Creflo Dollar - Understanding Satan's Mode of Operation - Part 1
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If you have your Bibles, go with me to John 10:10. We're gonna talk tonight about Satan's MO, his method of operation. We're continuing from last week. I just don't remember what I called it last week, but we're continuing from last week, but we're gonna directly deal with his method of operation. St. John chapter 10 and verse 10, he says, "And the thief cometh not but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I am come that they might have life and that they might have it more abundantly". I wonder if you've ever in your life unintentionally blamed God for something that the Scripture makes very clear, that it was something that came from Satan's operation. Maybe when you got sick, "God why'd you let me get sick"? Or maybe a car wreck, "Why'd you allow me to have this car wreck"?
When we forget sometimes that God's not the only one in the movie, you know, Satan is there. There's some supportive actors that are there, and he comes to kill, steal, and destroy. But a lot of times, God gets the blame for things that he's not at all responsible for. In fact, he tells you here, "I am come that you might have life and that you might have it more abundantly". So, we've gotta learn how to put the blame where it belongs. Okay? And it doesn't belong in the hands of God. It belongs in the hands of Satan, the thief. Satan, the thief, comes to kill, steal, and to destroy. I am come that they might have life. One translation says, "to the full, in abundance, to the full until it overflows".
Let's tap into those anointings that you may not be aware of that God has put on the inside of you. Don't settle where you are. There's some things that he wants to do in your life. I said to you a comment by a young lady who killed herself a couple of weeks ago. And she said, "Living is overrated". And that's a sad commentary, but I guarantee you Satan is the author of that type of commentary. It is not overrated. It is a gift from God, and that's why I'm encouraging Christians, learn how to enjoy your life. Don't be miserable, covering it up with Scripture, huh? Learn how to live. Go look at a mountain and chew some gum and sip some Kool-Aid while you look at the mountain. Learn how to enjoy life. Amen?
And so let's talk about his MO. First of all, we've already established that Satan is your adversary. We all have an enemy. His name is Lucifer, or Satan is the adversary. He's not your friend. He's not somebody that's gonna change one day. He's an archangel that declared his independence from God, okay? And that's what he attempts to do in our lives. So, he comes to kill, steal, and destroy. We've made that plain last week. We also looked at 1 Peter chapter 5:8, where the Bible says he seeketh whom he may devour. Let's go there for a moment, 1 Peter 5:8. "Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour". By pure fact, he's got to try to seek whom he may devour. It means that he just can't devour anybody.
So, there must be some standards that prevents him from being able to devour us. Look at the NLT in this verse of Scripture. Here, it says to be sober. In the NLT, it says stay alert. Stay alert. So that indicates that Satan likes to try to operate under the radar. In other words, you have to be cautious. Because, you know, how many of you have ever gotten too much in your head? That's how Satan operates. It's like, I mean, you know you're a Christian, but it's like in the back of your head, you're going through some things. You might hear this little faint voice, "Just kill yourself. Just end it". Don't buy that. That's why it says, "Stay alert". Know whose voice that is. Know whose voice that is. That is not the voice of God. That deceptive voice will even tell you it's God. They that know their God, "My sheep hear my voice, and they know me," okay? So, he says, "Stay alert," in that perspective.
I want to stay alert and watchful so that I can be aware of his deceptive, crafty, manipulative ways. And the first base for the enemy, his MO, is suggestion; what you hear that may not be him. So, this is why it's so important to get into Scripture. It's a safeguard so that you will know, it's kind of like the banking system. There's certain things you have to do to get that withdrawal. Well, getting in the Word is a safeguard so that you'll know whose voice that is. You'll know, "Wait a minute. The Word says this. He just said that. The Word said this. I just heard that". You're not gonna know, you're not gonna be able to discern between Satan's voice and the world's voice, and the voice of God, if you don't get in the Word. And because that Word is gonna be the establishing witness, in so many words. It's gonna be something that's gonna really help you to understand what you need to understand. It's an organized system of thinking that I'll talk to you about tonight. Stay alert, watch out for your enemy. He says, "Watch out for your great enemy".
So, please understand, everybody in here has this great enemy, and he wants to steal, kill, and destroy your life. He wants to mess you up, man. You have an enemy, a great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, didn't say he was a lion, just like one. He's looking, looking for someone to devour. You make sure that it's loud and clear. Satan, not here, not today. You can't devour me. I'm not gonna allow you to devour me. I'm not gonna pay attention to your thoughts.
See, sometimes we yield, and we sit in those thoughts, and they're not even, and before you know it, you can't do that. You've gotta know, you've gotta cast those thoughts down as quick as you hear them. No, you're not staying up here, because a stronghold, strongholds are thoughts or houses constructed of thoughts, basically. It's a fortified place. And if you build a fortress with those wrong thoughts, and it becomes fortified, those wrong thoughts will literally protect that deception that you have, and you've got to be a student of God's Word.
