The Bible alerts us to the enemy’s strategies in our lives in great detail, if we have Holy Spirit eyes to see them. Satan’s “SET UPS” are as crafty as his “BRING DOWNS” are powerful. If you will, Satan “SOFTENS US” before he “SNARES US.”
What we are talking about here are the enemy’s strategies in spiritual warfare before he moves in for the ultimate kill. We often do not realize it, but he has numerous ways of “WEAKENING US” before he “WHACKS US.” To be victorious over him, we must be super-alert to his PRELUDES less we all become his POSTLUDES.
I. THE EVIL DAY
Of course, like every opponent in whatever battle, we all want the victory. We want to move in for the kill and finish him or her or them off. We want to hoist the trophy and revel in the winner’s circle. There nothing like being able to put it in the WIN COLUMN, and move on to our next contest on the strength of a previous conquest.
Satan is no different. He too shoots for the BIG W, and all his sights are set on V DAY. And everything that he plans and postures is for the big prize – the entire you and me. That is the day that he brings out his biggest guns, only after already having brought us to a compromised and compliant state. It is the day that he has all along been gunning for, for weeks, and maybe even months if not years. He will take as long as he has to in order to finish the job.
We read in the Bible that it is called THE EVIL DAY, as Ephesians 6:13 KJV,
“Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye
may be able to stand in THE EVIL DAY, and
having done all, to stand.”
Notice that it is not AN EVIL DAY, or, ANOTHER EVIL DAY, but THE EVIL DAY – THE MOST POWERFUL ONSLAUGHT OF EVIL EVER. This is SATAN’S BIG KAHUNA – SATAN’S COUP D’ETAT in human lives.
And again, we read that it is called by our Lord THE HOUR OF THE POWER OF DARKNESS, as in Luke 23:53,
“When I was daily with you in the temple, ye stretched forth
no hands against ME; but this is YOUR HOUR,
AND THE POWER OF DARKNESS.”
This is the all-out attack! This is the all-out campaign. It is the day and the hour in which Satan’s attacks are by far the greatest and the most ruthless. His forces then are like the hurricane winds and waves that come pounding against the ships of our souls with the greatest and most destructive power to sink us.
Frankly, if the child of God can survive that EVIL DAY AND HOUR OF DARKNESS, when the powers of Hell come against him with all of their lust and rage and deception, he then can survive anything that the devil shoots at him from that day on. But, to give in and succumb in that hour is because we have ALREADY YIELDED MENTALLY AND EMOTIONALLY in the subtler days of temptation, and our resistance is broken, our strength like Samson declines, and now it is almost impossible to resist or to recover from the fatal blow.
II. SATAN’S SET-UPS
SET-UP # ONE – THE GOOD LIFE
It is better known as the BIG COME-ON leading to the BIGGER COME-DOWN. The devil is a master of this sort of thing. It is his method of operation. It is done with the LURE OF RICHES and MAMMON and PLASTIC MONEY and the GOOD LIFE. It is his constant MAMMON AND MONEY MANEUVERING ON TELEVISION. But it is all the BIG SET-UP for the BIGGER BRING-DOWN?
“SATANIC DESTRUCTION IS NEVER JUST A MOMENT IN
TIME, IT IS THE CULMINATION OF A CRAFTY,
ARTFUL, DEADLY, DEVILISH PROCESS.”
Some years back there was an advertisement in Fortune Magazine which depicted a CHAUFFEUR standing next to the open door of a plush and extended limousine. The caption on the ad was: “DRIVE YOUR SELF TODAY – AND BE DRIVEN TOMORROW. LET FORTUNE SHOW YOU HOW.” In other words, be an enterprising person with a lot of drive and initiative, set your goals and standards high today, and tomorrow the pay-off could be precisely the PAMPERED GOOD LIFE everyone dreams about. Oh yes indeed, if you let it possess and obsess you, YOU INDEED WILL BE DRIVEN, driven to a life of money and mammon madness.
