2 Cor. 2:10-11 – Anyone whom you forgive, I also forgive. Indeed, what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, has been for your sake in the presence of Christ, so that we would not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs. (2 Corinthians 2:10-11 ESV)
- Paul is telling the church to offer and extend forgiveness in full.
- Many people don’t forgive because they are oblivious of the spiritual warfare that is going on around their lives.
- There is a real devil plotting against us.
Eph 6:12 – For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:12 ESV)
Warfare is in progress constantly, whether we acknowlege it or not
1 Peter 5:8 – Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary (the devil) prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8 ESV)
- Satan is refered to or mentioned 250 times in the NT.
- God wants us to know our enemy.
- He is on the hunt – prowling.
- He is seeking the weak ones to devour.
- Are we alert enough to be aware of the schemes of Satan?
6 Devices or Designs of the Devil
- Unforgiveness has as much to do with us as it does with others.
- It is for the sake of the church – Not Just for Your self!
Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, (Ephesians 4:25-26 ESV)
- Do not be outwitted by Satan.
- Unforgiveness may well be one of Satan’s favorite tools of distraction and destruction. (pride, hurt feelings, grudges, divisive feelings and attitudes)
- Without forgiveness communities are divided and conquered.
- Sanctification is not a do it yourself project. It requires community. Unforgiveness destroys community.
2. Blind people to the truth
Since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God; for “All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord remains forever.” And this word is the good news that was preached to you. (1 Peter 1:23-25 ESV)
- Satan will use anything to distract and keep people from truth.
2 Cor 4:4 – In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. (2 Corinthians 4:4 ESV)
- Be ready, and do your best to share the truth of the gospel.
- Don’t listen to the excuses that Satan will scroll across the screen of your mind.
Luke 8:11-12 – Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. The ones along the path are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. (Luke 8:11-12 ESV)
3. Planting Destructive Thoughts
For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, (2 Corinthians 10:3-5 ESV)
- Some of the greatest arguments are those put forward by our own flesh.
- Don’t let your inner chatterbox drag you down into doubt and indecisivness.
4. Deceive us with False Doctrine
2 Cor 11:13-15 – For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds. (2 Corinthians 11:13-15 ESV
Col 2:16,23 – Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh. (Colossians 2:16, 23 ESV)
Denial will not overcome your sinful nature
2 Peter 3:3-4 – The 2nd coming of Christ – knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.” (2 Peter 3:3-4 ESV)
1 John 4:3 – The diety of Christ – and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already. (1 John 4:3 ESV)
5. Discouraging with Demonic Attacks
- The ememy wants to knock us out with a constant barrage.
Rom 7 – We want to do good, but evil is right there with me.
- Stand firm and prevail – through prayer.
2 Cor 12:7b-8,9 – So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (2 Corinthians 12:7-9 ESV)
- Open your eyes. Your battle is supernatural in nature.
- God’s grace is sufficient….It is not Just life.
6. Delayng answers to prayer and plans to bless us.
- Do not conclude that not now means not ever.
Daniel 10:12-13 – For 21 days Daniel’s prayer blocked by spiritual forces. – Then he said to me, “Fear not, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand and humbled yourself before your God, your words have been heard, and I have come because of your words. The prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days, but Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I was left there with the kings of Persia, (Daniel 10:12-13 ESV
- If God is doing anything in your life, demons are fighting it. This is truth not drama.
2 Cor. 2:10-11 – Do not be outwitted by ignorance of Satan’s schemes.
- You can win the battle because Satan is already a defeated foe.
1 John 4:4 – Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. (1 John 4:4 ESV)
James 4:7 – Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (James 4:7 ESV)