Ephesians 6:10-17 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
Today's topic is a character more talked about than known, and more obeyed than rejected: his name is Satan. But when I speak of knowing our enemy, I do not mean his name, but his tricks, his ideas.
As Christians, the day we accepted Christ as our personal Savior, not only were our names written in the book of eternal life, to one day be in Heaven; but at the same time, Satan also added us to his own list, to make life impossible for us and to get us out of the perfect and divine plan of God.
There is no greater satisfaction in the life of Satan than stopping the Christian from doing what he should as a child of God.
First, let’s look at what the word disappointment means: “Regret caused by a deception.” Another definition in Webster’s dictionary defines the word disappointment as a "frustrated expectation."
Over the years, I have witnessed how frustrated expectations can produce disappointments that detract from the quality of life the child of God should have.
Disappointment stifles our faith, robs our vision, and blocks our ability to continue growing in God's grace. DO NOT get stuck from continuing to grow in God's grace, because of disappointment.
When we think of the word disappointment, we must understand that Satan's plan for the church has always been for us to divide, discourage, and destroy each other. Nothing cheers Satan more than when one falls into his deceptions.
John 10:10 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.
When you stop believing that you are here to serve God, because someone disappointed you, you have been robbed of the right way of thinking. Before Satan destroys us, he must steal what is in us. And once those things that are within us are stolen through disappointment, deceitfulness will come.
Let me give you the three effects that disappointment can cause in the Christian life.
1. Disappointment brings the effect of dissolution.
The dictionary defines the word dissolution as “breaking of bonds.” That's where the word dissolve comes from, involving something that vanishes when added into a liquid.
When a Christian allows himself to be dissolved by Satan, his dedication, his desire, and his sacrifice will decline from sincere fidelity to Christ.
2 Corinthians 11:3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
Satan cannot destroy you until you push the truth of God away from your mind. Once he had discounted the truth, it was easy for Eve to disobey God.
Do you know why there are Christians who dissolve themselves from the things of God? Because they allow dissolution to come into their lives. Many dissolve because they allow themselves to be deceived by the devil.
2. Disappointment brings the effect of frustration.
When disappointment has begun to take advantage, disappointment will not only bring dissolution, but it will also bring frustration. Frustration is “the emotional response to achieve a desire or the impulsive need to satisfy something.” The greater our dissolution, the greater is our frustration. A person who dissolves tends to get frustrated. Dissolution frustrates.
When a Christian falls into dissolution, the ministry will become frustrating.
Malachi 1:13 Ye said also, Behold, what a weariness is it! and ye have snuffed at it, saith the LORD of hosts; and ye brought that which was torn, and the lame, and the sick; thus ye brought an offering: should I accept this of your hand? saith the LORD.
When the people of God used the word weariness, they allowed themselves to be disappointed by Satan. This led to them bringing to God only what was lame and sick.
When one does not do their best or give their best to God, like the people who brought Him the lame and sick animals, the result in our spirit will always frustration.
3. Disappointment brings the effect of a lack of desire.
Perhaps the greatest sadness of someone who falls into disappointment is when they serve God with a lack of desire.
Do you know what it is like to eat food with no taste? Just as salt is a great condiment for taste, desire is the salt to our doing things for God with all of our heart.
Do you understand how it feels to serve God without a desire? Desire is what drives us to go the extra mile, not just doing what we have to do.
This is what happens when a child of God loses his desire to serve God:
• He will begin to lose his desire to be in the house of God.
• He will continue to come to church, but it will be without love.
• While being active in his ministries, his mind will begin to go elsewhere.
• He will read his Bible and pray out of obligation and not desire.
As Christians we have a responsibility to be a light in this dark world, to be a living testimony of the grace of God, and to train up our children in the way they should go.
I fear that because we’re around certain things so much, we can become numb to it, and that things that should bother us, no longer do.