“The business of America is business,” President Calvin Coolidge once said. Indeed, everyone these days wants to “MAKE IT,” preferably MAKE IT BIG. Magazines and television programs are devoted exclusively to the ideas, habits, and lifestyles of some of those who have been made HUGELY RICH.
One 28-year-old man who founded a computer company is now worth $12 million. His first move upon getting rich was to buy a $500,000 San Francisco house. Soon thereafter he heard of something even better: a $1.2 million, six-story home. Upon the successful purchase of this house, he threw himself a $12,000 party to celebrate with his friends. “It’s incredible,” he gushes. “BITING OFF MORE THAN I CAN CHEW motivates me to play at the next level, to scale up my business, and then figure out how to get back to the comfort zone. Each time I OVEREXTEND ON LUXURIES, I know I have to work harder to stay afloat.”
Speaking of luxuries, the magazine also featured a selection of popular items on which the new rich are spending their money these days. An upscale beauty salon charges $300 for a single haircut, and it takes two months to get an appointment. You can also have your pet groomed at a firm called Doggie Do And Pussycats Too! This costs $250 per animal and has a one-month waiting list. Saks Fifth Avenue has quite a long list of women awaiting the delivery of their Gucci cashmere sweater twin-set which runs a cool $4,045 per outfit.
Working hard, making it big, playing the market, keeping your eye on the BRASS RING, throttling up to bring yourself to the next level of fiscal adventure: these are the pursuits that consume many today. MAMMON SLAVES – MONEY SLAVES – MARKET SLAVES – SATAN’S SLAVES.
Trouble is, I have seen those, too many of them, who have bought into this SATANIC COME-UP, and they bit off indeed more than they could chew, and experienced SATAN’S BIG COME-DOWN. They way over-spent their income, piled up debts, simulated the good life, impressed others, ended up broke, and finally COMMITTED SUICIDE, which indeed was Satan’s plan all along – THE EVIL DAY – THE BIG ONE – THE HOUR OF TEMPTATION.
Why? Because Satan is exactly who the Bible says he is, as we read in John 8:44,
“He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand
in the truth, because there is no truth in him. Whenever
he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature; for
he is a liar and the father of lies.”
That’s it! Notice what is mentioned first – MURDERER! That is who he is at heart. Satan is primarily about MURDER – SELF MURDER INCLUDED, for that is his ultimate PRIMAL HOUR OF DARK POWER, including murder, suicide, abortion, terrorism, infanticide, euthanasia. But he sets it all up over time with his LIES.
The biggest lie that he tells the masses is this:
“LIFE BASICALLY IS ALL ABOUT MONEY.”
Of course that is a lie, for life is not about money, but about Christ Who alone will give life better than the whole world could ever give. Jesus alone is ABUNDANT LIFE, as He Himself says in John 10:10,
“I have come that they might have life, and have
So Satan plies the human lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life with his wares. You don’t know it, but he is with each lie killing you an inch at a time, or should we say, a debt at a time, and then finally in despair and depression and shame finishes you off. That always has been his goal:
“THE EVIL DAY – THE DAY OF THE POWER OF
DARKNESS THAT PEOPLE CANNOT
FACE – AND THEY TAKE THE WAY
OF DEATH AS THE WAY OUT.”
2. SET-UP # TWO – COMFORTABLE WITH SIN
Satan is a PAST MASTER at this, namely, temptations camouflaged with innocence and designed to produce in our minds AN INCREASING COMFORTABLENESS with sin without any attending guilt. It mostly takes place inwardly without great overt acts of sin, but only in tiny overtures that seem so benign.
And the more we get involved in these LITTLE INNOCENT SINS, the less we sense their evil and the less we abhor them. You see:
“FREQUENT NAUGHTY THOUGHTS AND OVERTURES
WEARS OFF THE NAUGHTINESS OF THEM.”
If you will:
“WHEN A MARRIED MAN PERIODICALLY CONVERSES
SUGGESTIVELY WITH ANOTHER WOMAN, IT
BREEDS A COMFORTABLENESS WITH BOTH
HIS SUGGESTIVENESS AND THE WOMAN
WHO IS THE OBJECT.”
