Eph. 4:27 Don’t give the devil any opportunity ‹to work›.
Last week we began talking about what we need to do to give satan no place in our lives. His primary target in our life is our soul, which is made up of our mind, will, and emotions. If the devil can change our way of thinking, getting us to think like the world, he can change the course of our life. In fact, before getting born again most of us were already conditioned to do so. That is why we must renew our minds to think now like God thinks. What satan has been a work doing is in infiltrating every part of society for the purpose of conditioning our minds to think contrary to God. There are three primary ways he works to do so.
2 Cor. 2:11 lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices.
It is important as a believer to realize the ways in which satan tries to take control our lives. If you will look at the last part of verse 11 above you see that Paul states he was not ignorant of satan’s devices, for if we are, satan can then take advantage of us. That is why we need to understand how he works so that we can keep him from getting control over us through deception and seduction by taking control of our soul. As we began to discuss last week he comes in one of three ways. As a serpent, as an angel of light, or like a roaring lion. We already covered in part one of this series how he comes as an angel of light. This week we will take a look at how satan comes like a serpent.
2 Cor. 11:3 But [now] I am fearful, lest that even as the serpent beguiled Eve by his cunning, so your minds may be corrupted and seduced from wholehearted and sincere and pure devotion to Christ.
The work of satan as a serpent is very subtle and seducing. The purpose is to get the believer to no longer be wholeheartedly, sincere, and devoted to following after Christ. To follow after Christ is to live like Jesus lived. Talking like Him, acting like Him, walking in His very example. Jesus Himself said that He did nothing except what He saw the Father doing. If we are going to remain devoted in following Christ, that means we are going to do the things we see Him doing, and we are not going to willfully do the things Jesus would not do. We will live a pure and sincere life of following in His footsteps. This is what many believers today call “bondage” or being “old school”. Yet the very heart of Christianity is in fact to be Christ-like.
Notice in 2 Corinthians 11:3 that how satan achieves this is in deceiving people in their thinking so that he can corrupt their minds. This corruption is a slow process that takes place slowly over time. Because it is not immediate in its actions, many don’t even realize that it is happening. The word for corrupted here means to decay. If you have ever seen an old car that someone purchased to restore, one of the things you will find is rust. Rust is something that takes place over years and years of time, slowly eating away at the metal until it is gone.
This is how satan as a serpent works to corrupt our minds, slowly conditioning people to the ways of the world where little by little they begin to change the way they think and even what they believe. They begin to slowly change their view of scripture and what God says. Where the church clearly understood the importance of guarding their lives from things that God said we should have nothing to do with, they now accept such things through many forms of entertainment and social media, claiming that such things are neither harmful nor wrong, yet the Bible says otherwise. This corruptive work is all around us through television, radio, and just about every form of social media.
Eph. 5:8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light
Eph. 5:9 (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth),
Eph. 5:10 finding out what is acceptable to the Lord.
Eph. 5:11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.
Eph. 5:12 For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret.
These verses are quite clear and yet it seems that many ministers want to throw them out of the Bible. We are to have NO FELLOWSHIP WITH THE UNFRUITFUL WORKS OF DARKNESS. Too many believers don’t seem to understand that if you fellowship with darkness, then darkness is going to have a negative impact on your life. The reason satan wants to corrupt your mind is so that he can control your outcome. He wants to dictate how you live and what you do. If he can get you to fellowship with darkness he is on the way to achieving his goal.
To fellowship with darkness means to participate in such activity. How does satan get Christians minds corrupted to the point of accepting behavior and then participating in behavior that is damaging to one’s life? He does so through the mind. His subtle approach is getting us to watch programs and build friendships with others who are already living in such behavior. We think nothing of these things, especially many of the television shows and movies that people watch today because after all it is just entertainment.
The word “entertain” comes from a Latin word which means, “To hold inside”. Whatever you entertain your mind with begins to take hold of you on the inside. It begins to control the way you think, the way you feel, and it effects the decisions you make. If you are being entertained by the works of darkness then after a while what do you think will be the result? This again is seen by many as a form of bondage to actually live in line with the Word of God. But if we choose to allow satan to corrupt our minds through forms of entertainment that are filled with works of darkness, we will begin to be conditioned to think like the world instead of thinking like God.
For example many today who say they are a Christian see nothing wrong with having sex before marriage, or even living together before getting married. Yet this is called fornication and is still a sin in the eyes of God. Others see nothing wrong with using foul language or going out to nightclubs and partying with sinners. Where do Christians learn such behavior and think that it doesn’t matter? One such place is again through the different forms of media we have around us every day.
There is very little on television or in the movie industry today that is not influenced with satan’s deceptive works. You see people having sex outside of marriage, living in adultery, drinking, doing drugs, being disrespectful to parents, disrespectful to elders, and to God. This continual onslaught of entertainment slowly corrupts one’s mind to accept these things as an acceptable part of culture and therefore an acceptable part of their lifestyle. You even have ministers telling their congregations that the Word of God is not relevant for today. Yet God said His Word will never pass away.
Realize this is all a work of the devil to condition people’s minds to begin to accept such things as an acceptable behavior. This is what he did to Eve by convincing her that if she were to partake of the fruit of the tree God said they were not to eat, she would not die, and in fact she would become like God. Through his continual conversation with her, he was able to convince her it was okay to do something God said would be destructive to her life. The devil has not changed. He is still doing the same thing today. He is at work through our modern sinful culture convincing people that doing what God said not to do is really okay.
Prov. 22:5 Thorns and snares are in the way of the perverse; He who guards his soul will be far from them.
Those who choose to accept satan and his lies through his corrupting work by not guarding their soul will eventually experience thorns and snares in their life. The soul is referring here to your mind, will, and emotions. If you don’t guard against the works of darkness that subtly in the name of entertainment begin to effect the way you think, then you will become ensnared by sin or see thorns growing up in your soul which Jesus said will choke out the seed of God’s Word in our life.
Snares are traps that are just waiting for their next victim to come along and get caught into it’s trap so that it can take hold of your life and begin to control how you live. Thorns Jesus described as the cares of this world, deceitfulness of riches, and the desire for other things, which will choke the very life out of God’s Word that is planted in our hearts. In doing so we won’t experience godly fruit in our life, but instead that of darkness.
If you want to keep this subtle serpent from taking control of your thoughts and in doing so then controlling your life, you must guard your soul. You must take time to consider what you are watching and listening too. You must also recognize who you are spending your time with, for other people will also have an impact on how you think as well. If you guard you soul from this subtle work of satan then he cannot corrupt your mind and get control of your life.
See You Again Next Week For More “Weekly Wisdom”
May God’s Best Be Yours!
Pastor Darryl Baker