By Rev Bill Woods
2 Corinthians 2:11: “lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices.”
I’ve been getting plenty of these pushy telephone solicitors who don’t want to take “NO” for an answer. – In fact, one just now called me while I was working on this sermon.
Wow, was he a smooth talker!
“Mr. Woods, this is a courtesy call on behalf of Blah, Blah, Blah Credit Card Company and we’d like to tell you about a limited time offer…” – “Medicare supplements,” or a “free vacation”…….
Sometimes when they’re extra persistent I tell them, “I’m going to hang up now, but you can keep talking to my phone line if you like.” Or maybe, “I’m busy and not really interested, but my dog’s right here and he may be interested in what you’re selling, let me put him on.”
“I’m not interested.” Click. The receiver went quickly back into its position. You see, I wasn’t about to listen to this guy’s “offer.”
Why? Because I’ve learned one thing about telemarketers…
– …if you don’t hang up on them quickly, you might buy something you don’t really want.
Telemarketers are clever. They try to convince you that they’re doing you a favor, thus the “courtesy” call.
They want you to believe what they’re about to share is really in your best interest and they’re trying to be a help…
– …yeah, they want to help you right into making a decision that you don’t really want to make!
I’ve got to credit telemarketers with one thing, though. When you quickly hang up on them, they usually don’t call you back again that day.
The guy that called me didn’t. Oh, he may call me again tomorrow or some other day, but for now he’s leaving me alone.
When we lived in Seattle, I had a couple of unique experiences.
We needed a car because the one we had was nickeling and dimeing us something terrible. – Everything that could go wrong was going wrong!
I went to one car dealership and the salesman said, “Let me take the keys to your car so our appraiser can see what we can offer you for a trade-in.” – I handed him the keys and he would not give them back until I bought one of their cars. – I literally had to steal my car keys back when I saw them laying in his cubical.
I went to another dealership and told the salesman I liked the car he offered me, but would have to pray about our decision whether to buy it or not.
– The car dealer said, “I’ll help you pray about it.” I asked, “Pray, or Prey?”
I especially love the presentations for time-shares…………………
The last one Marty and I suckered into was trying to sell us vacations. – I told the lady that we didn’t take many vacations and really were just curious. – She asked me if we were there just to receive the gift they were giving out for listening to their spiel admitted that we wanted something to do that afternoon and we really weren’t that interested in buying into their program.
She said, “Please follow me.”
We had no idea where she was taking us. She led us to a door, opened it, and we stepped through to find ourselves in the alley. She slammed the door shut and we had to walk clear around the building to find our car.
I DIDN’T EVEN GET ONE OF THE DOUGHNUTS THEY WERE SERVING!
You know, Satan’s a master telemarketer. His skills are razor sharp. His technique is flawless, precise and well rehearsed. He knows his stuff. And, wow, is HE a smooth talker.
“Brother Christian, this is a courtesy call on behalf of SSI” (Satan’s Systems International…but he doesn’t tell you what it stands for!)
“We’d like to inform you about a limited-time offer. If you act fast you can avoid giving your tithe by…(use your money to get something you want) We’ve got a really great deal on unforgiveness and ill will, you can develop a lifelong grudge in just seconds, it’s so easy. Oh, let me tell you about the special of the day…little white lies, why you can get a whole case of them for all kinds of occasions.
What about these handy little devices…excuses. Why we’ve got plenty of them for you to choose from. There’s one to keep you from reading your Bible each day, here’s one to help you avoid prayer time, this one will allow you to sleep in on Sunday mornings, there’s one for…”
You see what I’m saying? Satan’s a master telemarketer.
He’s smooth and silky. Let him keep talking and you’re asking for trouble! If you don’t hang up on him quickly, you might just buy something you don’t really want!
There’s good news, though. There’s a way to get him to shut up, at least for a little while…
The Bible says in James 4:7, “resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”In other words, hang up!