Hear it strong and come out of your swoon:
“THESE ARE THE DAYS OF TEMPTATION! THEY ARE
SATAN’S CRAFTY SET-UP FOR THE GREAT DAY
AND HOUR OF THE POWER OF DARKNESS
THAT WILL INEVITABLY COME, AFTER
YOU HAVE BEEN SPIRITUALLY AND
MORALLY WEAKENED ENOUGH.”
Now then, we have to get hold of this, for chances are that we do not realize the danger and deadliness of what is going on. It is this:
“EVERY SUGGESTIVE OVERTURE TO THAT
ILLEGITIMATE MAN OR WOMAN, EACH
TIME IT IS DONE, LEAVES A DEEPER
AND DEEPER DISPOSITION OF THE
MIND AND THE EMOTIONS
TOWARD THAT PERSON.”
What then is happening is a COMFORTABLENESS WITH SIN BY DEGREES, which will open the door FOR THE DAY OF TEMPTATION TO REACH ITS FULL FORCE AND PASSION. In point of fact:
“THE SERPENT HAS ALREADY GOTTEN INTO YOUR MIND
AND EMOTIONS, AND YOUR WHOLE BODY WILL
BE SOON TO FOLLOW.”
It is no wonder that we read and must consider words like we do in Proverbs 30:9,
“…the way of a serpent upon a rock….”
If you will:
“WE MUST BE CAREFUL TO CONSIDER THE WAY OF THE
SERPENT IN THE WORK PLACE.”
Come now, let’s not try to act ignorant of all of this. This is how Satan’s SET-UPS WORK! A lingering smile at your secretary or co-worker without words being spoken! A smile returned with brief but focused eye contact. Hmmm, did that smile mean something? Was there more behind what he or she just did?
The days of temptation can begin with AN ENDEARING GLANCE – A WINK. Eventually, there may even be a seemingly innocent, ever so slight touch of the hand or arm, and with it that flirtatious comment,
“My, my you look so pretty today.”
What then happens each time one of these signals is sent is that both the sender and the receiver feel a momentary sense of pleasure. OFTENTIMES WHAT IS HAPPENING IS THE BRAIN IN THOSE MOMENTS IS GETTING WHAT IS CALLED A DOPAMINE RUSH. Dopamine is a chemical messenger that works like adrenaline, and impacts your feeling of pleasure. Dopamine also plays a major role in addiction. If allowed to be aroused sufficiently, MEN CAN BECOME SEXUAL DOPE ADDICTS, if not just plain DOPES!
Eventually you get hooked on the DOPAMINE RUSH, and you start seeking more extended experiences with that person that will create the RUSH. And as time goes by, you find yourself fantasizing about being with the other person, and yet feel okay about it. Why? Because nobody knows about it, and nothing ‘WRONG’ has taken place, even though it already has, for sin is being conceived in the heart. Remember strong James 1:15,
“THEN WHEN LUST IS CONCEIVED, IT GIVES BIRTH TO
SIN (Satan’s days of temptations at work), AND
WHEN SIN IS ACCOMPLISHED, IT BRINGS
FORTH DEATH (Satan’s hour of darkness
in the motel room where the mattress
is really a graveyard of
You may by now even feel ADDICTED TO THE OTHER PERSON. Some confuse this state with being romantically attracted and even in LOVE, even though one or both of you are married to someone else.
The secrecy feeds the relationship and its excitement. This might be the point in the DAYS OF TEMPTATIONS WHERE OTHERS BEGIN TO NOTE A CHEMISTRY BETWEEN YOU AND THE OTHER PERSON. But you think you can deny it and prove otherwise, if you are approached by a suspicious co-worker.
But then the day comes when the verbal line is crossed in sharing feelings, or the physical line is cross by a lingering touch, and it is reciprocated. Hear it:
“SO THE DAY OF THE POWER OF DARKNESS HAS COME,
AND THE INTENSITY WILL LIKELY CONTINUE TO
HEIGHTEN WITH EVERY AFFECTIONATE
EXCHANGE INTO A SEXUAL AFFAIR.”
