Dr. Ed Young - Satan's Plan for Your Life
How many of you have ever been to the Louvre in Paris? That fabulous art, would you lift your hand? My! What a traveling bunch! The Louvre, I don't know if it's the largest place for fine art-is collected and displayed, but it's certainly one of them, and you can be sure that some of the most magnificent pieces of art the world has ever known is housed in the Louvre. I've been there, I think, three times. It's been some years ago. And I tried to stay a, as long as I could, though I'm not particularly an art connoisseur, because it's just, it's unbelievable! I mean, it's just magnificent! And uh, I've stayed the three times, long as I could. At one time, it was abbreviated.
My three sons, they had stayed far longer than they could, and, but I feel like in my three trips there that if this much art is displayed in the Louvre after spending the better part of three days there, I've seen about this much. You know? You've been there. Isn't that right? You've seen about this much. And I understood about this much...heh, heh, heh! Also around the Louvre is a beautiful garden, and they've been there for hundreds of years, cultivated flowers-just really magnificent in appearance. But during recent days, last few years, those gardens have been infested by rats. And the rats now are everywhere in the Louvre, and they have plenty of places to hide. But now they don't hide any longer because they're rather, rather bold, and they-people picnic there in the grounds of the gardens, and they just picnic right along with you. Really true! And their growing bigger, and larger, and bolder!
And a lot of people have said, "Well, let's poison them. Let's kill them. Let's trap them", and the animal lovers said, "Oh, no, no, no, no! Those rats have just as much right to be here as you do"! And so the French have acquiesced. And so there are rats all around the gardens of the Louvre. Kind of like the world in which we live, isn't it? And the rats have advocates! A lot of them! "Don't you disturb one of those rats..." Very true! The, I mean, they don't think about the rats, all the diseases they carry. I looked up the diseases that rats carry, and it's unbelievable! It's astounding! From their waste, it's just-it's, it's unbelievable, but they're just, you know, they're a part of the culture there, and "Oh, nothing wrong with those rats! There may be something wrong with you, but they're just innocent animals there! Don't touch a rat! Don't bother a rat"!
That's where we are, if you ever visit the Louvre and walk around the gardens. Sound familiar? You identify with that? You know, are there any rats running around this universe, this world? Our America that they're passed off as A okay, but really in your heart of hearts, you think, "Isn't something wrong with this picture? Isn't something sinister about that rat? Maybe something even evil"? What if I gave you the plans to build a house for you to live in, and, I said, "Here's the brick. Here's the mortar. Here's the carpenters. Here, here's the plumbers... Here's-you've got everything you need. Go build this house"!
You'd say, "Boy, that's super! I've got it all! Yeah-plans, carpenters, masons, plumbers, roofers! I got it all! Here's the land! Man, I'll go build that house..." I say, "Oh, wait a minute! One little thing: While you're building the house, there are gonna be a whole of people trying to kill you. You're going into enemy territory"! Huh! That would change a little bit, don't you think? About building that house? A lot of, a lot of enemies around that wanna take your life? This is where we are in our world today, ladies and gentlemen. There are rats running around. There are enemies there, and we've talked about those enemies in terms of the Devil and his emissaries. The world, and the flesh, and the Devil-the lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh, the pride of life.
All of that is operating, and there in-remember, the no seeum category. Remember those little bugs? No seeums. They're there-they're invisible, but they are working on you and working on me, and they want simply to destroy you and to destroy me. Why do they want to bother with us? If you are a Christian; if I am a Christian, we are running head on with the hell in this world. Doesn't that make sense? How can it be any other way, if we are a member of God's family? And therefore, Paul is telling us here, you've gotta do two things: You've gotta prepare for the battle of the evil and the sinister that is around you that want to take you out. Why do they want to take us out?
So that you will not fulfill the purpose that God has for you for the rest of your life, and I will not fulfill the purpose God has for me the rest of my life. We're to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever, right? That means we are to find out what He's up to in our lives, and we are to follow through on that as members of His family, and the evil one wants to destroy, weaken, and take you out and take me out. Make no mistake about it! So we have to be prepared for battle, for war. That's what Paul is telling us. "Well, what do you do"? He has two great little phrases here I really love. He says, look at it in Verse 11. He says, "Put on the full armor of God". Then in Verse 13, he says, "Therefore, take up the full armor of God".
To put on the armor means, well-put on means to kind of settle in, you know, kind of get in it, settle in it. I've got an old blue shirt I just love! I mean, it's been with me for eons! It's worn, it's, you know, it's genuine. I didn't have to buy it worn like they do now, you know, with holes? It really, it's reached that state in its own way, and I love that shirt! When I, when I get in that shirt, I mean, I just don't ever like for it to be washed unless it's absolutely an emergency! And I get in that blue shirt-I just feel better. I just sink into it. That's what it means, put on the armor. It feels natural to you. And then it says we're to be very aggressive, and we continually put it on, the Greek word.
