Picture of Pastor Gettys

Sermon delivered January 28, 2006 by Pastor Donald J. Gettys

McDonald Road Seventh-day Adventist Church

McDonald, Tennessee

Biblical quotations are from the New International Version NIV unless otherwise noted. Divine pronouns and titles are capitalized.

Ditching the Devil

(RealAudio Version available)

A missionary returned to his home in Africa, only to find a huge python inside his home. He ran out of the house and got his 45- caliber pistol. Then he carefully entered his home, looking for the snake. And found the snake. He aimed and fired a single shot into the snake's head. It was a mortal blow, but the reptile did not die instantly. The missionary retreated from his house and he could hear the snake thrashing violently around. The tremendous power of the snake's movement broke and damaged many items within the home.

The house finally became silent. He slowly went in and found the snake dead. The interior of the home was a disaster. The snake had unleashed all its fury in those final moments of death. Satan received a fatal blow to his head (Genesis 3:15) when Christ conquered sin and death. In his last days he is writhing in the pain of his defeat. He is unleashing all his strength upon us. (Revelation 12:17)1

That's what's going on today. We are in a great controversy with the snake. Fortunately we have Jesus on our side. And today, let's focus on how to ditch the devil out of your life, out of your home. You don't do it with a forty-five. You might be just as zealous you can be, but I will tell you, that's not the way to do it.

1. DRIVE HIM OUT WITH JESUS' NAME. Luke 10:17. Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name. Jesus is a professional exterminator. Now, come over here to Philippians 2:9,10. Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name that is above every name, that in the name of Jesus every knee should bow. If the Devil has knees, then this includes him. The Devil must bow in humble submission at the name of Jesus. Ditch the devil by commanding him out in Jesus powerful name.

2. CUT HIM OUT OF YOUR THOUGHTS. You can do this. Whether you're a youngster or an oldster, don't think about the Devil. Don't dwell upon the Devil. That knowledge is not going to help you. If your thoughts dwell largely on the devil's distractions then he will take you captive.

Come over here to 1 Peter 5:8 (God's Word Translation). Keep your mind clear, and be alert. Your opponent the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion as he looks for someone to devour. The battle with our adversary is first fought in the mind. When Adam and Eve were in the Garden of Eden, Eve lost the battle with the snake before she ate the fruit. The battle was a battle of the mind. And today's media industry have provided the Devil with the greatest opportunity granted him since the days of Adam and Eve. Are you aware of that? Every time you turn on the television, every time you listen to that popular music the Devil is gaining. And he's gaining rapidly in his convert today. Did you know that there are more registered fortune- tellers in Germany than there are pastors? The Devil is gaining.

One day a young church member came to my office. He said, "I'm having trouble with the devil." I asked him, "What are you doing?" "I'm reading all sorts of books on the occult and new age movement and other non Christian religions." I advised him to get rid of those evil Devil inspired books and read his Bible. He continued to dwell on vile things. Today he is out of the church and a non Christian. That's where that will lead you. Get the Devil out of your thoughts.

Evil thinking actually invites the Devil to come in. An old Latin proverb says it this way: Talk of the devil and he'll appear. Eliminate him from the shelves of your mind. Tune Him out. The human mind can only think of one thing at a time. That is why cell phones are so dangerous to use when you are driving. You can only think of one thing at a time. You get involved in a big conversation on the cell phone and you're going to be in trouble. If you get involved with Jesus, you won't get involved with the Devil. You see how that works. So, avoid evil thoughts. Christ will not live in the parlor of your heart if you entertain the Devil in the cellar of our thoughts.

3. PRAY HIM OUT. That's one way to ditch the Devil. Prayer ejects the devil from your life. It creates an unhealthy atmosphere for him. When you pray a prayer of full belief you summon a higher power to assist you in your struggle with evil. James 2:19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the devils believe that and shudder. That's right. Satan trembles when he sees the weakest saint upon his knees in prayer to God.

