In most cases Satan does not come out boldly to entice followers of Christ to commit sin. He knows it is not their nature. Instead, he uses subtle ways to make sin look less sinful. It is called compromise. It is a spirit. It is a very effective satanic strategy to put saints in bondage.
As children of God we are commanded to overcome the principles of the world by not being conformed to the cosmic system of life. One of the principles of the world currently ravaging the Christian community is compromise. “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (Rom 12:2)
Conformity to This World
The world is structured in such a way that everything is done in direct opposition to God. The world’s plans and purposes are contrary to the plans and purposes of God. What the world expects is adherence to its modes and ways of doing things. Where that fails then half-obedience is acceptable.
The Spirit of Compromise
Four compromises were offered by Pharaoh to Moses on the command to let the people of Israel go from Egypt. The standard of God is “… to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?”
Egypt is a type of the world. Pharaoh is a type of Satan. What would have happened if Moses had compromised? The deliverance of the Jews from Egyptian bondage would have suffered a setback.
In their march to freedom, Israel was told to utterly destroy those occupying the Promised Land. The people of Gibeon deceived Joshua and the Elders of Israel. Although ‘Joshua made them woodcutters and water carriers for the congregation and for the altar of the Lord’ the commandment of the Lord had been breached.
Saul the first king of Israel was commanded by God to “… go and attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and do not spare them. But kill both man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey … but Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the sheep, the oxen, the fatlings, the lambs, and all that was good, and were unwilling to utterly destroy them. But everything despised and worthless, that they utterly destroyed.” That compromise was the beginning of the downfall of King Saul.
The spirit of compromise is harnessed by half-obedience or outright rejection of truth in order to achieve an objective which is intended to be pleasing to God. Half-obedience is not obedience at all. God takes delight more in obedience than in sacrifices. In this connection, the most effective weapons used by Satan to derail heaven-bound pilgrims are Ignorance, Gradualism and Repetition.
Ignorance is a terrible disease. Knowledge is power. It is not easy to put an educated man under bondage. It is not easy to make a person in whom the word of God dwells richly to compromise the tenets of Christian pilgrimage. Wisdom is profitable to direct. Get wisdom get understanding and refuse to be deformed for lack of knowledge.
Gradualism is the principle of one step at a time. The first step may be imperceptible. Diligent application of pressure leads to the second step.
Many people have committed avoidable sins due to peer pressure. Heinous infractions of God’s law sometimes take a long time to mature. You can never be addicted to street drugs if you refuse to take it the first time it is offered to you.
Repetition is the principle that it is easier to repeat a sinful act than get involved in it the first time. A Christian does not have the habit of committing sin, but once he falls into it, and does nothing quickly to achieve restoration he or she can easily fall into the same sin again and again.
The spirit of repetition will then begin to harden the heart over that particular sin until it becomes customary to think and act that way. Soon it becomes normative and strenuous effort is applied to justify it.
Apostle Paul’s prayer for the Ephesian church is relevant for us today:
17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him,
18 the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,
19 and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power
20 which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places,
21 far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. (NKJV)
Receive wisdom to overcome the satanic strategy of compromise that is fostered by ignorance, gradualism and repetition.