HOW TO SMELL A RAT
"… so that no advantage would be taken of us by Satan, for we are not ignorant of his schemes."-
I hate rats! They are creepy and disgusting little creatures, full of disease and filth. The other day, I caught a few minutes of the Animal Planet television show, Infested! In the episode I saw, a lady and her daughter faced an army of rats, intent on taking over the homestead. It was awful, to say the least.
Hindsight is always 20-20. However, I know that mom would have wished she had been able to “smell a rat” before moving into the house. As much as people like fame, no one wants to be on the show Infested! No one wants to experience the horror associated with an infestation of rats!
THE DEVIL IS A RAT
Rats traffic in degradation, disease, death, and decay. They are nocturnal creatures who love the darkness. They are a fitting metaphor for the devil and his demons. And they have a particular stench.
So how do you smell a rat? How do you recognize the schemes of the enemy?
1. Remember that he always comes in disguise. When he appeared in the Garden of Eden, he didn’t appear as the devil. He appeared as a serpent. Most of us recoil at the sight of a serpent, but Eve had no such reason to fear. In God’s perfect world, all the creatures made were no threat to her. Now, if the devil had appeared as he really is, full of rottenness and evil, she would have fled. But he didn’t. He never does. He appears as an angel of light, not a devil of darkness.
2. Remember that he always casts doubt. The first thing he says to Eve is a question … a question posed to get her to doubt the word of God and the character of God. “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” (Genesis 3:1). The meaning is clear. Surely, God hasn’t made all these fruit trees and then said no to your eating from them. How cruel, sick, and sadistic. How can God be good and do something like that? Ugh! Anytime you hear someone putting a question mark on the veracity of God’s Word and God’s character, steer clear because that person is doing the work of the devil.
3. Remember that he always denies the consequences and promises the moon. Concerning the forbidden fruit, he told Eve, “You surely shall not 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” (Genesis 3:4-5). Etch this truth in your heart: sin has consequences. It will bring forth death to your hopes, dreams, family, and future. Look at any meth addict and see for yourself what forbidden fruit really does. To be sure, there is pleasure in sin. But that passing pleasure comes with a hefty price tag that no one in his right mind would ever want to pay.
4. Remember that he always works to get you to fixate on the forbidden. Once Eve believed the devil’s lies that she wouldn’t die and that she would be like God, she fixated on the forbidden fruit. She filled her mind with how good and tasty and desirable and helpful that fruit would be. Once a person does that, he or she is done. You can’t fill your mind and heart with the devil’s lies and come out victorious. A little boy was caught by his mother staring at the delicious cookies in the jar. She said, “Son, are you trying to steal a cookie before dinner?” He said, “No, mom. I’m trying not to.” If we focus on that which is forbidden, we will surely fall. And Eve fell, taking Adam with her.
WALKING IN VICTORY
In order to have victory over Satan, the original sewer rat, you need to develop sensitivity to his evil schemes and understand how he operates. The way he came at Eve so long ago is the same way he comes at you and me today. Be assured that God is good and His Word is true. Those who obey God and His Word enjoy His peace, blessings, and victory. Don’t allow the devil to get you to think negatively, skeptically, and lightly about God. If you do, you will be moving into a house infested with rats… and you will not like the results.
Pastor Jeff Schreve,
From His Heart Ministries
Dr. Jeff Schreve believes that no matter how badly you may have messed up in life, God still loves you and has a wonderful plan just for you. From His Heart provides real truth, love and hope on over 700 radio stations each day, in 182 countries each week on TV, and is always available online. Pastor Jeff takes no income from this ministry. All donations go to furthering the broadcast outreach. As a listener/viewer supported ministry, we thank you for joining with us to help speak the truth in love to a lost and hurting world. Go to www.fromhisheart.org for more information.
Following Jesus is much more than just that initial step of faith to believe He is who He says He is. In this insightful and challenging 11-message series by Pastor Jeff Schreve, he takes a close look at what it means to genuinely follow Jesus in day-to-day life as we all await His glorious return. It is not easy, but the rewards are incredible. Click here to find out more!