Don't Ignore the Devil
There is a habit common among humans that many of us practice from time to time. This practice is called "ignoring things we don’t like and hoping they will go away”.
With minor aches and pains—that method often works. With leaks, debt, and mechanical problems it almost never works.
When we ignore problems with our health, with our homes, and with our cars—those problems usually worsen. People that bother us that we ignore and hope they go away works sometimes, and sometimes it doesn’t.
But when we enter into the realm of our spiritual life, spiritual health, and spiritual safety—ignoring the Devil is the worst choice we can make!
Paul warns Christ's church, more than any other New Testament writer, of the dangers of the Devil. Paul goes on to command every believer in the name and the authority of the Lord—to be aware of, ready for, and armed against the Devil.
If I could summarize all of Paul’s extensive teachings on Satan it would come down to one phrase: “Don’t Ignore the Devil”.
Please open with me to II Corinthians 2.1-11.
Several days ago, as we started in this Spiritual Warfare series, I urged you to re-examine what you are doing each day in life and why. Hold up all of your habits, desires, hobbies, spare time, recreation, sports, pursuits, collections, appetites, and all else to the scrutiny of God's Word.
Today I remind you that we live on an active battlefield every minute of our earthly lives. Not only is there a cosmic war swirling around us…
There Is a War Swirling Within Us!
Satan and his army of demons are the ultimate terrorist insurgency. They are able to always creep around us unnoticed because they are absolutely silent and completely invisible.
Yet they are more deadly to our spiritual lives than any truck bomber or suicide vest. Yet their invisibility and silence make them often ignored. That is why Paul tells us “Don’t Ignore the Devil”!
Don’t yield any ground in your life to the Devil by ignoring him.
Nothing in life is neutral, nothing in life is harmless. Everything in life is either for God or against Him. Everything is either promoting God’s Glory or opposing it. Nothing is neutral when it comes to God; never forget that as you assess the daily patterns and habits of your life.
Right in the middle of dealing with the person who was disciplined by the Corinthian Church for sin, that needed to be forgiven and taken back into fellowship, Paul adds a powerful warning—don’t ignore the devil. H e will use any avenue we leave unguarded to attack and neutralize our lives. Please look at 2 Corinthians 2:11 -
Lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices. (NKJV)
2 Corinthians 2:11 - in order that no advantage be taken of us by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his schemes. (NAS)
2 Corinthians 2:11 - in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes. (NIV)
Don’t ignore the Devil!
To help all of us not ignore the Devil, think through how God has revealed Satan and what that implies as to his attacks upon us. We studied in-depth the top dozen or so ways that Satan is at work against us as believers. Here is brief review:
1. Don’t ignore the father of lies – he wants to snatch the Word of God from your mind.
2. Don’t ignore the evil one – he wants you to think little-by-little that sin is not so bad.
3. Don’t ignore the unholy one – he wants you to slowly learn to laugh at sin on television and in the movies.
4. Don’t ignore the deceiver – he wants to destroy your conscience bit-by-bit so it will no longer warn you.
5. Don’t ignore the tempter –he wants to entertain you so often with sin so that you won’t think sin is as evil as sin really is.
6. Don’t ignore the adversary of God – he wants to drown you in a sea of sin so that you become very tolerant of it.
7. Don’t ignore the one who shoots flaming darts – he wants to fill your mind with doubts, lies, immorality, and false doctrine.
8. Don’t ignore the murderer from the beginning – he wants to addict you to violence, condition you to enjoying killing and bloodshed through games and movies.
9. Don’t ignore the devouring lion –he wants to debilitate your will and get you to do things you shouldn’t do.
10. Don’t ignore the fallen, warped, and twisted one –he wants to twist your thinking by putting sinful ideas to appealing music.
11. Don’t ignore the counterfeiter of truth –he wants to confuse your emotions by corrupting your desires and drawing your affections to the wrong things.
12. Don’t ignore the original idolater and covetous one – he wants to get you drooling over stuff, to the neglect of your family life, church life, and spiritual life—in order to get it; and then he wants darken you with discouragement once you get it because you will only want more.
So those are the elements of the war swirling within us we must not ignore. Satan never sleeps, never stops stalking each of God’s children. But, as we turn onward to II Corinthians 10:4, Paul uses a Greek word that defines Satan’s strategy we must not ignore.
2 Corinthians 10:4 for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.
The word warfare in 2 Corinthians 10:4 means “campaign.” Paul explains that he was not simply involved in some little skirmish while ministering in
Satan and his demons are alive, awake, and at work relentlessly, tirelessly, and devastatingly 24/7 as the ultimate spiritual terrorists. When you think about the safety of your life, home, and loved ones never ignore the reality of the powers of hell always trying to destroy the work of God (Matt. 16:18). Don’t ignore the devil, and don’t yield any ground to the enemy, not even one inch!
There are seven targets that God's Word describes as Satan’s prime focus. These are the places in our lives where he is most at work. As we look at these seven areas, we will find that they parallel the seven pieces of armor that Paul commanded all of us to wear as believers.
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