SATAN’S CHANGING TACTICS
…We declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
~ 1 Corinthians 2:7-8 (NVI)
Today’s devotional comes from our founder and friend, Brother Andrew:
Have you ever noticed the strategy Satan used throughout Old Testament history? His attacks were aimed at preventing the birth of the Messiah at Bethlehem, but, once Jesus was born, Satan’s tactics changed somewhat. In some instances, he tried to kill Jesus before the Lord could reach the cross. At other times, Satan engineered numerous attempts to discredit Him—to cause Him to stumble or to sin.
But Satan met defeat at the cross. He failed to understand God’s strategy, and his final blunder actually forced events so that Jesus, though innocent, was condemned to die. The Apostle Paul noted that Satan did not understand this in 1 Corinthians 2:8. Since that time, Satan’s tactics have changed. He’s still concerned about preventing the Word—the Word that was with God and is God (John 1:1)—from reaching people who are under Satan’s dominion. His attack is now two-pronged.
First Satan concentrates on the life and name of Jesus which each and every believer bears as the Lord’s representative. I believe it is important for Christians undergoing persecution to realize the attack they are under is actually directed not at them, but at the life of Jesus in them, a life which they have power to transmit to others.
Satan will make every effort to discredit you, to frighten you and to silence your witness in order that the new life in you stops with you. Sometimes Satan overreaches himself, just as he did at the cross, and sends a believer to a martyr’s grave but that life lives on in other believers who continue to bear witness more gloriously and triumphantly than ever.
That the church not only survives, but grows under such persecution has been demonstrated beautifully by the church in China. After missionaries were forced to leave in 1950, and all ties were cut with the body of Christ, believers were put through the horrible experience of Mao’s Cultural Revolution. Christians were killed or imprisoned, Bibles burned, and the remaining believers scattered all over China. The attack was clearly on the life and name of Jesus as manifested in believer’s lives.
As these sufferers scattered, they took the life of Jesus with them, and just as was the case with the early believers in Jerusalem, “Those who were scattered went about preaching the Word” (Acts 8:4). Now we see the harvest in China as millions of Christians are identified, meeting together for fellowship and worship in remote provinces…
I want others to have the one who makes me happy—Jesus.
RESPONSE: Today I will be aware of Satan’s attempts to silence my witness for Jesus and resist him!
PRAYER: Thank You, Lord, for the way You bring good from the evil tactics of the enemy of our soul. Help me stand strong against his attack on the life and name of Jesus in me.
Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS), a daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks. © 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission.