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I shared recently about a book that I’d read, titled The Insanity of God, by Nik Ripken, and promised I’d share some more from that book. One of the things that he shared that struck me was how simple Satan’s strategy really is. I’d never heard it put this way before…and I found it convicting…and convincing. Mr. Ripken’s book shares about his journeys and research into persecuted Christians and how they managed to not just survive, but become examples for all of us in what it means to grow as a Christian. Part of what it takes to defeat an enemy is to understand his strategy and that is never more true than in this great battle for eternity.
“All over the world we encountered committed followers of Jesus who trust even His toughest teachings. They understand that anyone who wishes to save his life must first be willing to lose it.
“They are willing to take that risk because they believe that, ultimately, good will defeat evil. Love will finally overcome hate. And life will conquer death forever by the power of our resurrection faith. They know that the final chapter of the greatest story ever told has already been written. And they know that, in the end, and, for all eternity, God will have His way.
“In the meantime, in the here and now, a real battle continues. This is the same spiritual battle that the apostle Paul talked about. First-century believers understood Paul when he described and epic struggle that wsa “not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in t he heavenly realms” (Eph. 6:12). Followers of Jesus in persecution today understand this battle well.
“In fact, everyone in the world today who claims to be a follower of Jesus plays a part in this battle. Faithful believers who are paying a personal rice in pain and persecution for the cause of Christ truly understand the crux and the cost of their faith. Their witness, their lives and their examples should inspire and instruct us. Their experience reveals what is at stake, and their experience also reveals much about evil and its power.
“Believers who know what it means to suffer for their faith help us recognize and understand the Enemy’s tactics and his ultimate goal. Satan at his worst, evil at its core, and persecution in its essence does not overtly seek to starve, beat, imprison, torture, or kill followers of Jesus. The strategy of Satan is simpler and more diabolical than that. What is Satan’s paramount intent? Quite simply, it is this: denying the world access to Jesus!
“Satan’s greatest desire is for the people of this planet to leave Jesus alone. Satan desires that we turn away from Jesus – or that we never find Him in the first place. If Satan cannot be successful at that, he desires to keep believers quiet, to diminish or silence our witness, and to stop us from bringing others to Christ.
“It’s that simple.”
PRAYER: Jesus, I do NOT want to fall victim to Satan’s strategy! Forgive me for the many, many times I have not told others about Jesus, and make me bolder during whatever days I have left on this earth! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
© 2015, Galen C. Dalrymple.
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