Three Things Satan Does Not Want You To Know
By Pastor Jon Gaus: Director of Training & Coaching BRAVE Global
Way back on January 1st, 1863, president Abraham Lincoln signed the emancipation proclamation. And he by doing that declared that every slave in the United States was now legally and completely and actually free. Now, the tragedy of that situation was it took two and a half years for this message of the emancipation proclamation to reach the slaves in the state of Texas. There were about 200,000 of them in the state of Texas. So even though they had been declared legally and completely and actually free people now for another two and a half years they continued to work like slaves and talk like slaves and walk like slaves and think of themselves as slaves. It took two and a half years for the federal troops to finally ride into Texas and announce the signing of the emancipation proclamation and then stay there to enforce it. The reason this happened is there was a group of very evil people who wanted to keep getting very evil gains from the works of the slaves. So they did all they could to separate the slaves from their new identity that they were now legally free people.
In much the same way our enemy Satan tries to do that with us. He tries to separate us from our new identity in Christ and all of the riches we now have in Jesus Christ. In fact, 2 Corinthians 2:11 tells us we are not unaware of Satan’s schemes.
Satan is a fallen, finite, created being. And he only has a finite number of schemes and he keeps using them over and over against God’s people. And one of his major schemes is once he knows that he has lost us for eternity because of our salvation through Jesus Christ. Once Satan knows that he has lost us for eternity, he tries to keep us separated from our identity in Jesus.
With all of its supernatural power and we have that. With all of the supernatural power promises of God to us his children, and with all the supernatural privileges that you and I have as sons and daughters of the most high God. That’s why this message is entitled three things the enemy does not want you to know. And church when we use that term know we’re not using it the way the first century Greek mindset would have used the word know. They believed in the first century the Greeks that if you say I know something, it means I mentally assent to it. I mentally agree to it. We’re using this word know the way the first century Jewish person would understand the word know.
They would say, if I know something I’m experiencing it, I’ve appropriated it, I’m wearing it and I’m walking it out every day. Satan doesn’t care what we mentally agree to. He doesn’t care what we mentally ascent to. What he doesn’t want is you and I enjoying our new identity in Christ, appropriating all of the supernatural power and choosing to walk in it every day. Three things the enemy does not want you to know, does not want you to experience.
Okay. We’re in 1 Corinthians chapter 10, we know that this letter was written by the Holy Spirit through the apostle Paul to a young church that needed correction and
needed encouragement. They needed correction because this young church had fallen into some habitual sin patterns. In this church at Corinth there was things going on like people were getting drunk at the Lord’s supper. That needs to be called out, that needs to be lovingly corrected. At the church in Corinth there were things going on like there was a man who was sleeping with his stepmother and the church was turning a blind eye that needed to be called out that needed to be corrected. So this is a letter of correction and encouragement. And as we get into chapter 10, Paul is reminding this church that in your daily fight against sin and temptation, if you try to fight it in your own power, you’re going to lose every time.
The good news is that for anyone who is born again through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ, at the very nanosecond, we got saved the Holy Spirit of the living God came to live inside of us permanently. And the Holy Spirit is the most powerful power in the universe. The Holy Spirit is the power that raised Jesus Christ from the dead. The Holy Spirit lives in us, never leaving us, never forsaking us. And he is our 24/7 spiritual body guard. We too often don’t appreciate that we are temples of the living God, the Holy Spirit.
Christian author, C. S. Lewis knew this was a problem for believers. So he said fellow believer, if you could look at the born again believer next to you with spiritual eyes and you could see the Holy Spirit that was in them, you would immediately fall on the floor in terror and awe and worship because that’s how powerful the Holy Spirit is inside of every believer. Let’s pick this up in verse 12. Paul says, therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has overtaken you that
is not common to man. God is faithful and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability. But with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape that you may be able to endure it.
What an awesome promise that the Holy Spirit will always come through for us. But we have to ask this question first, how come in this dispensation that you and I are living in does God allow constant sin and temptation to come against his people? Wouldn’t life be a lot easier if we did not have the temptations of sin and Satan? Why does God allow that? I mean, didn’t Jesus defeat Satan on the cross? Isn’t God so powerful he could stamp Satan out once and for all right now if he wanted to? So why does God allow spiritual warfare against his people? The biblical answer is for his glory and our good.
God allows spiritual warfare in the lives of his people for his glory. Do you know how that works? Soulmate in Hebrews two tell us that we were created a little lower than the angels in essence. So when you and I, the weaker creature is being tempted by the stronger creature Satan and we rely not on our own power, but on the power of the creator in us, we can defeat Satan every time. Who gets the glory out of that? God gets the glory that his image bearers, who could not defeat Satan on their own, the greater creature, the stronger creature, his image bearers when they rely upon the creator into them can defeat Satan every time and God gets the glory.
But God also allows spiritual warfare during this dispensation because it grows us more and more into Christ-likeness. You and I realize we have to be way more
dependent on the Holy Spirit than we used to be. That’s more like the life of Jesus Christ. Spiritual warfare causes us to develop spiritual muscle, spiritual endurance, more and more like Jesus, less of me and more of Christ in me. So if anyone ever asked you why does God allow a spiritual warfare to exist, it’s beery simple but deep, for his glory and for our good. Okay. Now church, let’s look back at the beginning of verse 13, because there is a very liberating statement here I don’t want us to miss.
Paul says no temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. Okay, that should be so liberating for you and I because what that tells me is I am not alone. I’m not the only person in this church who is being tempted in this certain area with this twisted, dark temptation that I am being tempted with. I’m not alone because no temptation has seized me except what is common to man, to you, to you, to you and to you. There are others in the fellowship who are being tempted in the same way that I am. I’m not alone.