Take some time, get in his Word, meditate on a Scripture a day or something like that. Let that Word feed you, and lead you, and guide you. And so let's talk about Satan's MO. I think that's where we left off last week. His method of operation, it's through the voice of accusation and suggestion, the voice of accusation and suggestion. That's how it's gonna come. And I'm sure there's somewhere in your life where you can kind of see that. He is, the Bible says he's the accuser of the brethren, okay? So, he's gonna accuse you night and day, and suggestion is his most powerful weapon. Now, let's begin. Proverbs 23:7, Proverbs 23:7. And I'm basically, hopefully gonna let this Scripture talk to you so you can really see how serious this is. The way, the way you think is going to determine how you feel. If you feel depressed, and you want to deal with your depression, you've gotta back up and check out how you're thinking; and if you want to deal with how you're thinking, you've gotta check out the influences.
So, here's how it works. We're surrounded by influences. There are all kinds of influences: good, bad, all kinds of influences. Those influences that you are around and that you take in through your eye gate, your ear gate, those influences will create the way you think. The way you think will create the way you feel. How you feel will create the decisions that you make. Those decisions will create the actions that you take. Those actions will create habits. Those habits will create character, and that character will be responsible for your destination in life. So, you have to go all the way back, if you're gonna be effective in this, and you've got to examine the influences in your life.
Each of my daughters, when they graduated from high school, I sat them down, and I said, "The two or three people you have in your life will determine your future and what you're going to do. So, choose your friends wisely, because they are your friends, and they will have influence, and you trust them in those influences. If they're not good influences, they are going to begin to determine how you think. They're going to determine how you feel, your decisions. They're going to literally help to determine the destination that you find yourself in". This is what I call, I wrote a book on this years ago called "The Anatomy of Life". And this is the anatomy of life. This is how you decipher it and break it down. So, you've gotta ask yourself, what's influencing you every day?
Now, you've gotta know that Satan's MO is to become a part of that influence. Somewhere in your life, there's going to be godly influences, and there are going to be ungodly influences around you, and that should be something you shouldn't be surprised with, but you've gotta be smart enough to recognize that's not good for me, because that's an influence that if I don't identify, it's gonna become a normal thing in my life, and I'll go ahead and accept it, as if it's no big deal, okay? That influence is going to determine your thinking, okay? And the way you think, and here's, your enemy knows this. The way you thinks, look at Proverbs 23:7. Here's what he says. He says, "For as he thinketh", based on this principle, he's going to try to get involved in your life. "For as he thinketh", actually, you know, some people are like, "You can't change the Bible," but the comma is in the wrong place here. You know, "For as he thinketh," comma, "in his heart so is he".
So, in your heart you become, in your heart, based on how you think, your way of thinking determines who you become in your heart. And so the enemy knows this, so what he's gonna do is try to figure out how to become a part of your influences, how to disguise it so it'll look like it's okay, just to disguise it and look like it's okay. You know, everybody else is doing it, and just to get into a place where you can bring it in, okay, bring it in where it starts to influence your thinking, 'cause he knows that if he can continue to influence your thinking, then it begins to affect who you are on the inside, your heart, and then bring you back, bring you on down to your destiny. You've got to see how this operates. It's very important to become, I call it, a good custodian over your thought life. You've got to be able to examine your thought life and judge it accurately. This is not good for me.
You know, it's not good for you to have a girlfriend you talk to, and every time you talk to her on the telephone, it's something negative. And you just figure, "Well, there's no problem with that. Well, they just need somebody". Yeah, but you're a trash can. They don't talk to everybody else about stuff like that. You've become their human trash can. And notice, when you get off the phone, you're feeling some kind of way. You're always trying to figure out how you feeling, and you've just got to be strong enough to say, "This is not good for me. This relationship is toxic. It just dumps trash in my life". And if you're not willing to do that, then what you're gonna allow to happen, you're gonna allow it to happen, is you're going to allow that toxicity to move from your thinking to your emotions, and that will escort you on down to your destiny.
You know, Taffi and I were having a long talk about some things. And the Lord woke me up, I think it was Tuesday morning, 2:30. He said, "Something's going to happen today that's gonna change the complexion of the whole world". And I'm not gonna talk about it now, but it happened. And I was like, wow. And we got to talking about the gift of choice that God gave human beings. Now, there's no need in me trying to decipher, I don't say this because this might be controversial. Don't say that, I don't care. I'm gonna say whatever God tells me to say. But God gave us a gift, too, of choice. It is a basic human privilege, a human privilege, a human privilege to decide. And here's what he said about it. "Choose life or death. Choose blessings or cursing". In other words, I give you the choice.
Some people are going to choose the wrong thing, and therefore have wrong consequences. Some people are going to choose the right thing and have right consequences. He says, "But I'm going to give you the freedom of choice. If you want to do something stupid, now do something stupid," okay? But there are consequences for your stupid. So, you ain't got nobody to blame, 'cause you made the decision to do the stupid. You put yourself down a path of destruction, but you have a right to do that. You have a right to do that. If you want to get shot because you're trying to break into somebody's house, 'cause you decided that's your way to pay your bills, you had a right to do that, but the po-po gonna get you. You're going to jail. The owner might shoot you. You setting yourself, that's the devil trying to get rid of you, but you made the choice. Was he not clear when he said, "Choose life or death"? But I want to choose life, and I want to choose the right path, and I want to choose the godly path, because at the end of the day, everybody who's somewhere they don't want to be, back up. They chose. They chose.