We just, keeps on putting on that full armor. We keep on doing it, these qualifications, these difference pieces that we'll be looking at in week before. We put on. We take up and we put on. We put on and we take up, and that's our defense. Then Paul tells us our enemy here-do you see it there? He talks about our enemy. He said we fight against the schemes of the Devil; for our struggle is not against flesh and blood-not against human beings, but against rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of darkness, against spiritual forces of wickedness in heavenly places. In other words, there is a hierarchy of evil that is pitted against you and pitted against me if you're in Christ, and I'm in Christ.
And therefore, there is the schemes of the Devil. How does the Devil scheme? He's got your number-oh yeah! He's got my number. He knows every hole that is in you, remember what evil is, a hole? Remember that? Every hole in you, he knows every hole, and he wants to fill every hole up with his schemes to destroy His purpose for your life. Yeah, yeah... And so, we see how subtle his scheme-how does he scheme? In a zillion different ways. I mean, he works on our minds. He works on us when we're on the mountain top. He works on us when we're in the valley. He works on us in every kind of shape, form, fashion. That's the reason you have to have the full armor on! You can't leave any of the pieces off because he comes in so many different directions. And then he talks about not only is there a, there is a struggle here; he schemes, and then we struggle.
A lot of people think the Christian life is all peace, and peace is certainly a vital part of the Christian life, isn't it? We looked at Romans Chapter 5 just a little while ago, remember? Be justified by faith, and you have what? Peace with God. Right... We make our peace with God. Great! And then we turn over in Philippians Chapter 4. He talks about, we have a peace in Christ that passes all understanding. Boy! That kind, that's great peace, isn't it? And then we know we read the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace. Peace is in third place. We have peace, so all the way through the Scripture, earlier, you read in Chapter two of this Book of Ephesians. He's talking about we have peace. Peace is a big word. It's cessation of conflict, peace with God, peace with ourselves, the capacity to make peace with others. That's what Christ gives us as we're in Him-peace. But that's just part of the picture.
Also, the Christian life is conflict. Is there any conflict in your life as a Christian? There should be. There ought to be. I think there must be. There, it, there is a violence in following Christ, a conflict, a war today. We have peace, but also, there is a conflict. When a baby is born, I was not there when my three sons were born. I was in the premises, waiting room, but I didn't go in the room. Back then, you didn't do that. I didn't want to. One doctor threw me a green gown and says, "Come on in with me"! I said, "I think I'll stay out here..." But how many of you have seen your ba, your child, seen a baby-lift your hand! I mean, oh yeah, it's the thing to do now. It's the thing to do... and when a child is born, there is a struggle. That-haaa! That first breath, and there, there's a struggle, and there's crying, and there's some violence there, isn't it? The child is born. The child just lies there.
You don't say, "Well, I guess she's got a phlegmatic personality..." No. You want to, you know, slap, awaken, take that breath, right? And that's with us-there, there is in this world an agenda that's going the opposite direction, what a son or a daughter of God would be going. Therefore, there is conflict, and there is violence. There's conflict in the Chri.. if there's no conflict in your life? You say, "Well, I prayed Monday morning. I read my Bible, but you know, I got busy. I missed it Tuesday. I caught back up on Thursday, and O' Lord, I made that vow-conflict"! Your time! Your energy! Your resources, the discipline. All those decisions, there is a battle, a war for your mind, for my mind, your heart, your agenda, your life, your family, your vocation, your hobby...everything! There is a conflict in the Christian life, make no mistake about it.
And then, there is so much conflict today because we look at the world and we see so many rats, and we see so much of the world is trying to destroy that which we think is good, and redefined it as if it were evil. When the Roman Empire fell, just right after that, Augustine-Augustin if you're a scholar... Augustine was the Bishop of Hippo in Africa, and he wrote a book called The City of God. And he talked about the City of God in the sense the City of God is where God is sovereign. God rules. God reigns. There is love. There is fellowship. There is joy. There is worship. There is celebration. There is life! Abundant life, everlasting life! The City of God. In the City of God, they have no elections. He is King of kings, and Lord of lords, and reigns forever, the City of God. We are Christ followers, we're in Christ, we're citizens of the City of God.
Also, there is the city of man. In the city of man, there is capriciousness. In the city of man, there is rats running around. In the city of man, there are idols. In the city of man, there's all kinds of distortedness and confusion about right and wrong, and light and darkness, and bitter and sweetness, and that is the city of man.
You say, "Well, we're a part of the City of God and the City of God may be in the city of man, but I'm just gonna stay in the City of God". Let me tell you something: When there's trouble in the city of man, those who are inhabitants of the City of God must go and unmask evil, because the city of man, they can't unmask evil. They don't see it. They're just caught up in it, and God should give us eyes that we go and we go to the city of man, because we are to love God and therefore to love our neighbors, and it's a part of loving our neighbors. Therefore, as citizens of Christ in the City of God, we get involved in the political process, not thinking that is going to answer the questions, but to go there in the name of light and love and seek to set a framework for justice in our world-justice in our world.
