I Peter 5:8
Satanís Tactics: Reload and Repeat

Several weeks ago, I started a series of sermons on Satanís Tactics.
While I have not felt lead to preach on the series consecutively, I
do believe the series is important and needs to be continued.

So far, I have preached three sermons on Satanís Tactics:
    1. Weak Spots
    2. The Master Illusionist

Tonight, I want to preach on the Satanís Tactic: Reload and Repeat.
What does that title mean? It means Satan likes to repeat an attack
that has been successful. Satan is not interested in using something
new on a person if the old is working. In fact, Satan may have
invented the phrase, "If it ainít broke, donít fix it." He is a firm
believer in the oldies.

This is one of the reasons why the same problems keep coming into our
lives.

Have you ever known anyone who keeps dating the same loser over and
over again? Now, I donít mean the same person. No. The face and name
may change with the seasons, but it is still the same loser. Theyíve
all got the same issues: maybe its alcohol issues, maybe drug issues,
maybe character issues, maybe abuse issues, or maybe all of the
above; but somehow after they get out of one bad relationship, they
get into the same exact relationship with somebody else. Why does
this happen? Because the devil likes to reload and repeat.

Have you ever known anyone with a work problem?  He or she canít
hold down a job.  They may have had five or six jobs in the last two
years and at every place, somebody was out to get them, or somebody
was taking advantage of them, or someone lied about them, or the
boss was too stupid to work for.  Why does this happen?  Because the
devil likes to reload and repeat.

Have you ever known anyone with a drug or alcohol problem?  They hit
bottom and you try to help.  You pay for rehab; you get them the best
counseling you can; you weep and cry over them; you beg them to stay
straight; and maybe they do for a while.  But then the bottom falls
out and you canít even find them.  Why does this happen?  Because the
devil likes to reload and repeat.

Understand, the situations donít have to be so major.

Have you ever know a church hopper.  Thatís someone who has tried
every church in the county; but something is wrong with everyone of
them.  Either the preacher is too loud, or he is boring.  The service
is too contemporary or itís too old fashioned.  Either the church is 
unfriendly or they are in your face.  Right now they are driving
cross-country to attend a church and have to pack a picnic lunch to
get there, but thatís all right because they wonít keep going there
for long.  Why is that?  Because the devil likes to reload and repeat.

It happens to us Baptists too. Have you ever decided to read your
Bible through, start attending every church service, go on
visitation, or get serious about praying for othersóand you want to.
But just when you are about to get at it, Uncle Fillmore from Dora
drops in unexpectedly, or there is a change for some overtime at
work, or things back up around the house and you are too busy. Why
does this happen? Because the devil likes to reload and repeat.

Why would Satan want to try a new tactic on a person when the old one
works so well?  What are some of Satanís favorite tactics?

I. Desire
    A. The first tactic Satan ever used on mankind was to tempt him
        with desire.

Ge 3:6  And when the woman saw that the tree was
good for food, and that it was pleasant to the
eyes, and a tree to be DESIRED to make one wise,
she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and
gave also unto her husband with her; and he did
eat.

        1. We all have bad desires.
            a. A Christian manómy age or olderóasked me not too long
                ago if it was a sin to have bad thoughts.
                (1) I told him no.  We all have bad thoughts.  The
                     sin comes when we keep thinking on the bad
                     thoughts.
                (2) One of my pastors, Jim Rushing, said it this way
                     many years ago.  "Bad thoughts are like birds.
                     You canít stop them from flying overhead, but
                     you sure can keep them from building a nest in
                     your hair."
                (3) The man seemed genuinely relieved.
                (4) He said, "I didnít know.  I thought maybe it was
                     just me."
            b. No.  Itís not just you, and itís not just men.
            c. Bad thoughts come with a human body and a fallen
                nature.
        2. Interestingly, Satan doesn't give us those bad desires.
            a. It may surprise you, but the Bible makes it clear that
                the bad desires are from within us.

James 1:14  But every man is tempted, when he is
drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
15  Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth
forth sin: and sin, when it is finished,
bringeth forth death.

