mind with his disciples when He said the first should be last and the greatest the least. Satan began the great delusion when he thought he could dethrone God and delusion will cause you to become dinner for the devil.


We live in a world of bigger and better, about the time you buy it there is a better one. Dissatisfaction comes when we make happiness in our possessions or position our priority. We may think we are too smart for Satan to catch us in this trap, but the wisest man who ever lived fell for this tactic. Listen to his words in Ecclesiastes 2:3-11:

3 After much thought, I decided to cheer myself with wine. And while still seeking wisdom, I clutched at foolishness. In this way, I tried to experience the only happiness most people find during their brief life in this world. 4 I also tried to find meaning by building huge homes for myself and by planting beautiful vineyards. 5 I made gardens and parks, filling them with all kinds of fruit trees. 6 I built reservoirs to collect the water to irrigate my many flourishing groves. 7 I bought slaves, both men and women, and others were born into my household. I also owned large herds and flocks, more than any of the kings who had lived in Jerusalem before me. 8 I collected great sums of silver and gold, the treasure of many kings and provinces. I hired wonderful singers, both men and women, and had many beautiful concubines. I had everything a man could desire! 9 So I became greater than all who had lived in Jerusalem before me, and my wisdom never failed me. 10 Anything I wanted, I would take. I denied myself no pleasure. I even found great pleasure in hard work, a reward for all my labors. 11 But as I looked at everything I had worked so hard to accomplish, it was all so meaningless—like chasing the wind. There was nothing really worthwhile anywhere.

Dissatisfaction breeds a desire for more, it’s a never ending process designed to draw you away from the true source of peace and the One who provides. Today we live in a world where people are constantly dissatisfied with their possessions, position and even their partner.


Not all depression is a result of the devil but some is. This was Elijah’s problem, he had just prayed down fire from heaven and God consumed the sacrifice and the altar. But then he got a death threat and he tells God, it’s over, I don’t want to live anymore, I just want to die. Have you ever been there? Depression always leads to defeat and some of our greatest depressions in life come after our greatest victories. You don’t have to be dinner for the devil, Paul says that we are to resist the roar by focusing on our faith not our feelings.