PROTECT YOUR HEART FROM THE DEVIL’S DEVICES

“From the Heart” teaching by Drs. Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne.

If you forgive anyone anything, I too forgive that one; and what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, has been for your sakes in the presence [and with the approval] of Christ (the Messiah), 11To keep Satan from getting the advantage over us; for we are not ignorant of his wiles and intentions.  2 Corinthians 2:10-11 AMP

The Lord knows us humans very well – inside and out. He knows what motivates us, what we need and what we want. He also knows the devil and how he operates. The devil hates God and he hates man – God’s crowning creation. He has figured out how to deceive man, how to divide man, and how to control him through fear, lust and selfishness. The Word will protect you from the devil and his devices if you will put the Word in your heart. If you know the devil’s devices – his wiles and intentions – it will not be so easy for him to get an advantage over you.

Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. 4 But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected, 5 “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.” 6 He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.  John 12:3-6 NIV

14 Then one of the Twelve-the one called Judas Iscariot-went to the chief priests 15 and asked, “What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?” So they counted out for him thirty silver coins. 16 From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over. Matthew 26:14-16 NIV

Judas Iscariot was Jesus’ treasurer – he was in charge of the money that belonged to Jesus and the disciples. The only problem is that he was also covetous and a thief – he was stealing from the bag. He thought that he was in charge of the money, but he forgot that it wasn’t his money, it was Jesus’ money. He thought that he was controlling the money, but it was controlling him. Judas did not really care about the poor – because he loved money more than God, he gave the devil access to his life – to deceive him and to control him. Judas and the devil were offended when the woman anointed Jesus with the whole pint of valuable perfume. He was so mad that he walked right out and cut a deal with the chief priests to betray Jesus. He was blinded by the devil and blinded by greed.

Jesus knew that one of His disciples would betray Him and He told them so. When they asked who it was, Jesus answered, “It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.” Then, dipping the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, son of Simon. 27 As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him. “What you are about to do, do quickly,” Jesus told him, 28 but no one at the meal understood why Jesus said this to him. 29 Since Judas had charge of the money, some thought Jesus was telling him to buy what was needed for the Feast, or to give something to the poor. 30 As soon as Judas had taken the bread, he went out. And it was night.  (John 13:26-30 NIV)

Even though Jesus knew what Judas was up to and He even told Judas that He knew that he would betray Him, Judas still went ahead with it. He was so blinded by the devil that he could not see what he was doing – betraying Jesus – an innocent Man. There are many wrong choices that people make that open themselves up to be deceived by the devil and manipulated by him to destroy others and themselves. God wants us to love one another in order to preserve us and protect us, but the devil wants us to turn on each other and to destroy each other and ourselves. When people are sinning, their heart condemns them. If they won’t repent and change, they must shut off their conscience and find fault with the people who convict them. When someone is sinning, they are jealous of those who are obedient and who have found favor with God – like Cain and Abel. Whatever was motivating Judas, whether it was greed or jealousy, he was wrong and he made a wrong choice to betray Jesus.

While he was still speaking a crowd came up, and the man who was called Judas, one of the twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss him,   48 but Jesus asked him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?”  Luke 22:47-48 NIV

Early in the morning, all the chief priests and the elders of the people came to the decision to put Jesus to death. 2 They bound him, led him away and handed him over to Pilate, the governor. 3 When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty silver coins to the chief priests and the elders. 4 “I have sinned,” he said, “for I have betrayed innocent blood.” “What is that to us?” they replied. “That’s your responsibility.” 5 So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself.  Matthew 27:1-5 NIV

Once the devil had used Judas for his purposes, he did not need him anymore and so he did not care that Judas’ eyes were open and he could see what a terrible thing he had done. Judas was so devastated that he took his own life. If only he had not opened the door to the devil, the devil would not have been able to deceive him and he would not have ended up killing himself instead of being part of changing the world with the other disciples. Don’t give the devil access to your life through lies and sin. Protect your heart and you will protect your life.