I’m not alone. Now, the enemy lies to me. He wants me to think, “You are alone, Jon. You are the only person evil enough to be tempted by that twisted dark sin. You could never share that with anybody. If you tried to share that at BRAVE Church, they would label you. They would ostracize you. They would excommunicate you so fast it would make your head spin. No, Jon, you have to keep that hidden. You are the only one who is that evil.”
God’s word says just the exact opposite. He just told me, no temptation has seized me except what is common to man. There are others who can empathize, who are suffering from temptation, from the same twisted evil sin. That means I should not
run and hide. I should run to authentic Christian community because if I run to authentic Christian community, I will find empathizers. And I will experience victory over that temptation.
I mean, if I’m not mistaken, the A in BRAVE stands for authentic in relationship. Amen, Pastor Jeff? Because you and I are not in it alone. We are in this together. Satan doesn’t want you to know that. Okay. Saints, so let’s look at the rest of verse 13 because it just keeps getting better and better. God is faithful. He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation, he will also provide the way of escape that you may be able to endure it. Okay? Saints, this leads us directly to truth number one, the enemy doesn’t want you to know. God always provides a way out. God always provides a way out.
Our Heavenly Father loves us so much that whenever we’re tempted, he promises, “I will not leave you alone. I will always provide a way of escape.” The enemy wants to lie to us and say, “No, it’s inevitable. You may have victory in other parts of your life, but you know, that habitual sin that you keep falling to, I mean, you have worn out a path into that sin because you always run when you hear the call of that temptation, it’s inevitable. You’re going to keep falling to that temptation.” That is a lie from the pit of hell, because the truth is that Satan doesn’t want us to know is God always provides a way out, a way of escape from every temptation.
Now, this reminds me of the last time that I wrote a mega rollercoaster. Like you, I got in the long line for the mega roller coaster. And pretty soon it takes you into the
little maze and you go around and you go around and you go round for an hour. And as you’re getting closer to it, you start looking at this mega roller coaster, and you may have some doubts. Like this is a lot bigger than I thought when I was lined up way back there. Is it inevitable that I’m going to have to get on this thing? I’m not sure want to do that. Well, what happens with a lot of mega rollercoasters is they have a gate rate at the end called the chicken gate. And that’s a good thing. It’s a way of escape for those of us who had big plans back here. But as we got drawn in closer, we were like, “I don’t want to do that.” So we get to use the way of escape, the chicken gate.
I love that name, the chicken gate because when I’m being drawn into sin and temptation, I’m a chicken. I don’t have power on my own to defeat it. But when I turned to the Holy Spirit, he always provides a way out. James 4: 7. Submit yourself to me and the enemy must flee.
You know, I got an illustration of this some years ago in living color, up close and personal. I was passed around one of our church plants. It was back in the Midwest and it was a Saturday morning and I was preparing my message for the next day. And a buddy of mine who was pastoring a church on the other side of the state said, “John,” he called me. “I know this is last second, but in our church tomorrow morning and tomorrow night, we’re going to have Major Ian Thomas, who is a famous British preacher missionary.” And I love his ministry. And he said, “I know you love him.” He said, “I know you can’t go tomorrow morning, but why don’t you drive over tomorrow afternoon and be part of the service and then we’ll go out to eat with Ian Thomas.” I’m like, “Yeah, I’m in.”
So after I preach, I got right into my car, drove five hours across the state to be part of those meetings. And I was blessed and fed. Then we went out to dinner. Then I got up the next morning, Monday, and I started driving all the way back home to the other side of the state. And it’s mostly farm fields and those kinds of things. So I realized that my car needed gas. So I’m looking. Where can I stop? And I came across one of those exits that has the truck stop, the diner, and the other residual buildings. So I pulled off and as I pulled up to the gas pump, I looked over and there was the work van of a guy from our church.
Now that didn’t surprise me because of the fact I knew that his territory spanned almost the whole state. So I pulled over next to him, tooted the horn, he looked up, and he was shocked. So he rolled down his window, “Hey Pastor John, what are you doing here in the middle of the state?” And I said, “Well, I got invited over to be part of the special meeting, it was a blessing.” And so we chit chatted and then I drove on.
About a month later I’m having coffee with the same guy. And he said, “John, I have to be honest with you. When I was sitting there in my van at that truck stop, I was having a battle of inner turmoil because I really wanted to go to that bar behind the truck stop that has adult entertainment. And I was having this inner battle, this inner struggle. And the spirit was say no. And my flesh was saying yes, and I was almost ready to cave in, and a horn honks, and I look and it’s my pastor.” Seriously. And that was an illustration to me of how the Holy Spirit loves us and is fighting for our holiness every single day.
Now, that doesn’t mean that Pastor Jeff is driving around Denver, looking for you. That is just an illustration of what happened. Okay, church, a year after writing his first letter to the Corinthians, Paul writes second letter to the Corinthians. Now they grown up somewhat in the past year, they have matured somewhat. So Paul is able to address with them deeper spiritual issues like spiritual warfare and spiritual strongholds. So, let’s turn to 2 Corinthians 10: 3. And we’re going to you see that Paul is reminding this church, that though we exist physically in the natural realm, because we can touch things and see things and hear things. Though we exist physically in the natural realm, all around us is the spirit realm. And that’s where the spiritual warfare takes place. That’s where angels and demons are constantly battling. And Paul’s going to let these believers know that even though you’re in the midst of spiritual warfare, that’s taking place all around you and in you in the spirit realm, you have been given spiritual weapons and they have supernatural power to defeat the enemy.
(PART 2 WILL BE PUBLISHED NEXT MONTH…STAY TUNED)