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Thursday, March 23, 2017

THESE ARE NOT WAR GAMES BUT WAR!

STRATEGY



I Kings 22:31, “But the king of Syria commanded his thirty and two captains that had rule over his chariots, saying, Fight neither with small nor great, save only with the king of Israel.”

Zechariah 13:7, “Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the LORD of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones.”

Ahab was the King of Israel. Jehoshaphat was the one who ruled over Judah. Israel being the northern kingdom and Judah being the southern kingdom after Israel had been divided into those two kingdoms. King Ahab said to Jehoshaphat in I Kings 22:3, “And the king of Israel said unto his servants, Know ye that Ramoth in Gilead is ours, and we be still, and take it not of the hand of the king of Syria?” 

Ramoth and Gilead was a high place a strategic place. The nations wanted Ramoth and Gilead and possession bounced back and forth between them. Israel had it for a while then Syria would fight for it and win it back only for Israel to fight and win it back. On and on it went with constant battle continuing over Ramoth and Gilead.

Ahab said to Jehoshaphat the northern kingdom is not strong enough to take Ramoth and Gilead back from the Syrians and neither is the southern kingdom strong enough. However if we join together, if Israel, the northern kingdom, and Judah, the southern kingdom, would join together we would be strong enough to take it back. So, they joined together, the north and the south and that in itself was an amazing thing. They fought together for Ramoth Gilead. All of this leads to our Scripture.

The King of Syria commanded his 32 captains to fight only with the king and do not fight with anyone but the king. They were instructed to go after only the king. What he is saying is if we can get the king we will win the battle.

Such is the tactic of Satan! In Zechariah 13:7 it says, “Smite the shepherd and the sheep shall be scattered!” That is what the king of Syria is saying! He is saying if we can get the king, Ahab, we will win this battle. They did just that and the king was killed in the battle. Such is the strategy of Satan!


SATAN’S STRATEGY

He goes after the King of kings! He today through his false Bibles is going after the King of kings. He goes after God’s Word, His virgin birth, His sinless life, and His vicarious death. The devil is after the King of kings!

The word “begotten” is left out of John 3:16 and if the devil can bring the King down man has no salvation. If the devil can bring the King down man has no hope. If the devil can bring down the King man has no Heaven.

In the War of Independence for Texas the command was shoot only at those wearing the brass buttons. If you can smite the shepherd the sheep will be scattered or if you can smite the king the kingdom will be scattered.

In every area of our lives the devil is after the leader in that area. The higher you go the more the attacks and the larger your influence the stronger the attacks. When I pastored 50 people nobody attacked me. The devil did not go after me, but you become pastor of a great church like Longview Baptist Temple for three decades and all Hades breaks loose! 

You start IBOCINDEPENDENT BAPTIST ONLINE COLLEGE, ibaptistcollege.org, and all the imps of Hell come after you. You stand for and fight for the doctrine of salvation against the “limited atonement” crowd and attacks come from the pits of Hell. You believe homosexuals can be saved like any other sinner and Westbororites come out of the wood work to slander you and threaten you. The higher you go the more the attacks and the larger the influence the more the attacks.

Satan smites more at the preacher than he does the layman. Satan smites more at the deacon than he does the members. He smites at the large church more than he does the small church. Satan smites more at the fundamental church than he does the Evangelical church. He smites more at the Evangelical church than he does the liberal church. Satan smites more at the principal than the faculty. Satan smites more at the faculty than he does the students. The president of the college is shot at more than the faculty and the students. The devil smites more at the preacher boys of the college than the other students.

If you have surrendered your life to be a preacher of the Gospel you best be prepared because the devil is after you more than any other person.

     '   The devil smites more at the president of a college than Administration
·      The devil smites more at the administration than the faculty
·      The devil smites more at the faculty than the preacher boys
·      The devil smites more at the preacher boys than the other students
·      The devil smites more at the father than the mother
·      The devil smites more at the mother than the children

Fathers leave their families a 100 to 1 in comparison to mothers who leave their families. The devil is after the father in the home. Satan is attempting to smite the shepherd so the sheep will be scattered. The devil smites more at the parent than at the child. The devil smites more at the Sunday school teacher than the Sunday school pupil. Satan smites more at the bus worker than the bus rider. Satan smites the senior in college more than he does the freshman in college.

Why? Because if he can get the bus captain he will get a lot of the bus riders. If he can get the teacher he will get a lot of the students. Satan goes after the college student in a Christian college more than he does a high school student in a Christian high school. Satan goes more after the coach than he does the team. He goes after the college student more than he does the teens back home. Satan goes more after the leader than the follower.