One day the disciples were unable to cast out a demon from someone. Later they asked Jesus, "Why couldn't we do it?" They couldn't understand why. Jesus said in Matthew 17:21 Jesus told them the very reason that they couldn't ditch the Devil. Matthew 17:21. "But this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting." That's right; by prayer and fasting.

Fasting will starve him out. Fasting actually clears your mind to think more clearly. Effective prayer will drive him out. Fasting vacuums evil from your mind. So, pray the devil out of your life, your home and your kids

4. FORCE HIM OUT. It requires force sometimes. You may recognize that. You've got to try hard. The spiritual life is actually a battle over which you must put every effort to gain the victory. We are contestants in the great controversy. We must strive to overcome our greatest enemy, which is the Devil. Jesus put forth every effort to win the ultimate battle. Evict the Devil totally. But that requires effort. As long as we tolerate even the slightest sin and inconsistency in our life, the devil has a toehold.

I Peter 5:9. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.

I asked someone how to ditch the devil. They said: "Run fast." That's a bad idea. Actually this is not the way to escape the Devil. Let's suppose you are on the Appalachian Trail and you're walking along and you meet a skunk. He's headed toward you, backing up toward you with his tail up. Should you stand your ground? No! You need to run! But let's suppose you are on that same trail the next day and you meet a mountain lion, a cougar. What should you do? Run? No, if you run he'll come and get you. He will chase you and devour you for supper. You must stand still, pray and resist him if he attacks. Is the devil more like a skunk or a lion? He is a roaring lion seeking to attack you.

So how do you ditch the devil? Not by running. You want him to do the running. You see, you want him to do the running. You don't want to run; you want him to do the running. The devil has one good quality, he will flee if we resist him. Resist him for all you are worth. Look at James 4:7. . . . Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Resist means: Withstand, oppose, fend off, stand firm against, try hard, refuse his attacks, defy him, stand firm. Ephesians 6:12. Our struggle is against forces of evil. It is a struggle. You've got to put forth effort. You've got to try hard. Revelation 2:25. Hold Fast till I come. That requires effort: to hold fast. You've got to do that. Stand your ground. Don't give up. Hit him with everything you've got and he will always flee from you. How do you resist him? "God gives the talents, the powers of the mind; we form the character. It is formed by hard, stern battles with self. Conflict after conflict must be waged against the devil and against hereditary tendencies."2. Resist him!

5. CROWD HIM OUT. Have you ever been a landlord? It can be very hard to forcibly evict a tenant sometimes. I have heard all kinds of wild tales about rental homes being abused and royally messed up. The owners come in after it tenants leave and it's horrible, or they are still there and you can't get rid of them. Actually, each of us are all landlords! You might say, 'Well, I don't have any rental property.' Well, you are the landlord of your heart. Only you can prevent the Devil from making his permanent abode in your heart. Please know that the Devil will not pay you rent. He will extract all the good he can from you and when he finally does leave, he'll leave you in as bad a shape as he possibly can. You've got to ditch him by evicting him. How do you do that? Sometimes you can't evict, but you can crowd him out. Replace him with other things. And I would suggest replacing him with the Bible. Get the bible in your life. You have the right of emanate domain over the devil. Use it!

Replace the evil with good. Load up your life with good things. One of the finest things you can load up your life with is the Scriptures. Are you reading the Scriptures? I read several chapters this morning. I study the bible every day. I hope you do, too. Squeeze him out of your thoughts. Keep so busy with good things that you have no time for the Devil. Idle hands are the Devil's workshop. Keep busy with good things. Bring the Bible and Holy Spirit into your daily life. Memorize scripture. Thomas Cuthrie said, "The Bible is an armory of heavenly weapons, a laboratory of infallible medicines, a mine of exhaustless wealth."

The Bible will crowd out the devil, so saturate your life with the good from Scripture. Put into practice the things of God. Dwell on Jesus. Focus on Spiritual things and the things of this world will grow strangely dim.

