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Saturday, January 31, 2009

the earmarks of satan

I have a friend who recently began studying on one of those false religion websites which proliferate the internet. When she was first saved she had very little understanding of the Word and what God required of her. Consequently there were conditions that she did not meet until she had grown in the Lord enough to realize them. But as she walked in the Light her understanding and her obedience grew. Now as she followed this study with its strong demands according to human doctrines and standards, she became overwhelmed by the fear that she wasn’t really saved. Thank the Lord she was wise enough to seek the counsel of good saints because she was on the verge of giving up entirely.

As I thought about her and her concerns I also considered the deceitfulness of the Enemy.

One of the earmarks of Satan is that he seeks to control us with fear. It’s a fear that is unreasonable and confusing. It paralyzes us so that we cannot see our way out of the dilemma we face. It makes us question God and ourselves. That is the kind of fear she was experiencing.

In accomplishing his purpose, satan uses men who have an intellectual knowledge of the Bible but no spirit of God within them. These men use the written record of the Bible to intimidate and destroy men and women. They lay such burdens on young Christians (or those seeking to know God ) that it is overwhelming and impossible. So they give up in despair. And they spend their life in an awful fear. Satan triumphs.

Now that is not to say that the Lord doesn’t send a godly fear upon us at times…When He has convicted us of sin, we know it and we have a fear of displeasing Him. BUT along with that fear we know exactly what He wants us to do—seek His forgiveness and come back into a relationship with Him. Satan’s accusations point to no way out. The fear he imposes leads us around in circles. God points a way through.

The sinner who is living without God experiences fear when he realizes his condition before God. This is a fear that is to our good because it points us to Salvation. In conviction that fear provides a clear way to obtain relief. Sinners should not blithely shrug off the fear that conviction brings.

And all of us who serve God have an element of fear in our heart in that makes us hesitate to offend Him. We do not want to take ourselves out of concord with Him. We know that He does have the power to send us to hell. But we live in fellowship with Him and in accord with His Word so we do not live under the awful bondage that is imposed by satan’s accusations.

This is the freedom we rejoice in as the children of God. So often false religion wants to say that because we have been given freedom through the blood of Christ we are under no constraints to live by any set of standards. But one who has been freed from the oppression of satan’s fear fully understands what it is to live free from the bondage that controls our actions and then imposes fear on our spirit that causes us to feel hopelessly bound and lost.

Thank the Lord for out freedom in Christ.

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