Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Satan's Evil Schemes

2 Corinthians 2:11 -- "So that Satan will not outsmart us. For we are familiar with his evil schemes."

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We are living in the world and the world is in the middle of a cosmic war. Spiritual warfare is all around us. God is always looking out for us and Satan is always trying to trip us up. It takes a little bit to wrap your head around this unseen struggle, but once you consider it, many things begin to make sense.

One example of this struggle is in the church. Church discipline is in place to keep the church pure and help its people repent if they go astray. Satan tempts those of the church to use church discipline in an unforgiving way. This causes the ones exercising discipline to become proud of their purity (not unlike the Pharisees) and it causes the one who has gone astray to become bitter, leave the church and possibly even turn his (or her) back on God. This is Satan's ultimate goal, to figure out how to get us to turn away from God. In my example, both sides are guilty of sin and God will judge both equally.

It is important to remember church discipline and is meant to restore a person to the fellowship, not to destroy them. We must be cautious that our personal anger does not cause us to react harshly to a fellow Christian, no matter their sin. This includes personal  relationships as well as church discipline. God will judge the person in question, but He will judge you equally.

By understanding that Satan can influence us and the society around us, he will not outsmart us because we are familiar with his schemes. I am fortunate to be studying The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis now which is an insightful piece of fiction pointing out these very schemes. I look forward to sharing that study with you soon!

I believe the answer to Satan's schemes is simply being aware of how easy it is to become distracted. And then to constantly examine yourself and realign yourself with God's Word to make sure that he is what we measure our actions and attitudes by, not the world.

Dear Lord,
Help me to be aware of myself and constantly examining myself with your world. Help me to be open to criticism from you and others and to not become prideful if it is my responsibility to help discipline a fellow Christian. Lord, open my eyes to Satan's schemes so I may overcome them and be a brighter light for You!

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