A factory had to shut down when a vital machine broke down. An outside expert was called in. He looked the situation over for a couple of minutes and walked around. Finally he took hammer and hit the machine in a certain spot and it started running beautifully. When he submitted a bill for $100. The plant owner said, "I'm not going to pay it." The man said, "You will pay it." The owner said,, "Well, itemize that bill." So he got one: $1.00 for hitting machine; $99.00 for knowing where to hit. God uses His word to "hit" us where we need fixing. So, stand close to the hammer. Jesus is an expert about getting the devil out of the gears of your life.

One time Jesus was being tempted sorely by the devil. After forty days Jesus commanded the devil out. Jesus served papers on the Devil. Jesus drove the devil away with the sharp two edged sword called Scripture. Jesus used the pages of Scripture to add authority to this eviction. Matthew 4:10,11. Jesus said to him, "Away from Me, Satan! For it is written, 'Worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.'"

Then the Devil left Him, and angels came and attended Him.

You can ditch the devil the same way. Pack your mind with scripture. You think of good thoughts and those will crowd out the devil out of your life. Only when the prodigal son stopped thinking about his sin-filled life and replaced those thoughts with thoughts of his loving father did he come home.

The pages of the Bible are powerful. Hebrews 4:12. For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword., The sword you want to fight the devil with is the Bible. When we do wrong, the devil is tempting us; when we do nothing, we are tempting him. So crowd him out with the Bible.

6. SQUEEZE HIM OUT WITH JESUS. If Jesus is in your heart there is no room for the Devil. The Devil is automatically forced out. 1 John 3:8 He that does what is sinful is of the devil, because the Devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the Devil's work.

Jesus will destroy the works of the devil. So, you invite Jesus into your heart and you won't have the works of the devil in your life. That's simple, isn't it. The reason Satan lingers in many a heart is because he receives such a warm welcome. So, freeze him out. Give the Devil a cold shoulder and invite Jesus in. Someone said: Satan is too much of a gentleman to stay where he isn't wanted. But watch the door. He may come back. You may think you are through with the devil, but the devil is never through with you.

The simplest way to get rid of the Devil is to invite Jesus into your heart as a permanent resident. Crowd him out. The more of your time Jesus takes the less time there is for Satan. Jesus presence will destroy the works of the devil in your life. Two is a company and three is a crowd. Crowd the Devil out by inviting Jesus in. This will Force Him out.

7.- BLOCK HIM OUT. Put on the armor of God. Place a strong barrier or roadblock between you and the old devil. To use God's armor is like living in a strong fort. The devil can shoot all the arrows he wants at you but when you are inside God's armor you are fully protected.

Ephesians 6:11. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the Devil's schemes.

When should you put on the armor of God? Do it now, before the devil attacks. Deep in the Costa Rican jungle lives the small tomato frog. It is bright red like a ripe tomato. This small frog is deadly. When a predator comes the frog emits a deadly, milky white poison all over its skin. When the attacker tastes the poison it immediately spits the frog out of its mouth. Unfortunately, by the time the predator spits out the frog, the traumatized amphibian dies anyway.

The tomato frog's poison is very effective. The only problem is it's too late. Too many Christians suffer from the tomato frog's affliction. We put off our praying and our Bible study until after the devil attacks. We wait until after the devil's onslaught and after we have made a bad decision or broken a special relationship or committed a sin with long term consequences... after we have fallen deep into sin, then we suddenly remember to call on Jesus for help. Only after we have fallen do we remember the spiritual armor hanging in our closet at home. We rush to our dusty Bible and our neglected place of prayer. We should put on the armor before we are attacked. Wear it every day. Morning and evening worship is so vital.

You can ditch the devil. All of us can be more than conquerors through Jesus Christ Romans 8:37.

You can do that. The Bible says in Romans 8:37, No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. You can ditch the devil. You ditch the Devil out of your life and you will be a successful Christian, and God will bless you. So, let's dich him today and every day.


Endnotes:

1. When God Doesn't Make Sense, James Dobson, 1993, p. 194-195

2. Christ's Object Lessons, by EG White., p. 331.


 Hymn of Praise: #36,  O Thou in Whose Presence
Scripture: 1 John 3:7-8
Hymn of Response: #523,  My Faith Has Found a Resting Place
060128#150



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