One of the more terrifying experiences in life is to become the hunted. Suppose that you were enjoying a wonderful vacation in a wilderness area of the Northwest. One especially beautiful day you decide to take a hike. The scenery is breathtaking. The sky is a brilliant blue. The wildflowers are in full bloom.

As you walk the trail, you come to an overlook that allows you to see for miles down through the valley below. You can also clearly see the last 200 yards of the trail that you have just walked. It is such a breathtaking scene that you decide to sit on a large rock, rest a while, and drink the beauty of the moment.

As you sit there, relaxed, feeling "stress free," you are startled by what you see. You see a mountain lion, a cougar, coming up the trail that you just walked. Its nose is to the ground; its tail is slowly twitching; and it is sneaking along at a very deliberate pace. The animal is obviously trailing something. Suddenly, you realize this mountain lion just may be hunting you. Instantly you sense that you are in serious danger.

The moment that you realize that this cougar might be hunting you, what do you feel? When you realize that you are the hunted, what are your thoughts?

  1. One of the more stupid things that I did was take my family for a hike on an African game preserve.
    1. There were ten of us, four adults, five children, and one guide who did not speak English.
      1. The guide had a 7 mm rifle which I later learned that he shot very poorly.
      2. The humidity was so low that you could not sweat fast enough to make your skin wet.
      3. We were walking in dry grass that was shoulder high on us adults.
      4. We walked by limbs that an elephant had freshly pulled from a tree to chew the bark, and we stepped over python trails in the dust that were over six inches wide.
      5. That is when I realized how stupid that I was.
        1. If we accidentally walked upon a wild animal, we were in serious trouble.
        2. Only the guide who spoke almost no English knew where the road and the landrover were.
      6. I felt too dumb to be stupid.
      7. I realized how easily we could become the hunted.
    2. Peter wrote, "Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour" (1 Peter 5:8).
      1. When a hungry lion is hunting, he roars.
      2. The devil is like a hungry lion hunting.
      3. You and I are the menu.
    3. Job 1:7-9 records a conversation between God and Satan.
      1. God asked Satan, "Where have you been?"
      2. Satan replied, "Roaming the earth and walking around on it."
      3. God asked, "Did you notice Job? There is no one on earth like him. He is a blameless, upright man who reverences me and turns away from evil."
      4. Satan had noticed Job, and Satan said that Job reverenced God because it was to Job's physical benefit to reverence God.
      5. Notice that Satan was prowling the earth taking note of people.
      6. The lion had been hunting.

  2. Does God cause all the good that happens in this world?
    1. Does all good have its origin in God?
      1. Is God the source of everything good that happens?
      2. Worldwide, does God coordinate all the good that is happening?
      3. I think that most of us if not all of us would say yes.
        1. That is why we pray about things happening anywhere in the world.
        2. Why did we pray for the Canfields when they visited Thailand?
        3. Why did we pray for the Dunavins in Romania?
        4. Why pray for special needs and special situations anywhere in the world?
        5. Why pray for persons or congregations on other continents?
      4. We pray for things happening in our world because we believe God is the source of all good. God coordinates all good within our world.
    2. Does all evil have its origin in Satan?
      1. Is Satan the source of all evil?
      2. Worldwide, does Satan coordinate all the evil that is happening?
      3. Do you see all forms of evil as the coordinated activity of Satan, or do you believe that acts of evil are just random, accidental occurrences?
        1. No evil happens by accident.
        2. All evil in all forms is the deliberate activity of Satan.
        3. All evil is interrelated.
          1. Occurrences of evil do not exist as isolated, unconnected incidents.
          2. Evil is linked like an endless coil of chain.
      4. Evil in our world encourages and nurtures evil in our nation.
      5. Evil in our nation encourages and nurtures evil in our society.
      6. Evil in our society encourages and nurtures evil in our community.
      7. Evil in our community encourages and nurtures evil in our families.
      8. Evil in our families encourages and nurtures evil in husbands, the wives, and teenagers.
      9. Evil in the immediate family encourages and nurtures evil in you and me.
      10. One of the truly frightening things about evil is the realization that the evil that exists in each of us encourages and nurtures the evil in someone else.

