Satan’s Greatest Strategy: Tomorrow
So is there anyone here that would admit to being a procrastinator? And you can’t say, I’ll tell you tomorrow!
Maybe you can identify with these quotes:
“If it weren’t for the last minute, I wouldn’t get anything done.”
“Procrastination always gives you something to look forward to.”
“Procrastination is like a credit card; it’s a lot fun until you get the bill.”
“The best part about procrastination is that you are never bored, because you have all kinds of things that you should be doing.”
“Never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow.” (Mark Twain)
As Christians we know we have an enemy. An entity that attempts to discourage our faith in the Lord. An enemy that tries to sabotage our faith in any way possible. How do we know this? Because God’s Word makes it very clear. There are many warnings regarding Satan in Scripture, but I want to focus on three that speak to our primary direction this morning.
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
The Greek word for prowl means- To rove over, through, or about in a stealthy manner; esp., to search in, as for prey.
The Apostle Peter wasn’t the only one to write about Satan as a rover looking to cause trouble. When God spoke to Satan about his servant Job we find these words in Chapter 1, beginning with verse 6:
So Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.”
What does this mean for Christians? Satan is persistent, never takes a day off, and is always looking for ways to take us down. His mission is to throw us off our mission. So we can never let our guard down.
Satan is also A Deceiver
Paul writes in Ephesians 6, verse 11 (NKJV):
Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the Devil.
The definition of wiles: devious or cunning stratagems employed in manipulating or persuading someone to do what one wants
The promises of God are clear…we have them available through the Bible. God is truth and will only tell the truth. And still, one of Satan’s tactics is to deceive us. After all he is the “father of lies.” You may remember this encounter from Genesis 3:
The serpent was the shrewdest of all the wild animals the Lord God had made. One day he asked the woman, “Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?”
2 “Of course we may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,” the woman replied. 3 “It’s only the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden that we are not allowed to eat. God said, ‘You must not eat it or even touch it; if you do, you will die.’”
4 “You won’t die!” the serpent replied to the woman. 5 “God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.”
Satan will use any means necessary to deceive God’s children. That’s what he does.
And the last characteristic speaks to our subject matter for today. As Satan is…
Paul writes to the church Corinth (2 Cor. 11: 3)(NKJV)
But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve in his craftiness, your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity and the purity that is toward Christ.
Craftiness defined: skilled in deception; shrewd; cunning.
Paul was trying to remind the church that they/we are just as susceptible to Satan’s subtleties as was Eve and Adam.
All these characteristics of Satan, in my estimation point to this:
I believe one of Satan’s greatest strategies is: tomorrow.
He is prowling around, subtlety, deceiving believers into putting off till tomorrow what God wants us to do today.
God says. do this or start that. And Satan plants a little seed in our minds that says:
Hey tomorrow will be just fine…it can’t be that important.
In Romans Chapter 7, Paul goes through this diatribe where he is struggling with his insecurities about trying to do the right things. His struggles with sin. He writes this in verses 20-21:
20 But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.
21 I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong.
I believe Satan plays on this struggle that we have between our spirits and our flesh. We all deal with this because even though we become a new creation in Christ, we have that sin nature that wants to raise its ugly head.
So God can’t use me…I’m just not good enough…that’s what Satan wants us to think.
Paul wrote these words to the church in Ephesus, Chapter 5, verses 15-17:
15 So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. 16 Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. 17 Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do.
What stands out to me in this verse is “these evil days.” There is one that embodies evil and these evil days…and we know who that is.
So Paul says to make the most of every opportunity. So if God gives us an opportunity to do something to help someone, or tell someone about Jesus, Satan loves to plant that seed of tomorrow. I’ll just wait and do that tomorrow. Or, I can tell them tomorrow. I’m sure I will see them again.
What’s Paul say again in this verse? Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do.
Procrastination (tomorrow) is a tool the devil uses to keep you and I from fulfilling God’s will for our lives. (screen)
Some reasons for putting things off until tomorrow?
– fear of failure (satan)
– you feel overwhelmed by the task at hand (satan)
– you feel you’re not equipped for the task at hand (satan)
– you feel you’re not able to perform the task at hand
All these remind me of a man by the name of Gideon…you might remember his story:
In Judges 6, an angel of the Lord approaches Gideon, who at the time was beating out wheat in a winepress to hide it from the oppressive Midianites. Scripture says, “And the angel of the Lord appeared to him and said to him, ‘The Lord is with you, O mighty man of valor’” (Judges 6:12). Now, if an angel appeared to me and told me something, I’d like to think I would believe whatever he said. Not so with Gideon. Gideon immediately doubts the word of God. He responds to God’s call to save Israel by saying, “‘Please, Lord, how can I save Israel? Behold, my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.’ And the Lord said to him, ‘But I will be with you, and you shall strike the Midianites as one man’” (Judges 6:15-16).
So great was Gideon’s insecurity that he didn’t trust a direct word from God. But God still responded to Gideon’s doubt by meeting him at that place of insecurity and faithlessness and consistently speaking truth over him. Before Gideon even had a chance to doubt, God called him a “mighty man of valor.” God knew Gideon’s insecurities. He knew that his past and present works were anything but full of valor. But God called out the greatness he had placed in Gideon. In meeting with Gideon, he formed and fashioned him into a man full of faith and power.
In going into battle, the Lord took the vast number of men that were following Gideon, totaling thirty-two thousand, and stripped them down to three hundred. God took what might have been possible by the hands of Gideon and made it only possible by his great strength. And in response to God’s faithfulness to meet with him, Gideon obeyed the Lord and confidently went into battle with three hundred men. Judges 7:22-23 tells us, “When they blew the 300 trumpets, the Lord set every man’s sword against his comrade and against all the army. And the army fled as far as Beth-shittah toward Zererah, as far as the border of Abel-meholah, by Tabbath. And the men of Israel were called out from Naphtali and from Asher and from all Manasseh, and they pursued after Midian.”
Gideon powerfully defeated an oppressive army vastly outnumbering his own because of the power of God working through him.
I know in my own life that I have put off things until tomorrow because I felt like Gideon. Not competent enough. Fear of failure and the rest.
Gideon exemplifies the truth that “God anoints all he appoints” (screen) (say that with me). He will perfectly equip and empower you to accomplish whatever task he has set before you.
So what should our response be to Satan’s strategies?
I like Jesus’ words in the gospels of John and Luke…
John 9: 4
4 As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work.
In other words, do what God is asking now. There will be a day when tomorrow will be too late.
Luke 12: 35
35 “Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning…
In this passage Jesus is talking about servants that are up and ready to serve their master. The master may be away at the moment, but he could come in at any moment and the servants need to be ready to do what he wants immediately.
What is it that you are putting off for tomorrow? How often have we said…
I truly believe that when God asks us to do something today, He will give us the ability to do it.
Remember: God anoints those He appoints