The Devils Final Arrows
A few weeks ago as part of my series of sermons on Faith, I spoke of the “peace of faith“- the peace that comes to us from knowing that we are forgiven and at peace with God.
In today’s sermon entitled “The Devils Final Arrows” I want us to focus on the disturbing fact that the Devil is after that peace. The highest item on his agenda is to rob the Christian of all that God gives, he comes “to steal, to kill and to destroy”
John 10:10. He wants to take our Faith and replace it with Fear.
At every opportunity he will try to snatch away our faith and our peace, and pierce our hearts with fear, irritation and agitation. The apostle Paul calls these weapons his
“fiery darts” his arrows!
Amongst the last words that Jesus spoke to His disciples while here on earth, was to give them a promise, or an impartation of “peace”… Jesus said: “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid”. John 14 v27
I don’t want to be preaching Faith and living in Fear. I don’t want to be preaching one thing and living another, and not demonstrating in my life that fruit of the Spirit. But sometimes with one irritation after another, one problem after another, and you begin to become fearful, you lose your grace and lose your peace; – and even if you do hold up under attack and not give in, you may find that you are still irritated, even agitated. This means that although the Devil may not have won the war,
he did win that battle!
So let me teach you something important about fighting battles.
The Holy Spirits job is to “teach” or to “lead” us into the
Scriptures, the Word of God. Every true revelation you and
I might get from the Bible, comes from Him, not from the Preacher. The Preacher might put it in the head, but it is the Holy Spirit that puts it in the Heart, in the Spirit of a man.
If and when we get revelation from God on a particular problem, this does not mean that the problem is over? We must first work that word, speak that word, stand on that word, live that word, experience that word for ourselves in order to tackle the problem. What I share with you week by week, I don’t get from a Book, – I get it by “revelation” from the Bible and by the learning curve of my own walk with God. God shows me, he teaches me, then I endeavour to show you and so teach you.
Today I want to show you what God is teaching me! Real Ministry is the transparency of the servant of God – to show you how he’s falling and how he gets up, and if it has been a fresh blessing to him, then it will minister and be a blessing to you. You may be being tempted and tested, but that is not a reason
to sin, or be defeated, victory can be yours!
Have you ever experienced a moment or circumstance in your life like this. Supposing you have been to Church, or have just listened to “The Sanctuary” broadcast. God had been speaking to you through the “revelation” of His word, and you were truly blessed by the message or sermon. God was answering a question that had long puzzled you. You felt as though you were walking on “higher ground”. You felt elated, enthused, victorious, you felt at last that you were going to win, going to succeed, that you had experienced a “break-through”
and things were on the up?
You were going into the rest of your day with a fresh spring in
your step and a new song in your heart. You thanked God for His word, and His help, His anointing in your life, His favour and blessing on your family and you go to your bed in peace.
Now the Devil is angry, He hates it when it looks like we might be getting to the place where we are finally standing on the promises of God. So, NOW he steps in to steal.
Scarcely had you settled down under the covers but there is a “drip drip drip” of water coming from the ceiling above the bed.
Hurriedly you make it to your attic space, to discover a burst pipe and your loft beginning to flood. You turn off the water at source and call the plumber …. and your day was going so well?
That’s what I’m calling irritation and agitation, the
arrows of the Devil to pull you down, and take you out.
In John 14:27, Jesus says “peace I leave with you MY peace, … let not your heart be troubled … or …afraid”
But with water dripping from your loft into your bedroom, and with the costly price of repairs looming in your face, Faith and Peace suddenly moved out of your house and Fear has moved in? Have you had days like that?
We see in this passage that if Jesus begins to talk about peace, and to impart His peace to the disciples, leaving them the legacy of peace, it seems to me, that he must have known that they would clearly encounter storms ahead in which they would need that peace for themselves. I believe that the greatest battle which we Christians will face in these last days is that we will fight a war to maintain our peace. Fear, Irritation and Agitation are Satan’s weaponry intended to separate us from what Jesus left to us. Jesus had gotten this “peace” (a Holy and Heavenly Peace) and he personally handed this down to us. HIS Peace.
