By Patricia Samuels
In John 10:10, Jesus said, “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”
There are some things we must watch for to keep Satan and the forces of darkness out of our lives. In Mark 4:14-20, we see how the devil works to steal from us:
Mark 4:14 The sower soweth the word.
Mark 4:15 And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts.
Mark 4:16 And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness;
Mark 4:17 And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended.
Mark 4:18 And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word,
Mark 4:19 And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.
Mark 4:20 And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive [it], and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred.
In this passage, we see five things that Satan uses against us to destroy us. He uses these things to bait us into his trap:
· Cares of this world
· Deceitfulness of riches
· Lusts of other things
1. Affliction is suffering due to the pressure of circumstances. The Word of God is stronger than any circumstance. We have to learn to separate the pressure from the problem. Jesus has already overcome any problem that we may face. (See John 16:33) The pressure comes when we allow the circumstances to get to us. That’s taking the bait. Don’t do it. Stay with the Word.
2. Persecution comes from being pursued. It means someone is trying to drive you away. Satan is using people to draw your attention to what “they” are doing to you. He wants you to be offended by what “they” are doing to you. That’s taking the bait. Don’t do it. Stay with the Word.
3. The cares of this world come from paying too much attention to all of the stealing, killing and destroying Satan is doing. Those cares cannot overcome the Word unless you let them get on the inside of you and choke out the Word. The media, gossip, etc. delivers the bait. Don’t take it. Stay with the Word.
4. The deceitfulness of riches sneaks in when Christians begin to see money the way the world sees it. The deceitfulness of riches will draw you into a place of trusting money and draw you away from spending time in the Word and in prayer. Don’t take the bait. Stay with the Word.
5. Lusts of other things include anything that brings pressure and unrest through a desire that’s gotten out of hand. It’s often sexual, but not always. It could be a desire to hang with the wrong crowd. It could be a desire to spend money that you don’t have. Whatever it is, it is always something that gratifies the flesh. It creates the atmosphere for covetousness and will even cause you to not want to hear what the Word has to say about it. Don’t take the bait. Stay with the Word.
Jesus wants you to live the abundant life. So, resist the Enemy’s tricks! If you’ve taken Satan’s bait and fallen into a trap, cry out to God to get you out! He will do it.