The Israelites never saw it coming! By the time they realized what happened 24,000 souls were dead, Numbers 25:1-2. Things seemed to be going well for Israel, but all of that would change. How did this happen? The devil attacked them. He used Balaam and Balak to help God’s people to fall, Numbers 31:16. The devil wants to defeat us, 1 Peter 5:8. Sexual immorality is just one way that the devil will attempt to beat us.
Let me give you four other tactics that the devil has used against the church in the first century that he will use against us. Let’s also consider how God’s people overcame those attacks.
- FEAR FACTOR: Satan wanted to silence God’s people from speaking about Jesus, Acts 4:1-4; 5:17-23, 33, 40-42; 7:54-58.
- FAKE FACTOR: Sadly, the devil achieved his mission with two Christians, Ananias, and Sapphira, Acts 5:1-5. They lied to the Holy Spirit. They were fakers. While the devil won a battle, he had not won the war. The people of God continued in their pursuit of spreading the good news, Acts 5:12-14. They continued and so did the devil with his attacks.
- FUSS FACTOR: The devil’s opportunity came in Acts 6:1-3. Some complaints arose. Certainly, the brethren would devour one another. However, the devil’s plan didn’t work, Acts 6:7.
- FALSE FACTOR: A controversy in the church occurred regarding salvation, Acts 15:1-11. Some Jews believed the Gentiles had to be circumcised to be saved. The truth prevailed. God’s people prevailed. But how did they do it? Here’s how.
They kept their focus on Jesus.
- This is how they overcame the fear factor. They prayed for boldness to stand firm during persecution, Acts 4:29; 5:40-41.
- This is how they overcame the fake factor. The punishment that Ananias and Sapphira received was death. Discipline was given. It had an impact among the brethren, Acts 5:11. Discipline is necessary today. Being honest is still necessary today.
- This is how they overcame the fuss factor, Acts 6:1-6. The apostles were concerned about God’s work. They devised a plan to preserve unity. It worked!
- This is how they overcame the false factor. They stood on the apostles’ doctrine, Acts2:42. This must be our attitude. The devil never stops his attack toward God’s people, Luke 4:13. Therefore, we must always be on the defense.