Now, you say, "Well, you know, I don't know if good is passed off as evil, evil is passed off as good..." Stay with me! In 2005, two federal border agents about 40 miles down the Rio Grande from El Paso, the saw a suspicious van over there by the river, and they went over and stopped. One agent went over to check out the van. A drug smuggler jumped off and started to beat on him. His friend came out. He ran in the bushes, and he took his gun and shot at him. Didn't think he'd hit him. And he heard in a minute another truck start off, and he got away. They looked in the van. There were 800 pounds of marijuana. They confiscated it. The smuggler got away.
Waited a couple of weeks, and he smuggler's mother called a friend on the telephone in the area and said, "Some border guards shot my son in the buttocks". That's a revised word for church... and she said, "I didn't think they could shoot an unarmed person". Well, charges were brought against these two federal agents. A trial was take, take place, and they brought this drug smuggler on a special leave of freedom to come back to America and testify against them! They were convicted. One sent to 11 years; one 12 years in the federal pen. Our border agents. Huh... The smuggler sued the government for five million dollars for his civil rights were violated. He said in the court of law that he was running drugs so his dying mother would have medicine, but later on, it was discovered he was one of the kingpins, one of the leaders of the drug cartel, and they did finally get him.
Thank goodness for that; but these two guys served two years in jail, and the last thing President Bush did before he left office, he pardoned these two men. He should have pardoned the day they were sentenced! Evil interpreted as good. Good, border agents, interpreted as evil. Huh... Boston Marathon bomber put in jail. There's enough evidence against him to convict him 400 times in any court of law. Heinous, vicious, radical, insane crime. They put his picture on the front of Rolling Stone Magazine.
Boy, he's a handsome kid! They, they put in the, in the Internet, they put a sort of a degree, a, about him, what ought to be done, you know... Nobody 19 years old should be persecuted. He, you know, he's innocent. He got caught up in reno, fanatical Muslim, and you know, nothing, and so, in about two weeks, over 8,000 supporters signed up on his behalf! Too cute! Too handsome to die! Oh yeah! Oh yes! Unfair! Had a bad home life! Evil, twisted, interpreted something that's good. Let's bring it a little closer to home. This is not happening in the life of our church. If I have any good characteristic, that's the gift of confidentiality. I do not break a confidence. I don't go and say, "I'm gonna tell you this, but don't tell anybody else..."
You're one of 400 I'm gonna tell, and it's for prayer purposes only! No, no, no, no. So I do not break a confidence here. It's something I know about intimately, but not in the life of our church. Teenage girl pregnant, unwanted pregnancy. Went to her parents. Told them. They cried. They embraced her. They told her, "We're with you. Carry this child. It is our grandchild. We love you. Things are gonna work out..." She goes to Christian counselors of the church and they love her and tell her that, "Man, this is-God's gonna heal. God's gonna use this in your life. Make sure the baby lives..."
And then she goes and find, they find a couple. Couple didn't have a child for 10 years and they wanted a child, and, and they met her and said, "We'll, we'll take your child that you, that you're not ready for, you don't want now and bring it up with love and Christ," and she's ready to, you know, do that. Five weeks go by. This may be the sixth week. But somebody sends her to a secular, humanistic counselor, and the counselor says to her, "Oh, his baby is a burden. You're young. This baby's a burden to you, and your parents are trying to control your life. Ohhh... what a terrible thing... And that couple, they, that, that needy couple is now pouring all their needs and think you have to satisfy the needs of that couple, and that Christian atmosphere they're trying just to build wrong ideas in your life..."
And so now, the baby is a burden. And the parents are controlling. And the couple is oh, so needy! And the church is manipulating! Good-the life, not the pregnancy, but good the life that God has given there-good and holy and sacred, now is turned into something that is evil and wrong and a burden. This is our America! This is our world, and ladies and gentlemen, where were you? Where was I when these judges were put in office, when these people were elected, when in your company and your market place, they said, "Don't wear that Cross any longer. You might offend somebody". "Well, I don't agree, but I'm gonna have to go along".
Where were we when our school system was stripped of any semblance of God? Where were we when all of this was taken out of our culture, piece, by piece, by piece, and now there are rats running around everywhere! Why do we keep putting liars in places of responsibility from CEO's to offices and institutions around our nation, and we sit back and we say, "You know, I don't want to make any streams. I'm going to retire in a few years, and this is not what they're like..." When is the day that we stand up as Christians and march as an army and say, "No more! No more! No more evil being spoken of as good"!
Stay standing and sing it with me. Sing it with me. Sing it with me, "Onward Christian soldiers! Marching as to war! With the Cross of Jesus, going on before! Christ the Royal Master, leads against the foe! Sing it! Forward into battle see His banners go! Sing it! Onward Christian soldiers marching as to war! With the Cross of Jesus! Going on before"!