Oh, he most definitely will call again, but at least for now he’ll leave you alone.
Make no mistake about it, Christian. Sometime this week that spiritual telephone is going to ring. Satan will call, you can count on it. When He does……tell him you’re not interested and hang up the phone!
1 Corinthians 10:13 – No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
PAY ATTENTION TO THIS WARNING: The strength of a temptation lies in how long you play with the thoughts of yielding to it. The longer you play with the temptation the stronger it gets and the more apt you are to yield to it.
As a small boy, my Grandma used to read to me every evening. One of the selections she read to me was Laura Wilder’s, “LITTLE HOUSE” series which I enjoyed thoroughly! – One incident from the books that I remember was when Laura and Mary’s Pa and Ma had to go to town for supplies. Pa had just harvested the hay for the animals for the winter and piled it into a haystack.
– He specifically told the girls not to jump on the hay because they would knock down and scatter the hay. – It looked like it would be so much fun that Laura decided just one jump wouldn’t hurt the haystack. – That was fun! One jump led to another and etc.
When Pa got home the stack was scattered all over and Laura and Mary were in trouble!
The problem came when the girls didn’t walk away, but stayed there thinking about how much fun jumping in the hay would be.
Satan knows if he can get you thinking about the temptation long enough that he can defeat you and cause you to yield. THE POWER IN THE TEMPTATION IS IN HOW LONG YOU WILL THINK ABOUT IT!
The way to defeat Satan’s enticements is to get away and quit thinking about it.
There are radio towers all over our country. Each is putting out a signal on a certain frequency. If you don’t like what they’re offering you can switch the station and find something more suitable to your taste.
When Satan is bombarding you with a temptation you can switch the station!
Mark Twain said, ‘YOU CAN’T STOP BIRDS FROM FLYING OVER YOUR HEAD, BUT YOU DON’T NEED TO LET THEM NEST IN YOUR HAIR!”
How do I change the station when the Devil is tempting me?
Memorize scripture: Psalm 119:11 “Thy Word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against thee.”
Learn hymns and choruses to remind yourself how good God is to you. By the way, Satan doesn’t enjoy you singing them to him.
Testify to Satan. Tell him what Christ has blest your life. Ask what he has done for you.
When he knocks at the door send Christ to answer.
You don’t have to fall if you don’t give him a foothold. – The comedian, Flip Wilson used to get a laugh every time he said, “The Devil made me do it.”
Listen, as funny as that line seemed to be it was totally inaccurate. The Devil can’t make you do anything. He can present the temptation, but you are the one who makes the decision.
James 4:7-8: “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”
There is something I need to clarify. Some people think if they are tempted that they have sinned. TEMPTATION IS NOT SIN!
TEMPTATION IS WHEN THE DEVIL SAYS, “WILL YOU?”
SIN COMES WHEN YOU SAY, “I WILL!”
Every Christian faces temptation, but every one of us has the ability to say “NO!”
Remember: 1 Corinthians 10:13 – “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”
Put God first in your life and He will show you the way to be victorious!
Remember: When Satan solicits you it is not a Courteous call! You don’t have to be courteous to Satan. What he’s trying to sell you will destroy you if you buy into it!
Keep in mind that the pleasures of sin are only temporary. The guilt and consequences of sin are long lasting and far outweigh the pleasure sin brought for you.
If sin persists it will lead you to an Eternity in Hell! YOU DON’T WANT THAT!
There is a courtesy call that you ought to take.
The best courtesy call you will ever get comes from God. There are no hidden clauses, no small print that you will regret later. – He is just offering you straight forward the opportunity to find forgiveness from sin and guilt, He wants to make you part of His Family, a joint heir with His Son, Jesus, and He wants to provide to you Eternal Life in His home in Heaven!
John 14:1-3 “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.
The benefits and joy of obeying God last forever. GOD’S WAYS ARE BEST!