One of the most destructive behaviors known to mankind is slander.
I do not say this because I am about to be slandered any more than the rest of you who are listening today, but rather because slander is such a powerful tool of satan and is most often used in his attempts to derail both the work and the will of God.
The devil cannot destroy anything including your marriage, your family, your financial strength, your Church, your community, your school or your nation, unless he can find at least one person to work with him.
And furthermore, the devil cannot rob you of your love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faith, humility or self control unless he can get you to work with him.
Today we are going to learn how to stop the devil in his tracks and render him incapable of causing any more trouble through you.
In order to accomplish this we must:
1. Learn to recognize the devil and understand his goals.
2. Then we must create a habit of resistance and overcome his temptations.
First Lesson: The Top Seven Primary Goals of the Devil
· The number one goal of the devil is to separate
· The top seven areas of separation are listed in priority …
· The Devil Wants to Separate You from:
2. Your Parents
3. Your Family
4. Your Spouse
5. Your Children
6. Your Church
7. Your Calling
How is the devil going to try and accomplish these separations?
· Remember the devil can do nothing unless he finds someone and leads them or deceives them into siding with and working for him.
· The devil will most often attempt to accomplish his goals of separation through the power of slander.
· It has been his primary tool of choice since the very beginning.
Notice in Genesis 3
1 Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, "Has God indeed said, ’You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?"
2 And the woman said to the serpent, "We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden;
3 "but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ’You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’"
4 Then the serpent said to the woman, "You will not surely die.
5 "For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."
The devil’s goal was to separate Eve from God and from her husband and from the future God had planned for her. What tactic did the devil use? He slandered God.
According to the dictionary slander is the act of saying something false or malicious that damages somebody’s reputation.
However according to God slander occurs when one person accuses, defames, infers or otherwise creates suspicion or doubt about the reputation or character of another person. This slander has nothing to do with how the listener perceives but rather is based on the actions of the representative of the devil. When it’s said, when it’s inferred, it’s slander. Some of these acts have been better labeled in more familiar terms as:
· Gossip (Idle conversation about others)
· Being Busybodies (Nosy; Overly opinionated about others)
· Tale Bearing (Telling things you have no business sharing)
· Tattle Telling (Stirring strife or trying to get others in trouble)
· Hearsay (Sharing second hand stories)
· Starting or Repeating Rumors (Perpetuating unfounded information)
I realize that someone might imagine I have used the terms “Slanderer” and “Devil” interchangeably today. Hmmm … perhaps we should turn now to the New Testament Gospel of John:
John 6:70 Jesus answered them, "Did I not choose you, the twelve, and one of you is a devil?"
John 8:44 “You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.”
The Greek word translated “devil” is “diabolos”
We don’t want the devil in our lives or to control our lives nor do we want to be found working as a representative of the devil in some attempt to separate people from God, their family, Church or calling. Nonetheless, the devil cannot do his work unless he can find someone who will work with him and he is trying his best to recruit you to work for him every day …
1 Timothy 3:11 Likewise their wives must be reverent, not slanderers
temperate, faithful in all things.
The Greek word “diabolos” has in its root meaning “to accuse, slander or defame”. Satan is even called “the accuser of the brethren in Revelation 12:10. Revelation 12:9 calls him diabolos …
2 Timothy 3:3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers
, without self-control, brutal,
despisers of good,
Titus 2:3 the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers
not given to much wine, teachers of good things —
What can we do to insure we aren’t deceived, tricked or otherwise led astray and begin working for the devil? The devil is not only trying to get you to slander others … he is trying to get others to slander you!
1 Peter 5
8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil
walks about like a
roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
9 Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.
Everyone experiences the same temptations to separate others and to be separated from others.
James 4:7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil
and he will flee from you.
I want to encourage each of us during this special family holiday season to be especially sensitive to the goals and deceptions of the devil and to not allow any gossip, no tale bearing, tattling or stirring the pot, not one critical or judgmental remark, and no repeating hearsay or rumors which could in anyway tempt the listener to think one negative thought about or lose any respect for another family member, a friend or even those old enemies who are usually roasted for family dinner. May you have the strength and presence of mind to resist every attempt of the devil to make you negative or to be drawn into conversations which promote his goals.
Let’s renew our pledge to submit ourselves, and especially our tongues and attitudes … even the rolling of our eyes, to God this holiday season and resist “diabolos.” Let’s commit ourselves to respect God and respect others whom God has placed in our lives.
And, if you hear any slander being spoken … resist commenting and stand fast in the faith knowing that God is not in the slandering business and neither are we!
Happy Holidays … and by that I mean Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!
Let’s pray and commit ourselves and this season to God!