Traps of the Devil (Series): David

Traps of the Devil (Series): David

The Traps of the Devil: DAVID
A Series Taken from Dr. Charles Stanley

(2 Samuel 11:1-17-12:1-10)

This week, we will look at the sins of King David, a successful military leader and a man after God’s own heart. Led astray by lust, he actively pursues another man’s wife and opens himself up to all kinds of evil. David attempts to hide his sin of adultery with Uriah’s wife Bathsheba. She becomes pregnant with David’s child, which leads David to murder Uriah. God sends Nathan the Prophet to show David the error of his ways, and David is convicted. Although, he does not escape punishment and the consequences of his sin. His child’s life is taken by God, and the sword never leaves David’s house (2 Samuel 12:10a).

Through Scripture, we observe the rapid progression of sin in David’s life so that we can learn to guard our own hearts from the devil and his devices. No one is exempt from sin. We must do all we can to stay untarnished from the world by confessing sin daily, by being in the Word and praying throughout the day.

David’s first mistake is when he chooses to stay at the palace in the spring when kings customarily go into battle. One day, bored from laying on his bed, David decides to walk upon his rooftop from where he observes a beautiful woman bathing. When we are not doing what God has called us to do and we become lazy or bored, we are prey to the devil and his demons. Be sober and vigilant because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8). Who do you think would be living close to David’s palace? Most likely, his most trusted warriors. He inquiries about Bathsheba and learns that she is the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah, both of whom are members of David’s special forces known as David’s Mighty Men. He knew them well, for they had served the King for many years and had sacrificed their lives to keep him safe. But that doesn’t stop David from pursuing her.

Let’s apply David’s situation to our lives. As I remember, I had made my appointment to have my abortion, and I knew how to prepare for the upcoming procedure. However, on my way to the clinic, I was so hung over that I stopped to get something to eat. I was also driving myself, which shows you how unaware I was about the effects of abortion on a woman’s body. When I finally arrived at the clinic and they discovered that I had just eaten, they canceled the procedure. Here was God giving me a way out. But did I take it? NO! I rescheduled my abortion for December 10, 1980, and at the time of this writing, next week will be 40 years since my abortion. I should have stopped to reconsider what I was doing, as David should have, yet neither of us did. As a result, many people suffered a horrible fate because of our sins.

Did God give you a way to escape sin but you did not heed His warning?

We read that David involves other people in his sinful plan when he asks his servants about the beautiful woman and tells them to bring her back to his quarters. At this point, his secret lust has been made public and known to his servants. They know he loves the Lord, and he is about to commit adultery. When one is in leadership, he or she is a target for the enemy to destroy, especially a person of faith in Jesus. We must protect ourselves and be diligent because the enemy would love to destroy our testimonies and our ministry. Guard your heart with all diligence for out of it spring the issues of life (Proverbs 4:23).

How do you protect yourself from the enemy?

As we move further along in the story, David devises a plan to bring Uriah home from battle so that he will sleep with his wife and appear to conceive a child thus hiding the pregnancy from everyone, except from his servants and Joab, his military commander. Uriah refuses to go home to his wife because the Ark of the Covenant and his fellow warriors are still on the battlefield. As a result, he does not sleep with his wife but lays at the king’s gate with all of the other servants. They were probably whispering, Isn’t that Uriah the husband of Bathsheba?

Whenever we try to cover up our sin with another sin, it never ends well for anyone. During the time of my abortion, I had to hide the fact that my boyfriend, the father of my aborted baby, and I were living together. My parents would be coming to town to attend my college graduation, so I needed to find a quick solution. In the 3 years I lived in Ohio, my parents never visited, so I was able to live like the devil without fear of being discovered. But the day of reckoning was coming. When my sister called off her wedding in the summer of 1982, six months before my graduation, I decided to get married to cover up my sin. That way, when my parents came in December, my lifestyle would be acceptable. Looking back, it took many years of Christian counselling and recovery work for me to finally become the woman God created me to be. Over the years, my husband and I had a very rocky marriage and were on the brink of divorce twice. God graciously intervened, and now our marriage is stronger than it has ever been.

