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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