25 Jun 2013
It seems that the Lord would have us consider the work of the enemy as it relates to his desire to destroy the church. We have from Jesus the clear teaching that Satan wishes to devastate His bride. Matthew 16:18 (AMP) 18 And I tell you, you are Peter [Greek, Petros—a large piece of rock], and on this rock [Greek, petra—a huge rock like Gibraltar] I will build My church, and the gates of Hades (the powers of the infernal region) shall not overpower it [or be strong to its detriment or hold out against it].
Therefore we have focused upon two amazingly powerful provisions that have been offered to us by God through the death, burial, resurrection, and ascension of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ that are under attack by the forces of our enemy: prayer directly to the throne of God and the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit within each authentic believer.
Below are listed what seem to be some of the strategies and tactics of the forces of darkness designed to destroy the church of Jesus Christ together with scripture references that provide truth from God's Word concerning the deception behind these plans.
Please understand that the tactics below are not to be considered exhaustive but rather some that seem to be most focused upon the power that Jesus has provided through prayer and the presence of the Holy Spirit. Our enemy is determined to steal, kill and destroy. Clearly much of his activity is focused upon the dilution or destruction of the powerful provisions Jesus has freely offered to His Church.
Strategy Number One: Means to keep the church from effective Kingdom praying.
a. Provide a constant stream of assurance and encouragement for everything they are doing in their own strength. Tell them repeatedly how good and strong and smart they are. Assign monitors to assess progress on an hourly basis in order to provide some encouragement during any times of deep discouragement which could cause them to resort to dependent prayer.*1 [ John 15:5]
b. Encourage gossip and extensive discussion connected with all prayer requests. Keep them busy talking or discussing prayer in order to prevent praying. Keep all prayer requests self focused in order to assure the minimization of affirmative answers. *2 [ James 4:2]
c. Whenever possible foster arrogance in their hearts such that they will be proud of the work that they are doing. Pride is a most effective tool in preventing them from receiving affirmative answers to prayer. *3 [Psalms 10:1-4]
d. Develop an effective campaign to gradually reduce generation by generation the dependence on prayer. Encourage them to substitute activity, organization and promotion relying on men and their influences in place of prayer. *4 [2 Chronicles 16:7]
e. Promote the idea that only certain super saints can effectively pray. Encourage pastors to pray publicly in theologically complicated language that discourages others from praying. *5 [Matthew 6:5]
f. Promote the idea that men have more important Christian duties and should not take time to pray. Encourage the perspective that any activity is more important than prayer. *6 1 Timothy 2:8
g. Insure that individual believers do not discover the kind of worshipful prayer that provides for intimacy with God. This is very dangerous! *7 [Psalms 16:11]
Strategy Number Two: Means to prevent believers from realizing the power of the Holy Spirit
a. Constantly encourage pride and arrogance which when achieved will effectively eliminate any supernatural power for God’s purposes. *8 [Romans 8:6-7]
b. Bend and blend the idea of repentance such that it is replaced by apologies and excuses in order to keep impure hearts intact at all times. *9 [James 4:4]
c. Provide consistent temptations particularly lust and jealousy and envy in ways that are completely justified and considered normal and acceptable. *9 [James 4:4]
d. Provide a gradually increasing moral decline in all media in order to systematically reduce the level of “normal” morality. Immorality is a sure cure for the power of the Holy Spirit. *10 [Galatians 5:16-17]
e. Keep believers blind to the understanding of the Holy Spirit and to the power that He can potentially supply. Blindness is excellent prevention. *11 [1 Corinthians 6:19-20]
f. Promote the idea that there is supposed to be distinct difference between what is said and done on Sunday at church from the attitudes and actions taken during the balance of the week. This may be best accomplished by implanting the perspective that everyone is engulfed in sin during the week and all come together to get some temporary relief for a couple of hours on Sunday.
The goal is to have all believers become sadly satisfied with their sin. *12 [Matthew 23:13]
g. At all costs do not let believers discover that the Holy Spirit is a most effective instrument in ushering saints into the presence of God. This represents a significant problem and must be avoided at all costs. *13 [Ephesians 4:3, Psalms 27:4]
If the forces of the enemy can effectively keep believers from exercising the power of God found in authentic prayer and isolate them from the power of the Holy Spirit, these evil forces can effectively minimize the growth and vitality of the church.
To what extent are these plans of our enemy working successfully on our watch?
To counteract the work of the forces of evil we must seek to constantly be filled and controlled by the Holy Spirit.. As Jesus walked on this earth, He was filled with the Spirit without measure! We must be filled and controlled by God’s Spirit in order to know how to pray, when to pray, and what to pray. Oh how God loves to hear and answer our prayers that are formed and flow from His indwelling Spirit! May He use our prayers directed by His Spirit to rebuild and revive His Church!