Not the peace that the world knows, but the peace that obviously protected Jesus from Agitation and Irritation; from being impacted by these fearful things in his life and living.
He bequeaths it to us before he goes. When he says “Do not let your hearts be troubled”… he cannot be telling us to do something that is impossible for us, therefore it must be possible, and thank God it is. Here is his message. “Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed, do not
permit yourselves to be intimidated, unsettled, and distressed”.
Agitation is a mental state of extreme emotional disturbance. When you agitate something you change the arrangement or position of that thing. As Christians, we have an arrangement with Peace. We have a Security in the midst of turmoil, Security in the midst of pressure or temptation, that’s our arrangement, we should not allow the devil to rearrange it.
If Irritation and Agitation are mental and emotional things, then that means that there is something we can do about them. Negative emotions are designed to move us away from the will of God in our lives. But “let not your heart be troubled” says the Lord …in other words, YOU stop allowing it. If I am allowing myself to be troubled, then I can STOP allowing myself to be troubled.
As I mentioned a moment ago, Agitation is defined as “moving the arrangements that you have made”. An agitated person is usually a moving person, they have to be moving things rearranging things, they are unsettled, insecure, nervous and fearful. In the medial world they have a term …Psycho-motor agitation:- these symptoms you can easily see in the patient.
They will often be pacing back and forth, doing things with their hands; Unsettled and Disturbed within.
When Satan discovers that I have an arrangement in faith in the love of God and the peace of God, in order to get me unsettled in my peace and in my love, he has to find a way to move me from the arrangement or to agitate me in order to get me away from my position. Maybe I have testified and declared that a new way of walking by faith is what I’m going to do from now on. So the Enemy is going to seek to disturb that arrangement. His best line of attack, line of fire, is to deal with me emotionally, to make me disturbed about something. Anything to rob me of peace. it does not matter what, as long as it becomes an irritation or agitation to unsettle me?
But Jesus said “Do not permit yourself to be fearful.” Satan’s attack is rooted in fear, and built on fear, and strengthened by fear; and when you permit fear, then the agitation and irritation will work. If you don’t allow fear then the agitation will not work. Every time you find yourself disturbed, stressed out, then you can easily cross over into sin. You can become so disturbed that you walk away from your peace, because now you are afraid that what you had your peace about, is no longer there. Then the enemy can operate and get you into a place that you would not normally get into.
Have you ever noticed that when you become irritated or agitated that you will use words that normally you don’t use.
If you get into a heated argument with someone over a “parking space” or some similar minor irritation, those who pass by may not see anything vaguely “Christian” about your reactions?
Another battle lost to Satan!
To fight this, Jesus said ” I give you MY peace”. We need to train ourselves to go to the peace that Jesus gives. The real issue here is the fear that what God said is no longer good enough, or sufficient enough for this problem, and we immediately think “I need to sort this myself.” Remember that wherever there is fear, Satan can operate, but faith ties his hands.
Returning to our text in John 14: v1. Jesus says: “Let not your heart be troubled, (stressed or agitated) ye believe in God believe also in ME”? In other words, there is something that God has for us as a Father and as a Friend, but there is something more, that is “uniquely” Jesus, that comes to us from Him as our Brother and our Saviour. The apostle Paul talks about the “peace of God” in Philippians 4:7, but here Jesus talks about
In order to understand what this means we need to look at Jesus- his earthly life and ministry, and remember that he always walked “by Faith” and not by his five senses, not by what he could see, hear, smell, taste and feel. Jesus had a radical faith, an overwhelming confidence in God his Father, and a total and absolute reliance on the leading and guiding of the Holy Spirit.
Wherever there is an area of unbelief, that’s where fear settles.
There was no unbelief or doubt in Jesus heart, and consequently there was no fear. Satan had nothing in Him, no ground on which to build, (John 14:30) and had Jesus given in to the temptations in the wilderness that were thrown at him in the material, the physical and the spiritual, ( in all points) … then Satan would have had territory in him on which to build fear.