When have you tried to cover up your sin with more sin?

A famous quote, “Sin will take you farther than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay and cost you more than you want to pay.”

You are loved,
Toni

 

Read more of Toni’s blog posts here!

Traps of the Devil (Series): Achan

Traps of the Devil (Series): Achan

The Traps of the Devil: ACHAN
A Series Taken from Dr. Charles Stanley

“Achan”

(Joshua 6 & 7:1–12)

Why is the love of money the root of all kinds of evil?

 

1 Timothy 6:10 states, “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”

Joshua 6:18-19, God warned the Children of Israel, “And you, by all means abstain from the accursed things, lest you become accursed when you take of the accused things, and make the camp of Israel a curse, and trouble it. But all the silver and gold, and vessels of bronze and iron, are consecrated to the Lord; they shall come into the treasury of the Lord.”

After Israel had won a huge victory in battle over Jericho where the Lord caused the walls to come crashing down, Joshua went to take the city of Ai. God commanded the children of Israel to refrain from taking anything that belonged to the people in Jericho. All the gold and silver would be brought into the storehouse for the Lord. If anyone were to disobey God’s command, they would be accursed. Unfortunately, there was an Israelite who did not heed the Lord’s warning as a result of his disobedience the battle was lost and 36 men died. Devastated, the children of Israel could not understand what went wrong. Joshua and the leaders of Israel cried out to the Lord, rent their clothes and put ashes on their heads. God responded by telling Joshua, “Get UP! There is sin in the camp, and that’s why you lost the battle. Someone has taken the accursed things from Jericho.” Joshua was given the responsibility to seek out the person responsible for sinning against God and for betraying the people of Israel.

Israel’s situation paints a vivid picture of how destructive sin can be. Many people are often affected by just one act of sin. Joshua discovered that it was Achan who had touched the accursed items by bringing them back into his tent and burying them. Because he allowed the sin of greed to control his actions, Achan’s whole family was punished for his actions. What a powerful example of the deadly effects of sin on an entire family and group of people. Sadly, Achan’s family suffered the consequences of his greed, which is the case for many families today. When a person in a family falls into grievous sin, all the members of the family are harmed by the effects of it. Because of God’s awareness of the destructiveness of sin, He protects us by giving us laws to guide us, not to punish us.

Why didn’t Achan trust God to provide for his family?

Why don’t we trust God to provide for all of our needs?

Why do people steal and take things that don’t belong to them?

Is it out of fear that I will not have enough, doubting that God will provide for me?

We may say to ourselves, “I cannot trust God to provide. So, I must take matters into my own hands and steal and cheat and lie to get what I need. No one will find out.”

Let’s apply 1 Timothy 6:10 to our society today.

Why does the love (obsession) of money open us up to all kinds of evil?

What is our motivation for the money?

Is it to provide for our families and to help others, or is it for personal gain?

Some people want to acquire large sums of money so that they can have greater power, control, and influence. We see this very same situation occurring today in several professions where the accumulation of wealth leads to pride, arrogance, power, influence and lawlessness. They become deceived and consumed with the notion that they are somehow better than you and me. I pray they repent and turn from their sins and receive the gift of salvation, which was purchased for them with the precious blood of Christ. If such people die without having repented of their sins, then they will stand before Christ and will be judged, according to what they have done, Romans 2:6. They will be cast into hell where the fire is not quenched and there is wailing and gnashing of teeth. Separated from God for eternity, they will be tormented with the memories of all the evil they have committed in their lifetime. God will be much harsher with them than we could ever imagine. Let’s pray for those who believe they are superior to others and have no fear of God, that they come to faith in Christ.

Will you pray with me that the God of heaven and His Mighty Warrior Angels will dismantle this evil world system, which is opposite of God? They strive to divide, steal, kill, cheat and lie to get what they want all because they have chosen to follow Satan, the prince of this world.

Stay in community and be accountable to one another so you do not fall into temptation and a snare.