Satan goes after the president of America more than he does the citizens of our country. Satan goes after the big brother more than the little brother. Satan goes after the oldest child more than the youngest child.

It does not matter what institution you belong too Satan will smite more at the leaders than the followers. Why, because Satan is attempting to smite the shepherd so the sheep will be scattered.

Satan is doing the same thing in I Kings 22:31 when the King of Syria said, “Don’t fight with the little but rather with the great. Do not fight with the private, the little; the great, the sergeant, or the corporals fight only with the king. If the king is killed the war could be won!”

I can recount to you case after case where the king had been wounded while the shepherd had been smitten and the followers had been scattered. I am thinking of a deacon who use too faithfully serve. He was smitten by the devil and that deacon took half dozen laymen with him.

Please dear deacon be careful and pay attention to this article! You cannot afford to miss Sunday school, Sunday morning service, Sunday night service, Wednesday night service, or church wide soul winning. The devil is after the deacon because he actually wants to scatter the sheep.

I am thinking of a pastoral staff member years ago. Satan wounded him. Satan felled him. Satan smote him. He fell and I could list a dozen people who were scattered because he was smitten.

Pastors must be careful! Pastors cannot afford not to read their Bibles, to pray, to have a quiet time, and to go soul winning. Leaders do not understand the powerful influence they have and how followers depend upon their example. The devil is after the leader!

I am thinking of a college faculty member who served with me years ago. Satan smote him and dozens of students were taken down with him. If you are on the faculty of a Christian college you are somebody to those students. You are loved, respected, and looked up too! Please do not misstep!

The devil’s strategy is always the same “kill the king” or “smite the king!” Do not fight with the corporal, the private, the sergeant, or the captain. Fight with the king!

I am thinking of a pastor! This man of God was popular, dynamic, nationally known, powerful in his delivery, he built too great works, he was idolized by younger preachers, he was an R. G. Lee, and he was an Apollos type preacher. He was on top and Satan smote him. Satan found his weakness and Satan dropped him like a hammer! The more popular one is the more the devil will be after him or her rather than being after those who are not as popular.

 REQUIRES VIGILANCE ON THE PART OF THE LEADER

The devil is after the leader more than he is the follower. The devil is after the bus captain more than he is the bus worker. He is after the teacher than the students. He is after the youth pastor more than he is the teenagers who follow. He is after the choir director more than he is after choir member. He is after the church member more than he is after the mission man.

If you have risen to the top or a place of leadership you had better walk carefully and circumspectly because Satan has you in his sights and he is attempting to bring you down. He really does not care about you he cares about yours! If God has entrusted you with a place of responsibility in God’s work please put your shield up and protect yourself. Why, because the devil is after you and yours!

I am thinking of a church of 3,000 people that is down to 100 as of this writing of this article. Likewise I am thinking of a dozen churches that went down with that great church. How did it happen? Satan smote the pastor, felled the pastor, then this led to the members being taken down, and resulting in other churches becoming discouraged causing their down fall.

I am thinking of a great and growing church in West Memphis, Arkansas. However, Satan smote the pastor and the sheep scattered resulting in a church death. All because of that an independent Baptist church is not accepted in West Memphis, Arkansas.

I am thinking of a 3,000-seat auditorium that is never used anymore. Why, Satan smote the pastor! I am thinking of a great work in California in the 70’s pastored by one of the favorite preachers at the Bible College I attended. Satan smote the pastor and the pastor fell in the 80’s causing the sheep to scatter and it almost destroyed the church. Why? Because Satan got to the pastor. The devil is after the leader in every area of life and if you fall he will take down those under you. The battle cry of Satan is “Fight only the king!”

I am thinking of a worldwide ministry that folded because the devil got to the king. I am not a charismatic nor could I ever be one but when Jim Bakker fell so did his religious empire. When Jimmy Swaggert fell so did his religious empire. The devil is after the leader so he can get to the follower! Colleges have fallen, churches have fallen, schools have fallen, mission boards have fallen, and pastors have fallen because of this battle cry of Satan, “Fight only the king!” It is interesting to note what Satan uses!