If you are afraid that what the Bible says will not come to pass. or the fear that what God promises wont work for you, then you give ground, and fear comes in and the Devil takes over. Locate the areas of unbelief in your life and you will find there fear, irritation and agitation building there, which will rearrange your life, and could change your future destiny.
Jesus Peace, choose it; – its the way out of fear and stress.
You cannot receive from God if you are unsettled and unsure
in His Word, Gods holy writ. The enemy has got to find a way
of moving you. Satan cannot have you stand on Gods word
for then you will get results.
He cannot allow you to continue walking in the word. He
cannot have you making the right confession or keep walking in love and obedience, because then he knows blessing will be yours!
Then He will lose territory, territory that he has been fighting for, all your life. Remember that the Devil is “territorial” in his attacks. When Jesus was casting the “legion” of demons from the man at in the country of the Gadarenes, they begged him not to cast them out of the region, so he allowed them to enter into the swine, who all rushed over the cliffs to their death.
( Luke 8:33) Satan had that territory and he was not easily going to give it up. He will not easily give you up either. It will be a fight, and he may win many of the battles, but thank God
he cannot win the war.
He may use the Irritations of Unpaid Bills, Noisy Neighbours, Motor Breakdown, Traffic Jams, Disobedient Children, Health problems, Relationship Problems, Work Problems, anything and everything to distract you from Faith, trying to get you unsettled and back to the place of Fear. When Satan realizes
that he has lost ground in your life and what you used to do you don’t do any more, then he has to get you to question the
scriptures, or to doubt the truth of Gods word, because he knows that Breakthrough is about to come into your life. When the Devil starts to fire the arrows of irritation and agitation at you, you can take comfort in the fact that these are his last arrows, he hasn’t got nothing else to shoot! If you can resist those, “strong in Faith” then He will “flee from you”. James 4:7
Once we have learned how to “go to Peace” then we need to learn how to “stay in Peace”
Isaiah 26:v3 says: “Thou will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee because he trusted in thee.”
We ought to know that if we want to stay in the peace of God, then we should make sure that our Mind is being renewed by the Word of God. I have discovered that if I set my mind on the word then I set my mind on peace. If there is no Word, then when agitation comes and I have nothing to hold on to. My mind is not always on him, (that’s just not possible) but I do trust him at all times. I trust Him who cares about me, to care for me.
When I say that I trust God I am saying that I am committed to His word. That obviously means that when fear, irritation or agitation shows up, I trust in God. I trust that all will be OK.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not unto your own understanding” Proverbs 3:5 Even in the most horrifying moments and unexplained tragedies, one can still trust in Him.
If your flight is cancelled, if you miss your train, if you lose your Engagement Ring, if you are not chosen for the job or Promotion, … still trust in the one that promised “all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” Rom 8:28. Trust in this timeless Truth, not only in temporary facts!
NOW THIS FINAL WORD
Dr Howard Therman tells the story that some years ago while travelling by train across America by the Southern Route, the His Train stopped at San-Antonio, Texas. Therman remembered his interest to see The Alamo, so he got off the train intent to take the later train which was due to pass through that night. Therman says: “I caught the midnight train and the next day when the train to which I had transferred reached Yuma Arizona, it slowed; Just off the track, ahead, were two huge engines, like two monsters that had been in a life and death struggle, and some 15 or 20 steel carriages twisted and turned over, their sides had been cut open to remove the dead and injured. That was the train that I had suddenly jumped off several hours before”.
Guidance as well as grace are supplied by God, you can trust him. As I said a moment ago:
I trust Him who cares about me, to care for me.
Security is not in what the Government, the Media, the Family, or the Boss says, but the Christians security is in what
Gods WORD says.
Move away from the word and you will move toward fear. Without Fear Satan cannot operate, – remember his only weapons are those of deception and lies. Fear, Irritation and Agitation are the final arrows of his deceptive weaponry.
Whether you are a “brand new” Christian, or have been walking the road with Jesus for many years, Satan’s means and methods of attack are just the same. He wants to rob you of your Faith, and give you back Fear. Don’t allow it.
God Bless You. Amen