 

You are loved,
Toni

Read more of Toni’s blog posts here!

The Traps of the Devil (Series): Eve

The Traps of the Devil (Series): Eve

The Traps of the Devil: EVE
A Series Taken from Dr. Charles Stanley

“Eve”

Genesis 2:21
“And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place.”

Genesis 3:1–9
“Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?”

And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’”

Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.

And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.

Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?”

Have you ever wanted something you knew you should not have or participated in something you knew you shouldn’t? Have you ever been tempted to sin?

The enemy tries to take our attention off of God and focus on the one thing we don’t have. For Eve, it is the fruit she cannot eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The serpent has been observing Eve for a while. He cannot read her mind, but he watches for her reactions and her behavior patterns. He sees her approaching the tree and looking at the beautiful fruit. She is thinking, I wonder why God is keeping this from me. God is holding back something good from me. It’s because He doesn’t really love and care about me. If He did, He would let me have this fruit.

For those of us who have had children or have spent any time with children, we understand that children do not know what is best for them. They would eat junk food all day and watch TV all night. As adults, we know that is not a healthy way to live. We love them. So, we teach them and put up boundaries so they learn to make healthy choices. We do this because we care about their well-being and their future. God loves us too and wanted to protect Adam, Eve and the whole world from the destructive effects of sin. That’s why He told them not to eat of the fruit.

We see in Scripture that Eve has a conversation with Satan the serpent. That was her first mistake. Do not have a dialogue with the enemy. Do not even entertain his thoughts because he is more cunning then you know. We cannot reason or trust the enemy to lead us to do anything that would benefit us in any way. His ways always lead to death and destruction. That’s why knowing the Word of God is so important. When the enemy lies to you, you will know the truth and you will not fall into temptation or sin.

The second thing we see is Satan causing Eve to doubt God’s Word. He said, “You shall not eat it: for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” (Genesis 2:17) Satan said, “You shall not surely die, For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

Becoming like “god” was all Eve needed to hear. Pride will destroy a godly person faster than anything else. I can be my own “god”. I can do whatever I want. I am in charge of my life. I don’t need God. I took that approach when I had my abortion because I thought I knew better. I wanted to be in control of my life. I am my own “god”. Look what that did for me and my dear son. He died as a result of my decision. Consequently, I was plunged headlong into deep despair, depression, self-loathing and suicidal thoughts. Don’t listen to Satan. He will destroy you. Only God’s way leads to life, peace, joy and true freedom.

So, where was Adam when this was all happening? When Eve took of the fruit and ate it, Adam should have said, “What are you doing? God told us not to eat it.” But the scriptures say that Eve gave it to her husband, and he ate. Then their eyes were opened, and they knew they were naked. Then, they sewed fig leaves together to cover up their nakedness and their sin. I, too, have done that in my life. I rushed to hide my sin never thinking about the consequences. Those decisions have never led to good outcomes for me. The fear of being unmasked is a powerful motivator. My false persona of being the good quiet one was in danger of exposure. As a result, I rushed my decision to have an abortion. In my mind, there were no other alternatives. Hurry up and take care of it, or do this before someone finds out that the good quiet one in the family is a phony. My whole life had become a lie.

God calls out to Adam, “Where are you?” God knew where Adam and Eve were. He wanted to give them a chance to come out of hiding and confess their sin. However, they didn’t. We hide from God too. We isolate ourselves as Christians. We stop going to church or stop being accountable to people when we sin because it’s easier. Then we wake up one morning and say, “How did I get here?” It happens very quickly, my friends. It’s important to confess sin daily to God and to stay in a close Christian community like this group where there is accountability. Each one of us is just one step away from falling into grievous sin. Stay close to God, read His Word, memorize Scripture and stay in community with other believers. If you do this, you will be protected from the lies and the fiery darts of the enemy.

Keep your focus on God alone, and you will be safe.

Please share how you took matters into your own hands like Eve did? What was the outcome?

What have you learned from that experience?

You are loved,
Toni

 

Read more of Toni’s blog posts here!