We all know, at least we should know the words of Numbers 32:23,
“…behold, you have sinned against God, and be sure
your sins will find you out.”
It seems almost inevitable that at some point it will come out, and the HOUR OF DARKNESS will have changed everything for the worse with dire consequences. It is then that though you never dreamed that you would end up in an all-out affair, YOU WAKE UP IN THE DARK AND WONDER HOW IN THE WORLD YOU EVER GOT THERE.
People greatly underestimate the PAIN of the spouse who has been cheated on, as well as the awful toll is takes upon the person who cheated. INFIDELITY IS ONE OF THE MOST PAINFUL AND DESTRUCTIVE EXPERIENCES SPOUSES CAN EVER GO THROUGH IN LIFE – THE HOUR OF THE POWER OF DARKNESS DISGUISED AS ALLURING LIGHTS.
III. SATAN’S OBJECTIVES AND GOALS
Let’s get it out front without mincing words. Satan wants to destroy our lives with sin on earth, and damn us with sin in Hell forever. Peter states Satan’s ultimate goal so clearly in I Peter 5:8,
“Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary the devil
prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking
someone to DEVOUR.”
That is his end-all and be-all, namely, to be the DEVOURER OF HUMAN BEINGS by sinking his deadly and infected teeth into human flesh and swallowing them whole – body, soul and spirit. Most never survive!
Why human beings? Why are we the MAIN ENTREE on his MENU? Because God kicked his Satanic butt out of heaven, and will one day drop-kick him into hell, and we are CREATED IN THE IMAGE OF THAT GOD. Destroying us is the closest he can get to destroying God! It is his fetish, and each day, someone – anyone will do. THIS LION’S eyes are always open and his mouth is never shut!
Now understand, as we have already alluded to, that Satan has INTERMEDIATE TEMPTATIONS which are not yet in themselves THE HOUR OF TEMPTATION. Frankly, every day in this world and in our lives has temptations rising and flowing around us and against us. The intermediate temptations are SATAN’S OBJECTIVES, while the SATAN’S HOUR OF TEMPTATION (THE BIG PUSH) is SATAN’S ULTIMATE GOAL.
“THE SATANIC OBJECTIVES ARE DESIGNED TO SOFTEN
US UP AND MAKE US ALL THE MORE VULNERABLE
TO SATAN’S GOAL – ULTIMATE DESTRUCTION.”
It really is the difference between LITTLE BITES AND THE BIG CHOMP. Hear me:
“IF WE ALLOW HIM TO MAKE US HIS SNACK, WITHOUT
A DOUBT WE WILL ONE DAY BE HIS SUPPER.”
There is a powerful text in regard to all of this where our Lord, speaking about Satan, says in John 14:30 KJV,
“The prince of this world cometh, and he has
nothing in Me.”
Overall that means the purity of Christ’s nature, which is free from all filth, afforded the devil no handle for the TEMPTER WITH HIS TEMPTATIONS TO LAY HOLD OF HIM. Jesus is like a pure fountain of water poured into a glass, which you can shake and shake as often as you will, but no shaking can ever manifest any defilement or foulness in Him.
Now more specifically, Jesus is saying this:
“SATAN HAS NEVER BEEN ABLE TO TAKE A BITE OUT OF
ME, AND HAS NEVER BEEN ABLE TO WEAKEN ME,
BUT ALWAYS FOUND ME IN THE FULL
STRENGTH OF HOLY SPIRIT PURITY
That should be OUR GOAL every day, or as we read in I John 3:3,
“And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies
himself even as God is pure.”
You see, when we allow Satan TO TASTE OUR BLOOD in the time-of-temptations-yielded-to, you and I had better know that on THE EVIL DAY IN THE FULL POWER OF DARKNESS, HE WILL COME TO SUCK OUR BLOOD DRY, for he has already acquired a strong taste for it.
ILLUSTRATION – SATAN’S GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
My wife and I have preached evangelistic crusades throughout our ancestral land of the “Netherlands.” It was awesome for us to be there, and YET BITTER-SWEET and so disturbing to see the SPIRITUAL AMD MORAL DECAY THAT HAS EATEN HOLLAND TO THE BONE.
