Stopping The Barbarian At The Gate

Stopping The Barbarian At The Gate

With her many persuasions she entices him; with her flattering lips she seduces him. Suddenly he follows her . . . as a bird hastens to the snare, so he does not know that it will cost him his life.
–Proverbs 7:21-23

There is a very real, though invisible, world that exists right alongside the visible universe. It is the realm in which God and Satan, angels and demons reside. And though this world is unseen, it explains everything that happens in the visible world in general, and in your life and my life. While Christ is at the right hand of God the Father advocating on our behalf, Satan is doing everything he can to destroy our lives. If we are going to have victory in Satan’s war against us, we have to put on the spiritual armor that God has provided.

Last week, we looked at the breastplate of righteousness, which Paul mentioned in Ephesians 6:14. Before a Roman solider would go into battle, he would put on a molded piece of metal that covered the heart and other vital organs. In the same way, Paul said we need to put on a breastplate not of metal but of practiced righteousness, or obedience to God. How does obedience protect us against the attacks of Satan? This week, I am going to point out four ways that obeying God protects us from the enemy’s assaults.

First of all, obedience protects us from the consequences of sin. If Satan were a salesman, he would be sued by the Federal Trade Commission for false advertising because he is always making promises about his product that he cannot fulfill. Not only that, he ignores the harm that his product brings to consumers. In the garden of Eden, Satan told Eve, in essence, “If you eat the fruit from this tree, you can be just like God.” That is false advertising. Nothing in that fruit was going to make Eve just like God. But she bought the lie. Satan also told Eve, “See the warning label that says, ‘This fruit may be hazardous to your spiritual health’? You can ignore that. You will not die from eating this fruit.” He continues the very same tactic today, making promises that he cannot fulfill and encouraging us to ignore God’s warnings.

Through the years I have counseled men and women who have been engaged in extramarital affairs. I try to help them visualize the consequences of their actions. If they continue with their affair, it might mean the loss of their marriage. It might mean the loss of their children. It might mean the destruction of their reputation. It might mean the loss of everything important to them. But they are so blinded, they cannot see the consequences of their sin. I am reminded of Proverbs 7:21-23, where Solomon talked about how sin, especially adultery, can blind a person. Look at the fate of an adulterer according to Solomon: “With her many persuasions she entices him; with her flattering lips she seduces him. Suddenly he follows her as an ox goes to the slaughter, or as one in fetters to the discipline of a fool, until an arrow pierces through his liver; as a bird hastens to the snare, so he does not know that it will cost him his life.” Sin has consequences.

Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Stopping The Barbarian At The Gate” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2011.

Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org;