            b. The devil does plant the seeds of bad desire but he is
                an expert at exploiting them.  The devil knows how to
                produce a bumper crop with them.
       3. How does he do that?
            a. He does that by trotting out every kind of temptation
                there is to see which ones you would go after.
            b. Here is the advantage of leading a sheltered, spirit-
                filled life.
                (1) If you are being filled with Christ, the later you
                     are exposed to those kinds of temptations, the
                     less they will attract you.
                (2) The key there is to be filling them with Christ
                     during those years, not merely leaving a void
                     within them; but if they are being filled with
                     God, they are stronger not weaker by being
                     sheltered.
            c. The devil might call his process of finding your bad
                desires fishing. 
                 (1) He has a tackle box full of lures of bates of
                      temptations. 
                 (2) Although the devil has many, he has some that are
                      his favorite. 
                 (3) He begins to cast his lures in front of you to
                      see which ones you are attracted to.
                 (4) In this world today, you don't have to have any
                      age on you at all or even leave your home.  Most
                      every temptation is invited into our homes
                      today.
                      (a) As a small child, you were exposed to images
                           that years ago would have been called
                           pornographic.  The devil cast that in front
                           of your eyes and watches how you responded.
                      (b) If that lure did not get any interested, he
                           may have cast the lure of money.  Maybe he
                           did not tempt you with Fort Knox, but he
                           put enough bait on the line to see how you
                           would respond.
                      (c) If that lure did not work, my may have tried
                           pleasure, or liquor, or drugs.
                (5) Whatever you hit upon, the devil, the enemy that
                     stalks its prey continually, wrote it down and
                     knows it.
        4. Regardless of which lure you hit on, you can mark two
            things down as being true.
            a. That temptation won't stop.  No.  Never.  Why?  Because
                that is your weak area, and he is your enemy.  You
                have shown him your bad desire.  He will use it
                against you.
            b. Things will get worse.
                (1) You understand the concept of diminishing returns,
                     don't you.
                     (a) Whatever brought you pleasure the first time,
                          you will have to have more of it more often
                          to find that level of pleasure the next
                          time.
                     (b) It is sad, but that is the way the flesh
                          works.
                (2) You have hit on a habit and the devil is going to
                     to use it against you.
                (3) Understand that the first lure the devil casts at
                     you may not be the worst thing you can do;
                     however, it can lead you to the worst thing you
                     can do.
                (4) Remember that while we can't always say that if it
                     is good it is of God (because the devil sometimes
                     tempts us with good things), we can always say if
                     is bad it is of the devil. 
                (5) The temptations always get worse.
                     (a) Look at a bad picture and next you will be
                          tempted to watch a bad video.
                     (b) Look at a bad video and next you will be
                          tempted to flirt with a bad woman.
                     (c) You can image where it will go from there.
                (6) Question:
                     (a) Did anyone ever drink alcohol with the
                          desire of becoming an alcoholic?  What
                          happened?  They gave into one temptation
                          and the devil kept reloading and
                          repeating.
                     (b) Did anyone ever take their first drug with
                          the intent of becoming an addict?  What
                          happened?  They gave into one temptation
                          and the devil kept reloading and
                          repeating.
                     (c) Did anyone ever desire to lose their
                          marriage?  to steal from their company?
                          to quit church altogether?  What happened?
                          They gave into one temptation and the
                          devil kept reloading and repeating.
        5. So get this.
            a. We all have lusts and Peter told us that we have an
                enemy that wants to destroy us.
                (1) Guess what that enemy is going to use.
                (2) Our bad desires.
            b. That means we better learn to control our desires and
                our lusts.
            c. If we do not, we will be putty in the devilís hand.
    B. How to we control our lusts.
        1. Start by admitting you have a problem.
            a. If you are watching the wrong kind of films or
                commercials or books, quit pretending you donít have
                a problem.
            b. If you have a picture, a bottle,  or a needle hid away
                somewhere, face the fact that you have a sin problem.
            c. Anything you have to hid, indicates a problem.  Any
                text, phone number, date, hobby, event, or pleasure
                that you need to keep secret is a problem and you need
                to face it!
            d. It's strange but there are two ways you can go.  You
                can hide your problem or you can arrogantly boast
                about it.  People today have turned the corner and
                parade their sin down Main Street.
            e. Whether you hide your sin or boast of it, you need to
                admit you have a problem.
        2. You need to acknowledge it is a spiritual problem.
            a. Every problem we have is a spiritual problem.
            b. I understand that there are worldly causes to some of
                our problems.
                (1) There are chemical imbalances.
                (2) There are physical failings.
                (3) There are emotional scars.
                (4) Even so, as Christians we are spiritual beings.
                     (a) We have a dimension and a power that the
                          world cannot understand.
                     (b) Greater is He that is in us than he that is
                          in the world.
                     (c) We have access to powers that the lost world
                          can only dream of.
            c. The Bible is an amazing Book.  You can read the first
                65 books in the Bible and what you see is what man
                perceives life is.  In those books, man does something
                and we wait to see how heaven will respond.  But in
                the last book, Revelation, we learn what life is
                really like.  There we find out that something is done
                in heaven, we are actually waiting to see how earth
                will respond to it.
            d. You will never win a spiritual battle fighting in
                physical war.
            e. If on this earth you have a sinful attraction, it is
                because in the heavens, you lack an attraction to
                Jesus Christ. 
        3. Then separate yourself from that temptation.
            a. If images is a problem for you, get rid of your
                television and your cell phone and your computer
                and anything else you must get rid of to avoid being
                tempted.
            b. If you are attracted to someone at work, get a new
                job.
            c. If you canít tell your company that you are going to
                church, donít answer the door.
        4. Spend more time with God in prayer and fellowship with God.
            a. Even if it did not help, it would never be wasted
                time.
            b. But the more you resist the devil though fellowship
                with God, the quicker the devil will leave you alone.
            c. In fact, the only way I know to break the cycle of
                Satan's attacks is to take what the devil is tempting
                you with and associate something spiritual with that
                temptation.
            d. The devil is not a fool.  If he finds out that when he
                tempts you to do something wrong, you are going to do
                something for God, he will quit tempting you to do
                that wrong.  (It might take a while, and he will
                surely come around with it again, but it will work!)
        5. Find a strong Christian to pray for you and to hold you
            accountable.

Galatians 6:1  Brethren, if a man be overtaken in
a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an
one in the spirit of meekness; considering
thyself, lest thou also be tempted.

We need to take some steps to become the new man, the new woman in
Jesus Christ.  You may have years of surrendering to bad desires, but
by the grace of God, you can be a new creature in Jesus Christ.

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