  3. No one can be free from all evil, but none of us need to be helpless victims.
    1. The first powerful form of help that can deliver us from the slavery of evil is forgiveness in Christ.
      1. Regarding forgiveness, John wrote these two statements to Christians.
        1. "If we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin" (1 John 1:7).
        2. "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9).
      2. We of ourselves are not capable of eliminating all evil from our lives.
      3. If we are in Christ, God capably forgives us of all evil as long as we are committed to living a godly life and are willing to confess our mistakes to God.
    2. The second powerful form of help that can help deliver us from clutches of evil is genuine, earnest resistance.
      1. James told Christians, "Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you" (James 4:7,8).
        1. God's part is forgiveness; my part is submission to God.
        2. Before God can come close to me, I must choose to be close to God.
        3. Satan refuses to stay where he is not wanted.
          1. If you and I fight him, God will not let him control life in our lives.
          2. That certainly does not mean that he will stop tempting us.
          3. When we yield to temptation, we give Satan a personal invitation to come into our lives.
        4. It is a package deal: I either submit to God and choose to be close to God and resist Satan; or,
        5. I submit to Satan and choose to live close to him and resist God.
      2. The Christian who is serious about resisting Satan chooses to submit to God and be close to God.
      3. You resist one or the other, but you can't resist both.
      4. You choose to be close to one or the other, but you can't be close to both.

  4. I want you to think in very practical terms about resisting Satan in our lives.
    1. If you or I choose to resist Satan, we have to know how to resist him.
    2. Consider the obvious.
      1. You cannot live your life by Satan's standards and rules and resist him.
      2. You cannot love what Satan tells you to love and resist him.
      3. You cannot look at life through Satan's eyes and resist him.
      4. You cannot live your life by Satan's values and resist him.
      5. You cannot form your concepts on the basis of Satan's perspectives and resist him.
      6. You cannot let Satan define your Christian concepts and resist him.
        1. You do not resist Satan by using his definition of repentance.
        2. You do not resist Satan by using his definition of conversion, commitment, or faith.
        3. You cannot resist Satan by letting Satan define what loving God is.
    3. If you are serious about resisting Satan and evil in your life:
      1. You let God define holiness and righteousness and live by His definition.
      2. You let God define purity, good, and evil, and live by His definitions.
      3. You let God define repentance, obedience, faith, and love, and you let His definitions become the concepts that direct your life.

This week if you watched what happened in Kenya and Tanzania, you heard the lion roaring.

This week if you listened to the news from Washington, DC, you heard the lion roaring.

This week if you listened to the news from Jonesboro, Arkansas, you heard the lion roaring.

This week if you read Fort Smith's Southwest Times Record, you heard the lion roaring.

This week, in the congregation, did you hear the lion roaring?

This week, in your family, did you hear the lion roaring?

This week, in your life, did you hear the lion roaring?

Satan knows you, personally. He knows me, personally. He is hungry for each of us. He will swallow us and keep on prowling. You can be certain that he will not be satisfied just to swallow us. Unless we submit to God and resist him, he will swallow this congregation, he will swallow the people we love, and he will swallow our children.

Rest assured, unless we resist Satan, he will accept the invitation to eat with us. When we invite Satan for a fellowship meal, we are the menu.

Every waking moment of your life, Satan is on the hunt for you. He is looking for opportunity to destroy you. That would be a horrible understanding except that there is deliverance in Jesus Christ.

Never did Satan roar louder than in the 24 hours before the Crucifixion of Jesus. When Jesus was raised from the dead, He destroyed the power of Satan to destroy your life. If you understand from the Bible the life God wants you to live, you can resist Satan.

Do you hear the lion roaring?
Jesus provides a place of refuge.

David Chadwell

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Morning Sermon, 16 August 1998

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