Monday, May 26, 2003

Last time I heard this term, it was describing how the French royalty was dealt with during the French Revolution - it was that ominous word "decapitation." It took on new meaning at the beginning of the Coalition's "Operation Iraqi Freedom" against the regime of Saddam Hussein. Decapitation was used to describe a strategy of trying to eliminate the leaders of the regime in order to bring down the regime. It's a strategy that's actually used more commonly than you think.

I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "When the Target's on Your Back."

The decapitation strategy makes sense militarily. If you can take out a leader, you've probably neutralized those who look to that leader. It's a strategy the devil has been using for a long time. Jesus knew what a rock, what a leader Simon Peter would one day be for Him. But on the eve of Peter's denial of his Lord, Jesus told him, "Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you..." (Luke 22:31-32) If you're serious about following Jesus, if you're in a position to influence others for Him, you can be sure Satan wants to sift you as wheat.

Now, our enemy can't go after everyone - he's not omnipresent, he's not omnipotent like our Lord. So the devil has to pick his targets. And it's important that you realize that he would love to take you out so the people who look to you will be affected, too. That's why you've got to live by our word for today from the Word of God in Ephesians 6, beginning with verse 11.

"Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore, put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything to stand."

If you're any kind of position to influence people spiritually - as a spiritual leader, a Christian worker, a teacher, a parent, someone trying to make a spiritual difference - you can't ever forget that you are a high value target to the enemy. Don't let that frighten you - "the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world," God says. (1 John 4:4) Demons run as soon as Jesus walks in. But it's important to remember who your enemy really is. Maybe you've forgotten recently and you've started to act as if certain people are who your enemy is. Don't fall into that trap! Don't waste one precious bullet on a brother or sister. Aim your bullets at the real enemy!

Hudson Taylor's successor at the great China Inland Mission made this profound observation: "I will not send a person to the mission field unless he has learned to wrestle with the evil one. If he has not learned to wrestle with the evil one, he will wrestle with his fellow missionaries." If you don't realize the ultimate source of much of the negative you're battling, you'll end up fighting the wrong enemy - and probably using the wrong weapons. You'll try to win with human weapons instead of with the mega-weapons of prayer, the Word of God, the name and blood of Jesus, and a united front.

I tell you, if the devil's not bothering you, apparently you're not bothering him - and that's really a shame. If the devil's shooting at you, it's because he hates the difference you're making or that you're about to make for Jesus Christ. It means something's very right, not something's very wrong. Take your stand against his schemes. And when he tries to push your buttons to bring you down, you stand up in Jesus' name and say, "I know who this is - and I'm not going there!"



Hutchcraft Ministries
P.O. Box 400
Harrison, AR 72602-0400

(870) 741-3300
(877) 741-1200 (toll-free)
(870) 741-3400 (fax)


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