Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

To Whom am I Listening?

1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.

The Adversary

An adversary is an opponent, an enemy, a foe, one who resists. Satan is the adversary of the Lord and he is the adversary of every person born into this world. He is also an adversary of everyone who has set aside their own ambitions and pride and has trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Problem

The devil or Satan does not always appear to be the enemy. When he appeared to Eve in the Garden of Eden he came as a deceitful cunning snake. Absalom, David’s son who tried to usurp the thrown seems to be a picture of Satan as an adversary. He was cunning and beautiful and knew just how to win the loyalty of the people of Israel. 2 Samuel 15:5 says, “And so it was, whenever anyone came near to bow down to him, that he would put out his hand and take him and kiss him. In this manner Absalom acted toward all Israel who came to the king for judgment. So Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel.” It seems to me that Satan and people that he uses first use flattery, then they use lies, then they confront. Satan wants to take the place in the heart of the people of God that only the Lord should have. Then he will ultimately do his best to destroy their confidence in the Lord. While Satan will never be able to destroy a Christian eternally, he can certainly destroy their confidence and peace while they are sojourning here on earth.

The Contrast

Satan often appears as a “messenger or angel of light”. In 2 Corinthians 11:13-15, Paul warns Christians against false apostles and deceitful workers. He says, “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.” Satan tries to convince us that his lies make more logical sense that the Lord’s Truth.

Satan makes sure that the Lord appears to be an imposter. The Old Testament says that the Lord didn’t come looking like He had the regal beauty of a King (Isaiah 53:2). He was not and is not popular. His solutions to the world’s problems are not the solutions that are attractive to the world. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 10:3, “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds.” The Lord just thinks differently than the world thinks (See Isaiah 55:8-9). And that is why it is so hard to trust Him when things in life seem to be so topsy turvy.

The Solution

Satan is the opponent or adversary. But we who are saved have the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit and the Word of God always work together directing our attention and affection to the Lord Jesus. This passage says that we resist our adversary “in the faith.” That is we resist him by being confident in the things that we believe. We don’t have to have stronger faith, but instead we have to know the truth that gives us confidence. The more truth we know the more we will be able to resist our adversary.

The Truth

Our passage says that the Lord does care concerning us. Let’s not let circumstances cause doubts concerning that truth.

Romans 8:31: What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

1 Corinthians 15:57: But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.

The Question

Satan can be attractive and cunning and logical. But his teaching is ultimately destructive. The Lord is not physically attractive, his teaching often does not make logical sense, but He wants to save us and preserve us so that we glorify Him both now and in eternity To whom are we listening?

Bruce Collins

Meditation for the week of August 31, 2014

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