How does Satan Attack?

There is a battle on-going even though the war has already been won. Sometimes we don’t even realize there is a battle – a struggle that we go through; it eludes us because it is under the spiritual realm.

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.  (Ephesians 6:12)

But take heart! The war has been won because of what Jesus has done on the cross!

Since there is a battle, we need to know how to engage it, how to plan for it and best of all, how to win it. Our enemy is Satan, but take note that when I refer to Satan I’m referring to his kingdom. When I say Satan, it includes all the demons working under him.

Let’s answer the question: how does Satan attack us? When we hear this question do we immediately imagine a person being possessed by a demon just like in the movie “The Exorcist”? Or do we see it as Satan capable of attacking us physically through a sickness? Or can it also be someone that Satan has deceived to attack us physically or emotionally?

These maybe some of the things that we might think of, but in essence Satan does not aim to attack us. Because when Satan attacks His aim is to attack God and not us. It is not about us but about God.  He wants to distort who God is. He doesn’t want God to be gloried and he will do everything he can to deceive us not to trust who God really is.

The Fall of Man.

Even, Serpent in the Middle and then Adam

Let’s look at the fall of man in Genesis 3. How did the serpent approach Adam and Eve.

Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” (Genesis 3:1)

The serpent did not approach Even by just telling her to eat of the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden. He first questioned what God really said to confuse Eve. And so the woman, who responded wrongly, added words to what God really said.

The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’” (Genesis 3:2-3)

Then the serpent cunningly tries to show that God might actually be trying to keep something good from them.

“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Genesis 3:4-5)

We know how this went. The Serpent was succeed in his plan. More so that Adam responded after the fall by blaming his wonderful God.

The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.” (Genesis 3:12)

Let those words echo in your ears: “The woman YOU put here with me.” Adam is now blaming God for giving him a helper. Adam was deceived to think that God is not a good God because He allowed this to happen. He wasn’t owning up to his decision but rather attack the image of God. Man fell and so, sin started.

Satan is very crafty. But we have to realize that the attack is not going against us but will always be against God. Even if Satan wants to attack us physically it is because he wants to hurt God knowing that He loves us so much and what Father would want his child to get hurt?

Counter it.

This reality should help us know how to be sensitive to his attack and counter it. He will always try to distort the wonderful character of God that’s why we need to be ready with truth of who God is. We must not forget what He did and we need to know what His word is saying about him. When Satan tries to make us worry by telling us lies that God doesn’t care for every need you have, you need to be ready to counter him with scriptures – your only weapon of attack. That’s why it’s really important to memorize verses and dig deep in his word. Because just like the Psalmist in Psalm 42.

Why, my soul, are you downcast?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.

When things get tough in our Christian Marathon we need to be able to put our faith in the right place. We need to be able to say I will not believe in those lies. I know my God and He is good! His word stays true and no matter the situation, I will trust who He is.

I leave you with this question: how well do you know God through His word that you are able to withstand the attacks of the evil?

My B1G8 Single’s Retreat Experience

B1G8 is definitely another retreat that I’ll include in my book of retreat memories. We have been praying for this singles retreat for months and I know there is no simple prayer for Him. It was truly a different experience. I was thinking about my first B1G retreat last year (B1G7) and was comparing it to B1G8. There were some things I missed from last year’s retreat, but there were also a lot of things I gained this year’s. For the first time, after all the retreats I have attended, I was not a facilitator but a retreat worker. I had a different role and responsibility – which was quite a challenge for me. But all the challenges I faced was nothing compared to how great our God is and how he can orchestrate everything.

We arrived at Hotel Stotsenberg Thursday (November 22, 2012) afternoon since we were part of the advance part for the south group. When I arrived at the main hall, I couldn’t believe how many seats there were and the number of singles we would be expecting.  Picture of Hotel Stotenberg's main hallI was so excited. I began imagining more than 900+ singles worshiping and getting to know God is love therefore He loves them.

On that day, we finalized the registration for Alabang and helped around fixing the materials that needed to be prepared before the retreat started. We know we can rest in Him but we also know that we needed our physical rest. We slept at around 1am since the next day was going to be a big day! It was the official start of the B1G8 retreat.

Day one: November 23, 2012. We woke up at 7am, had our breakfast and started fixing our booth for Alabang. Actually, it was already fixed by the St. Francis registration team (Thank you guys!) and we just posted our tarpaulin to promote our B1G Connect Service every Saturdays, 6pm at the 3rd Floor Multipurpose Hall CCF Alabang. We also did a couple of verifications plus changes in the facilitators kits. The Alabang buses arrived at around 10:30am and I started handing the kits to the facilitators. We had lunch and right after lunch, the first joint session started. But there was a problem, all the rooms assigned to the Alabang team cannot be used until 2pm. Everyone was requested to put their bags in Tipanan hall for the meantime and proceed with joint session. Along with this, the registration of the rooms had to be fixed. I was going back and forth the main hall and the lobby to talk to people and get the keys for all the rooms assigned to us. It was pretty tiring – I think I lost a couple of pounds from walking back and forth. But despite that minor setback, I was actually smiling deep inside. I loved what I was doing. There was such a love deep within my heart, which God has put, to serve the ministry no matter what.  It was really confirmed within my heart that this is where God has placed me, this is where He wants me to serve. I was so thankful to Him for giving me this opportunity to serve. This was one of my realizations for that day: I am privileged to take part in this ministry and serve Him because in reality I am not worthy of such responsibility. After the breakouts, we had dinner and then it was time to rest for me. Picture of friends in B1G8The team (Worship Ministry) God has entrusted me to lead, invited me to bond with them. I’m blessed to have this group of talented individuals. They are truly God’s gift to me. Day one was over in a flash. Whew! That was fast. I knew that the next day was to be another busy and yet fun day.