The Netherlands is a fascinating country, with sixty percent of it reclaimed from the sea, and so you have the dikes all over the place. If they didn’t have the dikes, Holland would not be a country, but rather the floor of the NORTH SEA.
If you drive along one of those dikes, you will come to the little village of MARKUM, a quaint, cute settlement built right on the North Sea. All of the MARKUM’S buildings are painted GREEN, and all of them have RED TRIM. MARKUM is historically a Calvinistic village, with most of the residents being Calvinists in background. Holland once was one of the BASTIONS OF THE REFORMATION with SOLA SCRIPTURA – SCRIPTURE ALONE its main fortress.
In MARKUM, they still dress in their ancient costumes, and you will see a typical man clonking along the cobblestone streets in his wooden shoes, his black stockings, his little puffy pants, his funny little shirt, and a Dutch hat on his head. In point of fact, you would find that the Markumites are very serious in demeanor, very heavy in attitude, and very somber in their religion.
Time has marched on, and with it the LEGIONS OF SATANIC FORCES that have ravaged the land of Holland. The Christian churches in Holland for years have experienced dramatic decline and decay. On a usual Dutch Sunday morning, 16% of the populous attends worship services. Many churches are nearly empty if not terminated. The Netherlands has become one of the most spiritually morally bankrupt nations in the free world.
Why is that? Listen:
“IF SATAN CAN DEADEN THE CHURCH (his objective),
THEN HE CAN DESTROY THE NATION (his goal).”
If you will:
“IF SATAN CAN UNSALT THE CHURCH (his objective),
THEN HE CAN ROT SOCIETY (his goal).”
In a once very religious land, if you visit the Capital City of Amsterdam, which numbers close to 1,600,000, you will find the spiritual and moral decay to be in pandemic proportions. On any weekend night, there will be 3 to 4 thousand teenagers and college kids milling around the city square, drinking beer, consuming other alcoholic beverages, smoking marijuana, and sniffing other drugs in plain view.
But why are they really gathered there? Because adjacent to the city square of Amsterdam is the RED LIGHT DISTRICT where PROSTITUTION is not only legalized, but it is subsidized by the government. It is considered an occupation, an industry, and the whores are considered wage-earners.
The RED LIGHT DISTRICT is where there are literally red lights all over the place, and women are hanging out of windows and standing mostly nude on balconies etc. plying their trade to people who are passing along on the streets. It has become not only a CIRCUS OF LUST, but the MECCA of young people in Europe because open sex reigns there.
It is but one of the nations on earth where after years of taking bites out of the ECCLESIASTICAL, POLITICAL, AND EDUCATIONAL STRUCTURES, Satan has literally DEVOURED THE NATION OF HOLLAND with LIBERAL-GODLESS FORCES. THE EVIL DAY HAS COME TO DUTCHLAND, and Satan HAS DEVOURED A NATION and is licking his chops.
There are still many Christians in Holland whose hearts are broken to see their land go to Hell. They are trying to get it back, but it is already swallowed and digested in the stomach of the DRAGON SATAN.
“WHEN GOD’S LAWS AGAINST SIN ARE REMOVED,
SATAN’S LAWS FOR SIN WILL REPLACE THEM.”
“WHEN LAWS TO PROTECT SIN AND SINNERS ARE
ESTABLISHED, LAWS AGAINST RIGHTEOUSNESS
AND THE RIGHTEOUS WILL BE ENFORCED.”
Holland HAS BEEN DEVILISHLY DEVOURED BY SATAN, WOODEN SHOES AND ALL.
The very same thing is happening in America, as Satan is presently FULFILLING HIS OBJECTIVES, and then one day soon he will accomplish HIS GOAL IN THE EVIL DAY OF COMPLETE SATANIC TAKE OVER. He now has a mock government and a mock president who are his lackeys, as well as silent and saltless churches who have become His partners. America is presently being DEVOURED, and all that is yet left of her are her feet hanging out of the DRAGON’S MOUTH.
