Saturday, April 11, 2015

Identity in Christ - 18 (Devil's Enemy)

The Bible urges us to keep prepared and alert for Satan's attacks. Satan wants to entice us to sin, to discourage us, to make us miserable. All of this, to convince us that it is not worth it to follow God. To get us to quit.

It seems a little far-fetched to conclude that Satan is exerting a tremendous amount of time, energy and resources to cause the downfall of one lowly individual. 

"I am no high powered Christian. I am not a pastor. I hardly shared the gospel or pray. I forget to read the Bible most days. Why does Satan seem so worked up?"

(1) God's mission in the world is to restore his glory by re-establishing his kingdom. He accomplishes this by renewing relationships with people, transforming their lives, so they live as they were designed to live, and mobilize his family as his agents. As the members of his family love, share his message, and demonstrate his nature, many will be motivated to join his family.

If Satan can bring pressure on God's children, he might be able to short circuit the process. If a person does not follow God any longer, he does not act as God's agent. There is less love, less evangelism, and less demonstration of God's nature., Or better, there are distortions of these behaviors in God's agents. Lives are not transformed. People are not stirred to consider beginning a relationship with the Father.

The ultimate aim of Satan is to hinder the expansion and restoration of God's kingdom. And with it, the magnification of God's glory. Satan began to be Satan, when he decided that he wanted the glory that only God deserved. If he couldn't have it, he made sure God couldn't have it either. Satan seeks to disrupt the restoration of God's kingdom, because he believes it robs God of glory.

(2) There is a phenomena happening in different parts of the world. And there are people studying it. The name that they give this phenomena is "Church Planting Movements." (CPM)

CPM's occur when the gospel is introduced to an area, impacting the people, and there is a massive proliferation of churches, involving tens of thousands of people in a short time. It is a multi-megaton nuclear explosion of God's kingdom.

This explosion begins with one person. And that is what Satan is afraid of. Each explosion brings God tremendous glory. Each person who chooses to give their allegiance to Jesus (even each person who becomes open to Jesus) has the potential to set off a movement that will sweep a whole people group into God's kingdom.

  • God's Perspective
Each person was designed originally by God to live like Jesus. And, though, each person is unique (different gifts, perspectives and motivations), each person has the potential to turn society and culture upside down. All that is required is faith, love, the Holy Spirit in a person's heart and an active relationship with the Father.
  •  Living My Life
I'm sure the Father would like all of us to ignite an explosion of the gospel in, at least, one people group in the world. Certainly, if a person does not start his own fire, he would like him to add to the conflagration. To position ourselves to complete this type of work:
    •  Participate in a relationship with the Father. Last entry, I mentioned the idea of focusing one's heart on the Father. This focus creates a channel between a person's heart and the Father's heart. Love and grace flow from the Father's heart to the person's heart, healing and strengthening our lives. We give God the opportunity to work in our hearts as he wills.
    • Act in faith and love. These two take truth, as God sees it, and the flow of God's heart, grace and love, and introduce them to the world.
    • Cooperate with the Spirit. People have no power over the human heart. It is the Spirit who takes the flow from the Father's heart, expressed in faith and love by God's family, and creates impact in human hearts. 
In this way, the Father impacts the world, expands his kingdom, receives glory, and his family puts the fear of God into Satan's heart.

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