Resisting the Devil, pt1
Leadership in Context with Keith Tucci
There really is a devil. He is not God’s equal. He is a fallen angel that was thrown out of heaven for rising up against the throne of God. We are his enemies because we have received, for free by God’s grace, sonship and daughtership with God--something the enemy tries to steal.
In John 10:10, Jesus said that the devil comes to steal, kill, and destroy. In John 8, Jesus said that the enemy is the father of lies. A lie is like poison. A lie is mistruth sprinkled with truth to misdirect something. The enemy is the father of mistruth, misrepresentation. In John 10, it also says that the enemy is a thief. The enemy tries to steal things by lying, just like he did in heaven. He is after that which we received freely through redemption.
Conviction vs Condemnation
Conviction says “because”
“Because I love you”
“Because you’ve sinned”
Condemnation says “if”
“If you loved God…”
“If you would have done what’s right”
“If you wouldn’t have done that”
Don’t let the “if’s” discourage you. When you need mercy, let the “because” empower you.
The core of the demonic strategy can be seen when the devil tempted Jesus. The devil revealed his hand, his tactic, his schemes when he tempted Jesus.
The devil said to Jesus, “If you are the Son of God.” It’s kind of like what he said in the Garden, “Did God really say...?” Jesus is the perfect Son of God who has never sinned. The devil questioned Jesus’ identity. He was trying to steal the identity of Jesus by lying to him.
Devil’s Tactic: an Identity Thief
If the devil can steal your identity, confuse you as to who you are or who you are not, then every other blessing, every other purpose, every other destination God has for you can be stolen because he has now stolen your identity.
Where do you get your identity? Where do most people get their identity? For the most part, it comes from their circumstances. Good or bad. Unemployed or employed. Lack of education or many diplomas. Those are part of who we are. But if you take circumstances, accomplishments, education, finances, or health away, you are still a person who has been made in the image of God.
My identity goes back to my Creator. God’s first revelation of Himself is that of Creator. I am a created being. Created by a loving, omnipotent, omniscient God. Who gave Himself for me in the person of Jesus Christ.
The devil came right in Jesus’ face and questioned His identity. If he did that to Jesus, what do you think his tactic is going to be with you? To challenge your identity all the time.
When you sin, fall short, miss it, make a bad decision, act in a way that is not representative of Christ, are you hearing “if” or “because”? If you hear “if,” that’s the devil. He is conning you into being damned. Con-damn-nation. Don’t fall for the con. If you hear “because,” there is the throne of grace for you. “Because I love you, I know everything about you and redeemed you anyway.”
The devil also said to Jesus, “Cast yourself down.” The devil didn’t threaten to throw Jesus down. He didn’t have the power to do that. The devil does not have the power to throw you down. He must steal your power by lying to you and getting you to use your own will, calling, gifts, blessings to throw yourself down. His power is manipulation, lies, and deceit. The way he kills and steals is by lying to you to lure you into his lasso.
How do you resist the devil? By understanding that there is an identity clash going on. You derive your identity from Jesus--not as a feeling but as a declaration of what the Word of God says:
I am a joint heir of Christ.
I am a child of God.
I am anointed of God.
I am chosen of God.
I am a seed of Abraham.
I am the head, not the tail.
That’s what the Bible says about you! Circumstances change. God’s Word and His covenant with us never changes.
Join us next week as Keith Tucci continues to put leadership truth in the context of the local church. And as always, please like, share, rate/review, and invite others to listen. See you next week!