The lukewarm church and the religious cult are both powerless to stand against the wiles of the devil. Both are missing the power of love, the power of forgiveness and the power of the resurrection – three great powers to overcome the wiles of the devil. Satan and the unclean spirits (or fallen angels) are incapable of overcoming these three great powers made manifest in God’s true children, the faithful remnant. This is good news for the end time saints who have witnessed the influence of Satan to capture so many in our day. Addiction to prescription drugs, both pain killers and psychiatric, have decimated the population leaving most under the control of demonic influence and the power of sin. A lukewarm church has done little in equipping the believers to stand against the wiles of the devil. The religious cult has robbed the believers of their power to stand against the trickery and deception of Satan. Psychiatry and the medical professionals are throwing different labels on people at the speed of light to explain their bizarre and unbelievable behavior. The world, the lukewarm church, and the religious cults are powerless to stand against the wiles of the devil. On the other hand, true believers have that power.
First, let’s look at the power of love. Christian soldier it’s past time to pick up the mantle of love, which is our sure defense against the evil one. True love that flows from God through us to others empowers the Christian to join Him in His work. The power of this love opens the eyes of the unbelievers who have been blinded by the god of this world. It unlocks the prison doors of the religious cult who have captured their followers with a strict legalism, which goes well beyond Holy Scripture. Love never lets anyone needlessly suffer to drive out sin, as the cults love to do. There are numerous stories where cults have locked their followers in rooms of solitary confinement for days on end to drive out their sin. They have forgotten that love knows the power of forgiveness. They have forgotten that the power of love rejects the sin and its entrapments in the world, but not the unbeliever for whom Christ died. Love goes the extra mile, it turns the other cheek, and it does not curse but always blesses. Love looks beyond the rough exterior of an individual to the heart that is crying out for help. It looks beyond the person in bondage to gross immorality to a heart that is struggling to understand their bondage. There is great power in love to defeat the wiles of the devil.
The power of love also motivates people to reach beyond their comfort zone to stand for truth and righteousness. It motivates them to carry God’s message to the ends of the earth to save fallen humanity. The power of love will not allow the lukewarm church to cast them into the prison of accepted idleness or spend their time in busyness accomplishing nothing for the Kingdom. Oh, how the lukewarm church wants to busy itself in senseless games and entertainment instead of doing the Master’s work. Oh, how the religious cult wants to rehearse their false doctrines over and over again driving their followers deeper into bondage and enslavement to the devil. On the other hand, the power of love overcomes obstacles, steps out on faith, and trust in God to touch the heart of man by rescuing him from the clutches of the enemy. Oh, what joy it is to see the simple gospel set people free, giving them a brand-new life in Christ, where old things pass away. To see them excited for the cause of Christ rushing out to tell their neighbors and their family of their new encounter with the living Lord. There is great power in love to overcome the wiles of the devil.
Along with the power of love every Christian will stand against the wiles of the devil by understanding the power of forgiveness. Unfortunately, the teaching of forgiveness and its power to release people from the bondage of Satan is not taught. So, the enemy is busy sowing the seed of bitterness causing much of the population to harbor bad feelings against others. Feelings that never get resolved, but eat away like gangrene in the heart of those unwilling to forgive. This bitterness has grown like a runaway virus effecting people both emotionally and psychologically causing erratic and dangerous behavior. Then, the old devil comes to the rescue offering an array of psychiatric drugs or pain killers to solve their problem. The pharmaceutical industry is making billions of dollars with its promise to make things better, but the problem never gets solved. In fact, in most cases the problem only gets worse, because of the many side effects of the medication. But that’s not the whole story because those unwilling to forgive are now living a life without forgiveness from God, unable to enjoy their new life in Christ with all its benefits.
So how do we as true believers in Christ tap into the power of forgiveness? If we follow three wonderful principles then we will not only learn how to forgive, but in time we will actually forget the trespass against us. The first principle of forgiveness is to never bring the trespass up again to the offending party, which always keeps the trespass alive and well – allowing the seed of bitterness to take root. The second principle of forgiveness is to never share the trespass with others (unless your life is in danger and you need to share it with the authorities). Now these do get more difficult as we move along. Most everyone wants sympathy from others when they have been mistreated or wronged in some way. It’s part of our human nature (or should I say our old sin nature). So, to truly forgive another we must not pass it around to others, which keeps the offense alive. In counseling, I have encountered people telling me of a trespass that I believed just happened by how it was affecting them, but then after further counseling discovered that the trespass happened years ago. The bitterness had fully blossomed. The final, and most difficult principle is to not dwell on the trespass. Every time the devil brings up the trespass we must immediately throw it out – stop thinking about. To follow these principles will truly help us to forgive the trespass not allowing it to have an emotional or psychological impact upon our lives. There is great power in forgiveness to overcome the wiles of the devil.
Finally, there is power in the resurrection, which the Apostle Paul even longed for. (See Philippians 3:10) Simply put the power of the resurrection is to allow the believer to experience all that the new life in Christ offers. To be all that Christ wants us to be, to experience all the Spiritual Gifts and the power to perform those gifts to the glory of God. Yet, once again the devil works very hard to keep us from experiencing the new life by his deceptive wiles. He convinces most believers in the lukewarm church and the religious cults that they are not good enough to experience the new life, that they are too tainted with past sins, and unworthy of this magnificent gift. Furthermore, he keeps the new believer looking back believing that he cannot separate himself from the old life. And when they fall or trip up in sin, there’s the devil whispering in their ear that the old life will never pass away for them. But what does the Bible say, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (II Corinthians 5:17).
Friends, this takes faith, believing that God will deliver on His promise. There is great power in the resurrection to overcome the wiles of the devil. As we continue to put off the old life and put on the new then we grow closer to the risen Lord and are able to experience all the Spiritual gifts that He would have us to perform to the glory of God. It is wonderful to experience power in the gifts that He gives to every true believer. We don’t all have the same Spiritual gift, but we are given the gift most needed for a specific occasion. Through the years I have experienced many such gifts knowing full well it was not my ability, nor my own giftedness, nor my own talent, but God working though me for His own glory. I have seen food multiplied, people healed, people saved (who I thought impossible), people changed right before my very eyes. Also, I have felt the power of God to preach and write only what He wants to see it have a profound effect upon the audience. Dear children, as we approach the end do not let the devil keep you in bondage. Don’t let him trip you up with his many wiles, but step out on faith believing that God has given us the power to overcome. The power of love, the power of forgiveness, and the power of the resurrection. Amen
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