Journeyman Project Dispatches from the Life of Patrick Fowler: Christianity Explored

7Oct/080

Satan’s Scheme for Breaking Down the Church

Danger on the Inside: Satan's Scheme for Breaking Down the Church

As my father put it so well, Satan is the wolf in sheep's clothing. He's not primarily working against the church from outside, he's working his way through the church from within. He's not the one lurking around some dark corner…he's the one whispering in your ear. He's the elder, the deacon, or the associate pastor, who has placed their desires into the assets of the church or the prestige of a new position, rather than in the soul of the church and the community it encompasses. He's rarely the one you'll be able to identify at first glace…and he is out to make friends with the sheep before he manipulates them into his trap.

Satan is aptly named, "the deceiver," for that is what he is. He uses lies and manipulates our hearts to crave and desire the wrong things. The heart, after all, is deceitful beyond comprehension. (Jeremiah 17:9 "The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?") So if Satan can convince our hearts of some truth, our emotions and our lives are likely quick to follow.

Think for just a moment about Satan's presence in Scripture… the very first time he appears he is in a disguise! Not only that, but he contradicts the words of God. When he reappears in person in the New Testament he attempts to twist Scripture out of context (how many politicians and preachers do we hear do that?) He also puts the wrong words in Peter's mouth, to which Jesus responds, "Get behind me Satan!". And lastly, his great deception will be to convince peoples that he is the one who holds the keys to the proper religion and political philosophy.

Consider your surroundings once more…who in your world might bear teeth under their sheep costume??? Who should you be trusting, and how much are your relying upon the power of the Word of God to guide your life and your ministry. Ask yourself the following questions:

Has someone recently convinced me to act outside my morals or my conscience?

Could there be someone leading with me that is intentionally causing divisions or directing our team in unhealthly ways?

Are there material assets of our company or church that could be tempting someone to see the church fail?

Do I have the proper counsel in my life to avoid being deceived?

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