Here is a proven fact that can first scare you, then wake you up, then bring you to God and God’s Word, which can then excite and empower you: When a school is committed to being biblically sound, Satan will attack, and try to get that school away from biblical soundness.
A wolf does not attack painted sheep. If “____Christian School” is on the building or sign, but very little inside resembles true Christianity (the school is a Christian school in name only), the enemy will spend very little time or effort on that school. But if the school holds true to God’s principles, and Jesus is the school’s authority, then it had better prepare for battle. That true “Christian” school will be attacked, or may already be in the midst of one or more. A true Christian school is a battlefield, not easy street. According to Warren Wiersbe: “The Christian life is not a playground; it is a battle ground.” Since a true Christian school is training Christians to live a life of service to Christ, and to glorify Him, battles come with the turf.
Battles are inevitable, some are evident, and some are not so evident. Some Christian schools recognize them quickly, some do not. Some schools have won battles, some have been lost. However, there is good news: as long as you are alive, you can always win back any territory you may have lost in a battle with Satan. Jesus Christ is a winner, and He is an overcomer (John 16:33). He defeated Satan’s ultimate claim of victory: death, and will defeat Satan in the end. Jesus said He will always be with you, and He can give you strength. With Him on your side, who can be against you?! (Romans 8:31)
How to be Strong
Paul says in 2 Timothy 3:12 that all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. Attacks from the enemy will come. Count on it. Many attacks will be hard to recognize, partly because no one will show up in a “red devil suit” or carry a sign announcing the attack, and partly because Satan is crafty, deceptive, and can make lies believable. This blog will help you recognize these attacks in the next few posts, but first lets look at what Paul continues to say in verse 13 of the 2 Timothy 3 passage: “evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.”Christian schools should prepare for those people, by being discerning, and not being deceived.
Be armed for the attack prior to the attack (see the whole armor of God in Ephesians 6). Paul goes on in verse 14 to say: “But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of…” He says not to waver from what you know as the truth, (your biblical knowledge) don’t be led astray from God’s word, and continue in Gods word. One can be strong, and not waver, when one knows God’s word, and continues to read and study it.
Take a good look at Ephesians 6:10-20 where Paul tells us we are in a battle with an enemy of God and godly principles: “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”
Paul starts out in verse 10 by ordering us to “be strong”. That is great news! We CAN be strong enough to win against the attacks of the devil. When Joshua took over for Moses, he was told by God several times in Joshua 1 to be strong and of good courage, because God was with him. God is with us too.
- We gain strength when we read God’s word, and seek Him.
- We gain strength by trusting Him.
- We gain strength from confidence in Him, the overcomer, who loves us and wants us to defeat Satan.
- We gain strength knowing Jesus is with us always.
- We gain strength by putting on the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6:11)
- We are strong when we are like Jesus.
- We are strong when we are confident in His word, and His promises.
- We are strong when we remember how He strengthened us and was victorious in prior attacks.
The hard part generally is recognizing those attacks, or the “wiles of the devil”. After all, Satan is the great deceiver, and it takes great discernment, and great knowledge of God’s Word to be able to recognize his attacks.
In the banking business, bank tellers are trained to recognize counterfeit money by intently studying REAL money. Once they know what the real thing looks like, it is easy to spot the counterfeit. That is a great analogy explaining why we are to study the Word of God. We will be able to recognize what is fake, even if it is just a few words that are not right.
A sound Christian school can recognize the attacks of the enemy. Discernment is the key to do so, and so is understanding how the enemy operates so you can, as Paul says in Ephesians 6:11 “that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil”. Attacks can come in several forms and from many angles in a Christian school, but typically the enemy will use the same tactics that has worked for him all through human history. Satan will try to cause doubt in what God says. “Did God really say…”, or “The Bible is antiquated and not relevant to our society today…”, or “Surely a loving God wouldn’t…”, or even “The Bible is too rigid, too offensive, we don’t want to offend or scare away people…” In schools, one may hear variations of those, as well as people wanting you to “Expand your horizons. The Bible is just one book or idea.”, or “The Bible is not a science textbook, science disagrees with the Bible”, etc.
I would encourage you to be a “Berean”, (Acts 17:11) which is a person who studies the Scripture to see of something is true. When you know truth, you will be able to spot error.
Sound Christian schools, (including the leadership and staff) must be strong in God’s word, to be able to recognize the “wiles of the devil”.
Copyright 2012, Kevin Brownlee