Willie Pollock - Satan's Devices - DownPatrick Convention - 1975

"For I fear lest Satan should get an advantage over you for we are not ignorant of his devices."  We cannot share if we don't have. What we have is our own through God, what has been our own experience. If we are to understand the work of God we must understand the work of the devil, which is trying to undermine God's work. Deceit is the devil's method - in everything he uses deceit, even when he wants us to think it is God's voice when it is his. The devil will buffet us, especially in lonely hours, he'll buffet the faithful more - sometimes he can say, "I left him or her feeling they are not right." He makes the righteous feel they're not right and he makes the unrighteous feel they're right.

He comes into the Sunday a.m. meeting and he speaks in every meeting. The devil is a spirit and sits in our minds. He is trying to hinder, do we really know his devices? Satan comes along with us to the meeting; he is trying to sow discord. Some little word may be said on the journey; it upsets us and puts us in the wrong spirit so that in the meetings we won't get help. His job is to oppose, to take away, and to distract. When people leave convention, he goes with them; sometimes people, before they reach home are arguing and insulting each other and God's blessing is hindered.

Satan uses discouragement, hopelessness more than anything else to hinder God's people. Encouragement is of God; discouragement is of the devil. When discouraging thoughts come, remind ourselves they are of the devil. We all need encouragement, just to keep on going, and keep on doing what we have done. Discouragement leads to self-pity. Peter encouraged Jesus to pity Thyself - the One who had before this taught 'deny thyself.' If you pity yourself, you will spare yourself.

These days we are looking at life through the telescope of faith. Too often we look through the microscope of imagination. Things look worse at night time. When we dwell on a thought, it gets bigger and bigger, and we soon have a big case made up for ourselves or somebody else. Self-pity leads on to negligence. "I'll not pray today because I'm discouraged, I'll not write letters today because I don't feel like it, I'll not read the Bible today because I'm not able, I won't go to the meeting today because I'm not well, I've got nothing to say, I might as well stay at home and do something at home." The creeping sin of negligence comes in through discouragement. Diligence is the device of God; negligence is the device of the devil. Negligence will stunt our growth; it will put us in reverse gear. Faith is of God, doubts are of the devil. Without faith it is impossible to please God.

Did we ever doubt our beginning? Did we ever doubt God's word or God's way? Contradiction is the device of the devil. It's bad enough when the children disobey their parents, but worse when they contradict them, next comes hardness of heart, this is of the devil. Tenderness of heart belongs to God. Don't give place to the devil. What is anger today will be spite tomorrow. Hardness of heart leads on to separation. Any thought of not going on is a device of the devil; it gives us no rest or peace. Jesus was tempted alone. There are many battles no one can help us in, but God.