The word “SCUTTLEBUTT” has origins from the maritime world of ships and sailors. If you “SCUTTLE” a ship, it means intentionally cutting a hole into the bottom of the boat so it will sink. Also, on board old cargo ships were those big fifty-gallon casks or barrels that were once used to transport various goods, and were known as “BUTTS.”
So if you “SCUTTLED” a “BUTT,” you cut a hole in the top of one of those big barrels so that you could then fill the barrel with fresh water. Sailors could then gather at this SCUTTLED BUTT and dip in their cups for a drink.
While standing around and sipping their water, the sailors would also swap shipboard rumors. Hence, the word “SCUTTLEBUTT” eventually became a way to refer to gossip. (A latter day equivalent is “the water cooler syndrome” in which water coolers become the place where employees gather for a cool drink and a bit of office gossip.)
It was probably not a lot different at VILLAGE WELLS back in Jesus’ time. It was the TOWN WATERING HOLE where everyone gathered two times a day, and where people lingered a bit to tell some tales, catch up on news, and also stay current on all the JUICIEST TOWN GOSSIP.
The Samaritan woman in John 4 had no doubt long been a favorite subject of such SCUTTLEBUTT. Needless to say, when she used to show up at the well in person, a lot of conversation ceased, eyes were averted, and maybe even a few dirty looks were directed her way. So eventually she had given up. She stayed home when everyone else was out, and she went out only when everyone else was home.
In the past, we have maybe assumed that she got what she deserved. We’ve chalked up THE WOMAN AT THE WELL as a sleazy, sinful woman. Let’s be honest with ourselves. But she may have been a victim too. Don’t forget that in Jesus’ day, women had almost zero social standing. They certainly could not be the initiators of divorce. All a man had to do was haul his wife out into the street and then say to her three times, “I DIVORCE YOU, I DIVORCE YOU, I DIVORCE YOU,” and that was that. The women didn’t have much say in the matter.
And so perhaps this woman was the kind of person who, desperate for some attention and affection, hooked up with all the wrong men who, in turn, used her and then discarded her like a dirty Kleenex.
Jesus was indeed breaking with convention to engage this woman, which is why the disciples will shortly be so scandalized to witness this. After all, consider these pieces of conventional wisdom that were current in Jesus’ day: “A man shall not talk with a woman in the street, not even with his own wife, on account of what others may say. He that talks much with womankind brings evil upon himself.”
But Jesus not only speaks with this woman, he speaks the words of life to her. He uses the WELL as an occasion to introduce the memorable image of LIVING WATER – a new spring of water that would well and bubble up into all eternity. He says to her in John 4:13-14,
“Everyone who drinks of this water shall thirst again;”
“But whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him
shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him
shall become in him a well of water springing up
to eternal life.”
Needless to say, this woman wants to buy stock in the company that produces this wonderful libation. “OK,” Jesus says, “but let’s bring your husband into the deal, too.” Why did Jesus say that? To shame her, the way the other residents of Sychar would do by mentioning this? No. To embarrass her, condemn her? No, but probably as a reminder to her that she had been trying to slake her thirst in all the wrong ways. It wasn’t sex, or meeting “Mr. Right,” or finding companionship that was going to drown her thirst.
Jesus said to her in John 4:18,
“For you have had 5 husbands, and the one you have now is
not your husband…”
Amazing, if it was a story of today, all of her children would have had different last names. Nobody knows who is who anymore. Satan had been taking bites out of her SELF-RESPECT and her SENSE OF MORAL DECENCY for years.
I can see from here her WORN LEATHERY FACE and her ONCE SEDUCTIVE BUT NOW ABUSED FRAME. Life had become cruel survival in this litany of a FIVE TIME SERIAL DIVORCEE.
