Wednesday, January 11, 2017
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It may be a common term in the military, but I don't think I ever heard it before until I saw an interview some years ago with some American soldiers who were working to establish an air base at Kandahar in Afghanistan. They were busy finding and clearing land mines, repairing and expanding the runway – and, at the same time, carefully defending their perimeter. The soldiers pointed out that there were still Taliban and Al-Qaeda fighters hiding out – and waiting for an opportunity, of course, to do some serious damage. That's when one soldier referred to what he called "high value targets". He said the enemy still had the capability to take out some "high value target" like an incoming aircraft, for example.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Satan's High Value Targets."
It makes sense – an enemy does not have unlimited capability or ammunition, so he's going to look for a high value target to attack. Especially if that enemy is the ultimate terrorist, the devil himself. He takes careful aim and he devotes special attention to bringing down what he considers a high value target. Maybe like you.
It's interesting that the familiar verse about the devil "prowling around like a lion, looking for someone to devour" is in a passage that is primarily about Christian leaders. Those who are making a difference – or are about to make a difference – for Jesus Christ, they're the ones who become special targets for enemy attack.
In Acts 19, the sons of a Jewish priest watch how Paul casts out demons in the name of Jesus, so they decide they'll give it a try. The Bible says, "The evil spirit answered them, 'Jesus I know, and I know about Paul, but who are you?" (Acts 19:15). The demon-possessed man then jumped on those boys and nearly beat them to death.
Notice, there are names that have made it onto hell's "watch list". Paul was on that list. In a way, I guess it's one of life's great honors to have made it onto hell's target list, to be considered by the devil someone who could do a lot of damage to his plans. And what an insult to realize they've never heard of you in hell!
Who does Satan consider high value targets? Well, we can't know for sure, but we can make some Biblically educated guesses. A parent who is raising his or her children to love and serve Jesus, or someone who has stepped up to spiritual leadership – or who is considering it, or any believer who is – or who could be – a warrior for Christ, who could end up leading people away from hell and toward heaven. Your name may be never known widely on earth, but your name may be very well known in hell, because of the difference you're making.
Which leads us to Ephesians 6, beginning with verse 11, our word for today from the Word of God: "Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. Put on the full armor of God so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground." You can't afford to be spiritually careless about what you watch, what you listen to, what you say, what you laugh at, who you hang out with, and what you allow into your mind or your heart.
You cannot afford to be careless about how you're raising your family, how you're handling your money, about telling the truth, and about avoiding temptation. You are more valuable to the work of God, my friend, than you know. And you are more in Satan's sights than you know.
If you stand your ground, if you put on God's armor, if you keep your eyes on Jesus, you have nothing to fear from the enemy's artillery. But you need to remember that you are not on a peacetime mission where you can be casual and careless. We are at war and you're a target.
Don't hand the enemy any ammunition to shoot you with. It's not just your life that's at stake. It's all those lives that your life is going to touch.