(August 20, 2022) Richard Winter really grabs our attention with this title!
Firstly there are two things the devil and I have in common:
(i) He hates me!
(ii) I hate him!
That said, kindly bear with me and hear me out (noting that I’ve used quotes around that verb ‘admire’). There are some things that the devil consistently does that I can only wish God’s children would do in their testimony and service for the Lord.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to glorify the devil! But I’m going to use him as an example to challenge Christians.
I. The devil always shows up!
Example: ‘One day the angels came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came with them. The Lord said to Satan, “Where have you come from?” Satan answered the Lord, “From roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it”’ (Job 1:6-7). Job 2:1-2 tells of another similar day!
I can only wish that at least half the church members were as faithful as the devil in regularly presenting themselves before the Lord!
You’ll have to admit, say in the last few years, that if only several members would have faithfully stayed in their church and not just passed through it, there could have been more souls added to the church.
Despite these uncertain days of covid and such, there are still opportunities to attend church. But… brethren, you better believe this scary fact: That every time the church meets, the devil and his minions will also show up to mess up and defeat the worship of our God! Most folks go to church just to get hatched, matched or dispatched – if you know what I’m saying.
Now then, why do I ‘admire’ the devil? It’s simply because, unlike some Christians, you can always count on him 100% sure to show up in every church gathering. Some Christians claim they love God but won’t show up for His work and services over the slightest inconvenience.
So the next time your church’s doors open up, show up and refuse to glorify Satan by your 101 excuses and alibis to be absent. Hebrews 10:24-25 encourages ‘Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.’
Remember: The church of God is the only place on earth where you can find and get absolutely free:
2. The devil never gives up!
‘Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour’ warns I Peter 5:8.
He’ll never stop at anything to destroy our church, testimony, joy, and hope. I’m quite tired with fake Christians saying, ‘I gave up living and serving for Jesus because it was too hard for me’… as if serving the devil is easier! Well, Proverbs 13:15b says ‘… the way of the unfaithful leads to their destruction.’
I’m sure that you too know some Christians who are easily offended, often heard murmuring, pitying themselves, and are even quite happy to quit the church or its ministries due to the slightest distress. Sadly I must add that through many years in the ministry, I’ve often heard even fellow ministers and church workers say that they’ve wanted to quit.
Now you’ll understand why in this sense I ‘admire’ the devil. It’s because he won’t ever quit.
Speaking of the devil’s prowling around and devouring… unfortunately for us, the cults with their well-trained and disciplined evil workers (energised by their father, Satan) would be more than happy to endure any or all hardness! They operate non-stop 24/7 spending and sacrificing so many $$$$$$$ in order to flood the airwaves – certain radio and TV programs – and the internet streaming online services, just to proclaim their damnable heresies.
The Bible says, we Christians are to be steadfast and unmovable as encouraged by Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:58 – ‘Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labour in the Lord is not in vain.’ And Galatians 6:9, ‘Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.’
Again, I say that I ‘admire’ the devil because, unlike some Christians, he never gives up!
3. The devil won’t shut up!
Revelation 12:9-10 confirms the devil’s continual activity. He’s ‘… the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night…’
He won’t shut up nagging God and ever accusing us about all our past and present sins. He’s constantly rapping his mouth faster than an automatic assault rifle and spewing lies about the brethren and ever accusing them before God… saying, ‘Look at that bunch of #@!% useless, hypocrites. Is that what you’d suffered, paid for, and died for?’
Concerning you, he won’t shut up talking and convincing you with his lies. Yes, he’ll always talk to you if you give him the chance and place! If you listen to him for even just a few minutes, he can potentially destroy you forever. No wonder Paul warned ‘… do not give the devil a foothold’ (Ephesians 4:27).
Remember even King David listened to him… and look what happened between him and Lady Bathsheba. Sadly, even some popular international preachers listened to him for a few minutes and their lives and ministries were shipwrecked and became history after mainstream media networks feasted insatiably on their ensuing scandals!
Satan won’t shut up telling and convincing you that it’s okay to have a little and occasional worldly fashion, pop music, internet porn, entertainment, wine, smoke, drugs, partying, flirting and their like. Of course, he won’t even hint to you about the miserable lives destroyed by such fleshly lusts! Peter did: ‘… abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul’ (1 Peter 2:11).
James was quite strong here: ‘… each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters’ (James 1:14-15).
I can only wish that Christians would stop imitating the devil and shut their mouths by not gossiping, backbiting, lying, cheating, and deceiving themselves as directed in Ephesians 4:25, 29, 31 – ‘Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbour, for we are all members of one body… Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen… Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.’
On the other hand, I can only dream that Christians were as zealous as the devil when it comes to witnessing and testifying for Christ our redeemer; not only at church, but at home, school, office, and the neighbourhood as Psalm 107:2 encourages: ‘Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story – those he redeemed from the hand of the foe.’
For the last time, I say that I ‘admire’ the devil because unlike some Christians, he won’t shut up!
4. The devil will soon settle up!
Some people say the devil is already neutralised and bound to a chain in hell. Well, it must be a very long chain because I have run into him several times at home here in Los Angeles and around the world as I’ve travelled – on the road, aboard ships, even in the air!
Yes, Satan is alive and well… that’s the bad news! But, hallelujah, the good news is that he won’t be doing very well for as long as you are walking in the Spirit and not in the flesh (Galatians 5:16; Romans 6:12).
Mark this, the devil and his servants are going to settle up with God for all their sins! Revelation 20:10 tells us so – ‘And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.’
My Lord and Saviour will one day cast them all into the lake of fire (‘… eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels’ cf Revelations 20:10 above).
5. The devil is addressed here!
‘ Admire‘ the devil? I now address Satan and his minions (even presently watching as you read!) here, letting him know that I’m still very much against him and all his servants!
I know that he is watching me right now and I tell that old serpent and dragon, the father of lies… ‘Whether you like it or not Mister Satan, you are about to settle up with my God and Saviour, and I look forward to the day when you will burn forever and ever in the Lake of Fire with all your angels!’
This isn’t church but will readers give me a sevenfold ‘Amen’ to that?
- Friends… I encourage you to join me in standing strong against the devil! Whenever he tries to trick you, for example reminding you of your past, remind him of his future!
- Maybe you’re someone who needs to settle some things that have gone wrong with your local church. Reach out to Jesus and find His loving arms reaching out to you, encouraging and helping!
- Or, just maybe you are yet unsaved, living in your unforgiven sins, and really need to get right with God. So, why not ask Him to save you right now before it’s too late.
Let’s all get right with God and together let’s kick the devil out of our lives, our homes, and our churches! Can you say Amen to that?
‘Put on the full armour of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.’
Dr Richard Winter pastors The Connection Church, Huntington Beach, California