In Your Bible Read This Out Loud: Matthew 26:14-16.
Memorise This Verse: Acts 5:3
Afterwards Talk About This: How can we shield ourselves from the devil’s financial snares.
Something To Do Before Next Time: Pray that God would lead you away from the devil’s financial temptations.
Written Diploma Work: Write one side on the ways in which the devil uses money to attack the people of God.
Meditate Word By Word On This Verse: Mark 4:19
This chapter will consider the area of finances in the context of spiritual warfare such that it will be revealed how to wage a good warfare in our finances and defeat the devil.
Money is without doubt a major battlefield between the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Darkness on both a personal level and a corporate level because a Christian, and ultimately a church, without money will be hampered in their ability to undertake the Great Commission. Moreover, the devil will use money as a temptation to put before the people of God and will set it as a snare to catch the people of God. This particular section will take a biblical survey of the devil using money as a major weapon against the people of God money is like a double-edged sword that we can either use or be used against us – as we walk in righteousness in our finances we can grasp the sword and slay our enemies with it.
In Mark 4:1-20, Jesus tells the parable of the sower which he declares was the most important of all his parables as he says in verse 13, ‘Don’t you understand this parable?
How then will you understand any parable’. Jesus declares that the devil will attack the word of God that has been sown in our hearts and below are listed the devices that Jesus said the devil will use. Notice how two of the weapons of the devil are the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things (notice that the word desires i.e. plural, is used)
- Worries of this life
- The deceitfulness of wealth
- Desires for other things
The bible also gives further examples of specific people who not only were attacked by Satan but the specific weapon that the devil used against them was money. The first example is that of Judas Iscariot – that he was attacked of Satan there is no doubt as John 13:2 says, ‘The evening meal was being served and the devil has already prompted Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, to betray Jesus’.
Moreover the method by which the devil prompted Judas to betray Jesus was money the scripture below is Matthew 26:14 and it shows how Judas was prepared to betray the Son of God for money. Despite walking with Jesus for 3 years and seeing him perform healings, miracles and deliverances, the devil offered Judas money and he sadly turned his back on Jesus and eventually betrayed him.
Then one of the Twelve – the one called Judas Iscariot – went to the chief priests 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. From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over’.
The next biblical example of people who were attacked by Satan in the area of money is the story of Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5:1. The newly birthed triumphant church of the Lord Jesus Christ was filled with the unstoppable glory of Holy Spirit who was firmly in control of the corporate operation of the believers. Consequently, the devil needed to invade this atmosphere with sin and unrighteousness and his number one method of attack was money – it was simply too much of a temptation to Ananias and Sapphira and the devil was able to gain a foothold.
That Satan tempted Ananias and Sapphira there again can be no doubt as Peter asks, ‘Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit?’. The couple lie about how much money they received from the sale of their land and the result is financial unrighteousness, sin and ultimately the death of both Ananias and Sapphira – clearly the devil used money to score a direct hit against the glorious early church.
As we read on in the book of Acts we come across the next example of the devil using money to tempt the people of God and that is the story of Simon the Sorcerer as related in Acts 8:9 -25. Certainly Simon was under the influence of Satan as not only did he practise magic arts and Sorcery but he also received worship from people and was referred to as the ‘Great Power’.
When he sees Peter releasing the power of Holy Spirit into people’s lives he is motivated by wickedness to tempt Peter by offering him money to literally buy the gift of God from Peter. Thankfully Peter refuses this temptation but it is likely that had Satan been successful in tempting Peter through Simon’s offer then the effect on the church would have been as great as when Ananias and Sapphira fell to his earlier temptation.
Finally, Paul’s first letter to Timothy provides a further example of the battlefield that exists in finances between the devil and the people of God – in particular we can see this in 1 Timothy 5:6-9. Below is listed what happens when someone is tempted and puts their greed and love of money before their walk with God – does not the bible list many warnings from this very short passage about the need to master our finances?
In particular the scripture likens money to a trap which ensnares the people of God – clearly the devil has set many financial traps and we have seen how he caught Judas, Ananias, Sapphira and Simon the Sorcerer. Unless you handle your finances very carefully, you too will be trapped by the devil.
- ‘Fall into temptation’
‘And a trap’
‘Many foolish and harmful desires’
‘Plunge men into ruin and destruction’
‘Wandered from the faith’
‘Pierced themselves with many griefs’.
A House of Prayer for the Poorer Nations
Pray for Iraq
23,114,884 people, 96% Muslim
War and political isolation are opening Iraq up to the good news of Jesus.
This study contains the personal beliefs and practices of of the author who recommends them to the reader. The author takes no credit for their success where applied and likewise takes no responsibility for any failure or disappointment.
The House of Prayer for the Poorer Nations at the end of each section is based on Operation World 21st Century Edition © Patrick Johnstone, Jason Mandryk. Published by Paternoster. All scriptures are NIV © Hodder & Stoughton.