Friday, July 31, 2015

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I remember one time years ago when our area had a garbage strike. (It's not a great memory!) The garbage piled up in our garage while the sanitation folks figured out their deal, and it took a while. And it took awhile to get the smell out of our garage.

Now, I know how nasty garbage can get, so I was sympathetic to this man I heard about. There was a garbage strike in his area, and he came up with a creative way to get rid of all that accumulating junk. He sim-ply took some of his garbage each day, put it in a box, and gift wrapped it. Then he left that little gift each day on the bus or the subway. I'm not sure what happened to any of the lucky recipients of all those packages, but you've got to admit, if you've got garbage to move, it's pretty smart to gift wrap it.

I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "How Satan Takes You Where You Never Thought You'd Go."

That man was not the first to think of this idea. Satan thought of it a long time ago. He's got garbage that he wants you to pick up. And he knows you won't take it unless it's gift-wrapped. He has no product to give you except pain and disappointment, slavery, death. But he does know how to create a package that will get things into your life that you would never let in if you knew what it was or where it was going to take you. Satan never starts with where he wants you to end up. You don't find that out until it's too late.

It's because the devil gift wraps his junk. And that's why Paul tells us what he does in our word for today from the Word of God, 2 Corinthians 2:11. He tells us to not let Satan "outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes." Like gift-wrapping death. Like the man with pretty garbage, making it look like something it isn't.

What kind of gift-wrapping does your enemy use? Well, sometimes he puts his garbage in an entertaining package. His goal is to get you to think about it and then to want it, because he got you thinking about it first, and then to do what he got you to want, and then to finally pay for it. Think about it, want it, do it, pay for it. And the easiest way to plant sin in your heart is when your guard is down. Satan shows up in the music you love, a movie you really wanted to see, a clever or popular TV show, a great website, a book. But inside what may be a very entertaining package could be images and ideas and values that Satan wants to use to ruin you.

Your enemy also puts his garbage in a personal package. He gets it into your life through a person you really like or respect. He sends the garbage through a teacher you really respect, or someone of the opposite sex you're attracted to, or friends you really don't want to lose. He knows that if he has his sinful idea delivered to you by the right person, you might fall for his lie.

And the devil will even gift-wrap his lies in a spiritual package and get you to wander away from Jesus into something that sounds very spiritual but is very wrong. Dead wrong. They may talk about God and spirituality, maybe meditation, maybe about the Bible; anything that sounds almost Christian, but it's a deadly detour from the truth. You can just assume that the enemy is trying to wear you down right now in some area by offering you garbage in a package designed to really disarm you. That's why God wants you to know who you really are.

In 2 Corinthians 6:16 Paul says, "We are the temple of the living God. As God said, 'I will live with them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they will be My people.'" And then he says, "Don't touch the filthy things and I will welcome you." He says don't even touch the package!

God lives in you. You're God's blood-bought child. Don't pollute yourself with the devil's stinking garbage no matter how irresistible the wrapping paper is. It's trash, no matter how good it looks!