·      He smote Moses with the weapon of temper
·      He smote Elijah with the weapon of fear
·      He smote David with the weapon of sex
·      He smote Paul with the weapon of pride
·      He smote Noah with the weapon of liquor
·      He smote Jacob with the weapon of deceit
·      He smote Judas with the weapon of money
·      He smote Lot with the weapon of greed
·      He smote Solomon with the weapon of stupidity
·      He smote Absalom with the weapon of disloyalty
·      He smote Thomas with the weapon of doubt
·      He smote Barnabas with the weapon of stubbornness
·      He smote Abraham with the weapon of stubbornness
·      He smote Jeremiah with the weapon of discouragement
·      He smote Aaron with the weapon of compromise
·      He smote Achan with the weapon of covetousness
·      He smote John Mark with weapon of homesickness
·      He smote Rehoboam with the weapon of bad advice
·      He smote Demas with the weapon of worldliness
·      He smote Ananias and Sapphira with the weapon of lying
·      He smote Esau with the weapon of pleasure
·      He smote Paul with the weapon of inconsistency

Satan is also after you and plus he knows our weakness! Please notice in each case above their weakness was in their strength not their weakness. Elijah’s strength was courage and the weapon used was fear. Moses strength was meekness and he was brought down with the weapon of temper. David’s strength was purity and he was felled with the weapon of sex. Solomon’s strength was wisdom and he was brought down with the weapon of stupidity. Noah’s strength was being a preacher of righteousness and he was brought down by liquor and nudity. Saul’s strength was humility and he was brought down by pride. Abraham’s strength was faith and he was brought down by unbelief.

Why? It is very simple we guard our weaknesses and leave our strengths unguarded. I am speaking to young people whose dreams and aspirations of a great ministry will not come to fruition if their strengths go unguarded. These unguarded strengths may be their downfall with their dreams turning into nightmares.
  
GOD’S STRATEGY

In Ephesians chapter 6 we have the armour of God. We are told to put on the whole armour of God. Actually the armour only covers four parts of the body.

·      The helmet of salvation
·      The breastplate of righteousness
·      The loins girded with truth
·      The feet shod with the preparation of the Gospel of peace

This simply means that God knows where the devil is going to attack.

Protect the mind

God’s children must guard their mind so the devil has no avenue of attack. TV, bad magazines, movies, and such are avenues through the eye gate to the mind. Young preachers should be extremely careful of whom they lendtheir minds too in the books they read! They will never fall if they shut the avenue to their mind off too the devil.

Satan wants evil thoughts to enter the mind of God’s children especially his servants! Satan wants the leader to take a peek at a Playboy Magazine or the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.

God’s strategy is for the leader to keep his or her mind clean thus God covers the head with the helmet of salvation.

                                   Protect the heart

The second piece of armour of God has is the breastplate of righteousness. Why, because the devil will attack the heart of the leader second. Satan attacks the mind and then the devil attacks the heart. If he cannot get you to think wrong he will then attempt to get you not to be happy about doing right!

Have you ever seen a liberal preacher holler “AMEN” or stand up and wave his Bible? Have you ever seen Robert Schuler cut loose and shout, “Praise the Lord?” Have you ever seen a liberal preacher set up a tent and conduct a tent campaign or a revival meeting? No, they are dead as a birds’ nest! Have you ever heart a liberal preacher stand up and shout, “Praise God my Bible ain’t so” or “My Bible is not inspired?” Liberals do not have church on Sunday night! Why? The devil has gotten to their heart. 

Protect the loins

Satan is after the purity of God’s children! Satan is after their loins! Bad music will do nothing but get you so worked up with your passions that it will be easy for you to lose your purity. Hey dear Christian keep your lips to yourself and keep your hands to yourself. One-day young person you will give your bride or your bridegroom a clean and virtuous person and not a second hand mate. Satan is after your loins!

The devil is after the king or the future leader or the present leader! He goes after the mind, the heart, and the loins! He is after the coach more than the team, the pastor more than the staff, the staff more than the church members, the principal more than the teachers, the teachers more than the students, the choir director more than the choir, the president more than the administration, the administration more than the faculty, the faculty more than the college pupils, etc.

Protect your feet

God’s strategy is for His people to cover their head, heart, loins, and to cover their feet. Those are the only four body parts that are mentioned to be covered by the armour of God.

He is saying to the leader keep on soul winning! Join up and be apart of the soul-winning program of your church. Do not leave it up to the followers to do the soul winning for the church. One of the greatest mistakes made is when a church becomes successful at winning souls that the leaders start easing up!

The devil is after the king, the shepherd, the father, the mother, the pastor, the pastoral staff, the deacon, the faculty, the president, the coach, the choir director, the Sunday school superintendent, the Sunday school teacher, and the bus captains. Why? Because they are the leaders! God’s strategy is for His leaders to cover their head, heart, loins, and feet!





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