Now, THE HOUR OF TEMPTATION – THE EVIL DAY had finally DEVOURED HER, as she was now living with a man who was NOT HER HUSBAND, for she could no longer tell the difference between MARRIAGE AND ADULTERY. All of her MORAL SENSE HAD BEEN BLIGHTED. All of life has become blurred. Marriage doesn’t work anyway. Hey, come on in, warm my bed, you don’t even have to marry me first, for it really makes no difference. To be blunt, the current non-husband wasn’t the only one who had tied his donkey to her front porch. Knowing her, there were no doubt others who like dogs, always find their way to the one in heat.
You and I have to hear this:
“YIELDING TO SATAN’S TEMPTATIONS WILL LEAD A
MAN OR WOMAN INTO EVIL, AND EACH
YIELDING WILL MAKE THEM WORSE.”
But far more than that,
“WHEN WE YIELD TO THE TEMPTATIONS OF SATAN, WE
LEAVE GOD AND ARE LEFT TO OURSELVES.”
“WHEN WE CONTINUE TO YIELD TO SATAN, WE THEN
ARE NOT ONLY LEFT TO OURSELVES, BUT
FINALLY ARE LEFT TO THE DEVIL.”
Now get this:
“THE EVIL DAY IS WHEN BEING LEFT TO OURSELVES
AND BEING LEFT TO THE DEVIL HAVE BECOME
ONE IN THE SAME.”
If you will:
“THE DAYS OF TEMPTATION ARE WHEN SATAN INVITES
US TO HIMSELF (his objective), BUT THE CLIMACTIC
HOUR OF TEMPTATION IS WHEN WE INVITE
SATAN TO OURSELVES (his ultimate goal).”
If we ever were going to make a short movie of this incident for a Sunday school class, I know what I would want my final image to be. It emerges from a tiny yet telling detail in Verse 28 when we are told THIS WOMAN LEFT HER WATER JUG BEHIND. That’s quite an image! Later in Verses 39-42, as the Samaritans happily urge Jesus to stay in their village for a while, I picture the whole jubilant crowd hustling Jesus and the disciples back into town.
As the noise of their laughter fades and as the dust from their feet settles in the noonday heat, I would have a camera slowly zoom in on that ABANDONED WATER JUG next to Jacob’s well. She had come to that well thirstier than she knew earlier that day. She left sensing she’d never be truly thirsty again.
To encounter Jesus is to find the stream of living water that wells up in us now and forever, the only stream of water that WILL SATISFY AND FULFILL AS NOTHING ELSE CAN OR WILL ON THE FACE OF THE EARTH. Jesus said:
“IF YOU DRINK MY WATER, YOU WILL NEVER
Everything in her had been drying up unto eternal death, and now everything in her is springing up unto eternal life. One drink of Jesus the living water can and does change everything. Satan’s great HOUR OF DARKNESS has been turned INTO THE DAWNING OF THE ETERNAL DAY. He will do the same for you.
IV. SIGNS OF THE HOUR OF EVIL’S APPROACH
You can tell in your life when SATAN IS ABOUT TO LOWER THE BIG BOOM. During the DAYS OF TEMPTATIONS, he has been taking bites out of you over time. Sins have already been taking root in you because you have been playing with fire. At this rate, you are going to get burned 100% all over your body and soul and spirit.
You don’t realize it, but your separation from God has already been widening. Sin entertained and played with does that. By this time the signs of the NEAR APPROACH OF THE EVIL DAY ARE VERY EVIDENT. You have for some time now been more and more NEGLECTING THE SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINES OF:
-MEDITATION ON THE WORD GOD
-PRAISE TO GOD
-FELLOWSHIP WITH THE GODLY
In short, all of these are always the evidences that now SATAN’S FINAL ASSAULT IS BREATHING DOWN YOUR NECK WITH HIS HOT BREATH.
“WHEN YOU LEAVE AND THEN FORSAKE THE
ABSOLUTELY OBLIGATORY DISCIPLINES
OF THE CHRISTIAN LIFE, OR AT MOST,
YOU DO THEM WITH COLD AND FAINT
INDIFFERENCE, YOUR FIERCE
ENEMY IS ABOUT TO LOWER
THE BOOM AND DELIVER
THE KILLING BLOW.”
Dear Lord, he that hath an ear to hear, let him hear. Amen!!!