And, see, don't be blaming the devil too much, either. The devil can't make you do nothing that you don't choose to do. It's a powerful thing. It's a powerful thing, okay? "Well, I'm sad". That's a choice. Taffi and I made our mind up a long time ago, we will not accept responsibility for one another's happiness. You'd better figure out how to be happy. I chose to be happy. I choose to be happy. I choose to have joy. I choose to live and not die. Hallelujah. I choose to be free from people's drama. I choose to protect my peace. I choose to have a good time. I choose to walk in success. I choose to be honorable with God's Word and to say what some preachers won't never say from their pulpit. I choose to do that. I choose to be free from people. I choose to not let the devil influence my life and influence, I choose to let God lead and guide me and wake me up in the morning and put me into a bed at night time. I choose to do that.
Your choice is the most powerful thing you have, and I choose not to let the devil destroy my life, and I choose not to be influenced by him, and I choose not to listen to his voice. Let's go to Philippians chapter 4:8-9. How did I get stuck there for, like, 15 minutes? I choose to. Like, something made me get stuck for 15 minutes. I didn't want to leave that spot for a moment, so I just decided to camp there for a minute. Hallelujah. Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey. All right, watch this. "Finally, brethren, whichever things are true", see, he's helping you with your choices, right now. "Whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report, if there be any virtue, if there be any praise, think on these things," verse 9, "those things which you have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me," he said, "do: and then the God of peace shall be with you".
I choose, I choose for the God of peace to be with me. I don't think we've talked enough about choice and the power of choice. We spent more time blaming the devil for something and looking for excuses for not accepting responsibility for the choices that we've made. We've accepted responsibility for choices that we made. And we've got to ask God to help us to choose right and how to choose differently. Isaiah 26:3, Isaiah 26:3. Lord, help me to choose right. That's a before you leave the home, prayer. Lord, help me to make right decisions today. Inspire me to choose right and make the right decisions today, in the name of Jesus. All right, watch this, verse 3: "Thou will keep him in perfect peace".
How many want to be in perfect peace? Look at what you've gotta choose, "whose mind is stayed on thee". "Well, I don't feel like getting my mind stayed on him". Well, that's your choice. That's your choice. But if you choose to allow your mind to just be stayed on him, because you trust in him. When you trust in him, your mind's gonna be stayed on him. This is a perfect illustration of practicing the presence of the Holy Spirit. It's really getting your mind focused on him all day. You're just thinking about him. You're thanking him. You're praising him. You're thinking about him. You're talking to him. You're asking questions. You go into a worship period. You're constantly just focused on him. It doesn't mean you have to fall out at work or break out in tongues at lunch. This is between you and your Father.
It's like a private conversation that's inwardly taking place between you and him, and your mind is stayed on him. And the peace that you'll have, while everybody else is worrying about if they're gonna have a job. Is the job gonna close up? You good, dude. You're just, you're just, I have chosen to keep my mind stayed on him. I have a choice. You know, it's amazing the number of Scriptures we read, and I'm realizing that's a choice. This is a choice, "whose mind is stayed on thee," because I trust him. Trusting him is a choice. You have to choose to trust him. God's not gonna make you do any of these things. You have to choose to trust him. And when you choose to trust him, choose to keep your mind stayed on him, I'll tell you what, you're gonna get the, you're gonna be a beneficiary of walking down that right path that you have chosen to walk down.
Now, this is very specific on his MO in Ephesians chapter 6:10, Ephesians chapter 6:10. This is good now. He says, "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord", be strong in the Lord. How do you do that? Be strong in the Lord. I mean, what does that look like, if we're on the path, being strong in the Lord? What's happening with me is I'm just not, I'm not, I'm not rocking with just reading the Scripture and not knowing how to, you know, what does it look like on a practical level? What does it look like? "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and be strong in the ability of His might, the power of His might". What does it look like? Verse 11, he says, "Put on the whole armor of God".
What does that look like? "...that you might be able to stand against the wiles, or the deception, or trickery, of the devil. Put on the whole armor of God. Be strong in the Lord. Put on the whole armor of God, that you might be able to stand against the wiles of the devil". Verse 12, "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood". So, our fight is not against human beings, but our fight, check this out, it's against demonic principalities. It's against demonic powers. It's against demonic rulers of the darkness of this world, and it's against spiritual wickedness in high places. These are the once, two, three, four, five classes of demonic spirits, okay. Powers is the lowest, well, principalities is lowest, then followed by powers, then the rulers of the darkness of this world, then spiritual wickedness in heavenly places, principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness.
Against this, of the world, and spiritual wickedness in heavenly places. Four headings of demonic activity. And from these headings, you have the lower case or the lower operations of demonic activity. But notice he says that our wrestling is not against human beings. So, your problem is not your boss. Your problem is not your wife. Your problem is not your husband, okay? Your problem is not your friend. Your problem is either principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness of this world, spiritual wickedness in high places. Remember, they cannot operate in this physical realm without a physical body.