Day two: November 24, 2012. I couldn’t believe it. I slept at around 1am but I was able to wake up at 5:30am to prepare for the dawn watch. I’m not a morning person by the way and I usually wake up 9am during weekdays. But since I knew this only happens rarely, I relished the opportunity to wake up early and have devotion with God’s people.

B1G South Men during Dawn Watch

I just want to highlight three things from that eventful day:

  1. Pastor Nate’s message. Although, this was the second time I heard his message, it still penetrated my spirit that I felt compelled to write down the things that I needed to improve on. His message confirmed what God has been teaching me even before the retreat begun – It’s not about me but about him. There was still a lot of areas in my life that needed pruning. There was still a lot to change.
  2. Worship Night.I love worshiping God. Through all the songs that we sang, I just broke in tears seeing how good He has been in my life. In the middle of the worship night, we were asked to group ourselves together and pray for each other. I felt God asking me to gather my Dgroup and pray with them. I shared to them how thankful we must be for the 4 years God has been gracious to us and has allowed us to maintain our fellowship all through those years.Marc Sorongon's Dgroup
    Our prayers just focused on thanking him and worshiping him. Our Dgroup has grown so close over the years and I just want to give praise to God for allowing me to lead a group of such fine individuals. I have grown because of them and I am just in awe, as well, at how much they have grown in their relationship with God. To God really be the glory!
  3. Fellowship Night. I didn’t expect it. I already prepared myself not to expect seeing her. But was she really there? My eyesight isn’t that good plus it was dark but when I saw her –I started wondering if I might be looking at right person. I asked one of my Dgroup members to confirm if it was really her since he knew her – CONFIRMED! I wanted to catch a glimpse of her since I haven’t really been able to see her face, but we were all asked to be in the lobby for Tommy’s surprise since it was going to be his birthday in couple of minutes. We surprised Tommy in the lobby and it was such a sight to see B1G South together and united. After the surprise, I took the time to pray. I prayed a small prayer to God asking Him to grant me favour tonight. I was determined to approach her and talk to her. But when I came back she was no longer in the fellowship area. I actually went around the hotel a lot of times to look for her. It’s funny, because I was even looking for excuses to go around the hotel hoping that I might bump into her. I can’t count the many times I went around the hotel and the center garden, hoping to find her. What a great ending to a hopeful love story! I couldn’t understand it, I was merely hoping to see her again (after a year and in a B1G retreat again). But I was also asking was it really her? She wasn’t supposed to attend this retreat, right? Anyway, I leave it all in God’s hands. Again, I can’t understand it but He is in control of everything and has a great plan for me and her. I just pray for the best of what God has in store for her.

We slept at around 3am since my Dgroup and I spent hours bonding in our room. They were playing our favorite game called “Mafia” and they even  ordered food to eat. But I decided to rest after a long day of serving and after my tiring endeavor of going around the hotel just to see someone.

Day three: November 24, 2012. I woke up late but was still able to catch the team leaders’ breakfast together. I listened to Pastor Ricky’s message and it was so rich and full of life lessons. And then Francis shared to me one of his biggest take away from it:

Do you know why the net didn’t broke (John 21:11) when the disciples where hauling in their large catch?  It was because it was the Lord’s catch and not the disciples.

It was pretty timely as I prepared for the baptism session. It reminded me –It’s not about me but about him. The person that we will be baptizing is His catch and He alone is to be gloried! It was truly a great privilege to take part in the baptism. B1G8 Baptism PictureI saw individuals declaring their commitment and faith to Jesus Christ. I saw others crying way before it was their time to be baptized.  It was really an honor to be a part of it. I pray that those who have committed their lives will grow in their relationship with God and be used mightily by Him. After the baptism, I packed my things and went directly to the main hall to return all the keys for Alabang and join the closing ceremonies.

This is my longest entry so far and I think I need to cut it short. After the closing ceremonies, we had the traditional B1G picture, got on the buses and headed home. We arrived in Alabang at around 9pm.

B1G8 Picture of everyone

I can’t believe it’s over. After months of pushing for prayer and tireless preparations, the retreat has just ended. But I know what we have experienced shouldn’t end here.  God is always ready to bless us with his presence and love. This is why I continue to encourage everyone who attended the retreat to commit to attending Dgroups and joining big and small groups because it is through these that we continue to spur one another and continue to experience our own small B1G event. Our fire and zeal for God should not die down or stop. We should continue to grow and mature in our relationship with God and we need to do that together. We need one another. I do hope to see everyone in the B1G South’s reunion.

B1G South Reunion Cover Photo

To God be the glory always and forever!

Nehemiah 2 Sermon

What’s great about preaching is sometimes you think you are actually the one teaching when you’ve just realized that you are actually teaching yourself as you preached. There’s one thing that really caught my attention in my message yesterday in B1G South Connect. The truth – “It’s not about me but about God” – was really for me. I finished creating my message last Tuesday (November 13, 2012) and the few days remaining before my message yesterday was used to edit a few points and finalize my flow (yes, even my jokes 😉 ).

The slide “It’s not about me” was actually just inserted the same day I was speaking because I  clearly felt God wanted me say something about it – not knowing that it was really also for me. Clearly, there is more that I need to think about and digest when it comes to this truth.

I’ll start sharing my presentations from now on. I pray God speaks to you even as you just go through my slides. I wasn’t able to show the last 3 slides since my laptop lost its power during my preaching.  You may take a look at my slides below. This is my Nehemiah 2 sermon. I’m praying God will open your eyes and heart for you to understand it.

If you have any question then drop me a comment and I’m willing to answer it. God bless!