Beware of Satans Secret Weapon!
The Devil has many methods and devices which he uses to try to discourage the faith of believers. But out of all of Satans strategies, he has a favorite “secret weapon” which has been more effective in destroying Christian lives than anything else in his arsenal. He delights in this wicked device. Each time it succeeds, I can imagine that he gleefully prances about, celebrating the downfall of another poor soul.
Unfortunately for many Christians, Satans ultimate weapon still remains a secret. Even though its lethal strike has caused countless numbers of believers to stumble away from God and the Church, and into the clutches of the Devil, most never actually recognized what the weapon was.
By now Im sure that youre very curious and wonder why the Bible didnt warn us about this weapon. However, it does warn us! As a matter of fact, Jesus taught about it repeatedly. He certainly knew its danger and made it a priority to instruct his followers of how to protect themselves against it. The Apostle Paul also exposed the weapon, teaching believers how to be protected, and made it clear that no one should be ignorant of its dangers. He said, “A further reason for forgiveness is to keep from being outsmarted by Satan; for we know what he is trying to do” (2 Corinthians 2:11 The Living Bible).
There! Do you see what the Devils secret weapon is? If its not yet clear, you can find another clue from the writings of John, who also explained how to overcome this scheme so that it would never make us stumble. He wrote, “Whoever loves his brother lives in the light, and there is nothing in him to make him stumble” (1 John 2:10 NIV).
Are you catching on now? Satans secret weapon is unforgiveness and an absence of love! Satan knows that if he can deceive us into harboring anger, bitterness, or grudges toward our fellow Christians, it will cause us to pull away from the grace of God. The scripture says, “looking diligently lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled” (Hebrews 12:15).
According to the Bible, it grieves the Holy Spirit if we will not forgive and love one another. The Apostle Paul said, “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ also forgave you” (Ephesians 4:30-32).
Is it really possible to disconnect yourself from God's forgiveness by merely holding a grudge against someone? Jesus left no room for doubt on the subject. He clearly stated that we cannot have Gods forgiveness if we choose to withhold forgiveness toward others. “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matthew 6:14-15).
If you need more confirmation as to the meaning of this passage, let's try the commentary of Charles Spurgeon, the legendary English Pastor of the 1800's. Regarding this scripture, he wrote, “...if you expect God to forgive you... there is no wriggling out of it. The man who refuses to forgive, refuses to be forgiven.”
Another famous voice of the early 1900's, Anglican apologist C. S. Lewis, once wrote, “No part of [Jesusí] teaching was clearer, and there are no exceptions to it. He doesnít say that we are to forgive other peopleís sins providing they are not too frightful, or providing there are extenuating circumstances. We are to forgive them all, however spiteful, however mean, however often they are repeated. If we donít, we shall be forgiven none of our own.”
Its no wonder why Satan works so hard to stir up turmoil, and tries to keep us from forgiving and loving each other. If he can deceive us into harboring bitterness, he knows that we will alienate ourselves from Gods forgiveness of our sins, and will ultimately go to the lake of fire (Revelation 20:15). The consequences of unforgiveness is reiterated in many scriptures: Matthew 18:21-35, Mark 11:25-26, Matthew 6:12, Luke 6:37, Luke 11:4.
The Bible makes it very clear that persons who withhold forgiveness are not right with God. Among other things, their prayers go unanswered and they lack the Lords joy and peace. They will often manifest a critical and judgmental attitude, perhaps with a dissatisfaction with with the people and circumstances around them. They may blame their unhappiness on a variety of other things, but the problem lies within themselves -- theyre simply out of fellowship with the Lord.
Friends, its time to wise up and become aware of Satans most effective weapon! Many believers still seem to be ignorant of these tactics of the enemy. They coddle offenses and grudges as though they were “pets” to be fed and watered. There is probably nothing else that has been more devastating to the body of Christ than unforgiveness. It has split Churches, destroyed families, and ruined lives forever! No wonder Christ spent so much time on the subject.
Jesus taught that loving God and loving one another were the highest ideals of His followers (Luke 10:27). Love and forgiveness is the most basic standard of Christianity -- it is the mark of followers of Christ -- the highest display of spiritual maturity! Love is the evidence necessary to convict you as a true follower of Jesus Christ. “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35).
Therefore, Satans secret weapon is not really so secret after all! Every Christian can be totally protected and immune from its effect by merely obeying this simple scripture:
“Dear friends, let us practice loving each other, for love comes from God and those who are loving and kind show that they are the children of God, and that they are getting to know Him better. But if a person isnt loving and kind, it shows that he doesnt know God - for God is love” (1 John 4:7-8 The Living Bible).