The Verbs #7 (Dressed for Success)

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Proverbs 7 is quite a chapter. Up to this point, most of the Proverbs have related to two main topics: wisdom and women. Solomon is speaking and giving instruction to run towards wisdom, but to flee from the evil woman. He is writing these proverbs to his son imploring him to flee from the woman who is out to destroy him; however, the point is applicable to us all.

Solomon is talking about running from temptation. Specifically, here in Chapter 7, he speaks about a woman who was dressed to seduce. She was dressed and properly positioned for success in capturing the young man in her snare.

Throughout this chapter, the woman appeals to the young man in seven different ways.

This woman was positioned on the corner. It wasn’t that her house was on the corner; that is where she positioned herself to seduce the man. Maybe you’ve heard the old saying, “trouble came looking for you”. That’s what we have in this Proverb. It is what happens to us if we are not vigilant in keeping ourselves pure before God, and staying in tune with what the enemy of our soul is attempting to do to us. We will succumb to this attack.

You can describe the devil as cunning, shrewd and even brilliant in his attacks on you. He properly positions himself to lay a trap for you. The Bible tells us that he is extremely crafty. The Bible also uses a snake as an imagery of Satan. Snakes do not blink because they do not have eyelids. Their eyes are always open, so they are always watching, on the prowl and ready for the attack! Your enemy is on the lookout, or shall I say he’s standing on the corner, looking out for you.  He never stops, he never rests and he’s extremely patient. Peter warned us about Satan’s prowling ways that we are to be sober-minded, watchful because our adversary prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”

We all have this mental picture of the enemy of our soul. We have the comic book or the Hollywood version played out in our minds time and time again. He is this ghoulish looking enemy, but he was the shining light. II Corinthians 11:14 tells us that he “disguises himself as an angel of light”. He appears as something that can look good and trustworthy.  The story we find in Genesis 3 tells us that the devil understands how to dress for success. He disguised himself in a manner that Eve would not question or have any reason to mistrust. At this point in history, there was no fear of animals or nature, so for her to approach a snake wasn’t out of the ordinary. The devil used something, that at first glance, wouldn’t cause alarm.

In sports, teams use their practice time studying and preparing how to attack the weaknesses of their opponent. The enemy of your soul does the exact same thing. He studies, he listens and prepares an attack that can exploit you and that catches you off guard! He’s just waiting on you to walk by the corner where he has laid his trap.

So many will say, “I am strong enough to ward off the attacks of the enemy.” Let me shed some light on that argument. The Bible describes four men who were extremely powerful and gifted leaders, some had great anointing on their lives. One, from his mother’s womb was to be a Nazarite. These great and powerful men fell by way of the woman. Samson, David, Solomon and Herod all fell through the snare of a woman. Samson was one of the strongest men who ever lived, yet succumbed to the temptation of a woman. David was one of the greatest songwriters and kings who ever lived, but was tripped up by noticing Bathsheba. Solomon, the wisest of all until Jesus, couldn’t pass the test. Herod, doing all that he could to stay in power, let a dance of a little girl and the request of her mother, bring him to a decision to kill John the Baptist. Still think you are strong enough to continually pass by the corner and remain unmoved? Only by the help of the Holy Spirit can you withstand the attacks of the enemy upon your life.

The Holy Spirit is the mechanism by which we can know where, how and when the attack will come. Paul stated to the church at Corinth that we are not to be ignorant of his devices. Meaning we are to be aware of how the devil works so that we can always have the advantage on him.

A few years ago, I preached a message about the times in which the enemy would launch an attack or lay a trap for you. He rarely will come at you with a full-frontal assault. It is usually a glancing blow that gets you out of balance, and then he goes for the haymaker. Here are five opportune times the enemy will launch an attack: (You can request the notes from the full sermon.)

1. Right after a spiritual victory (Victories often lead to defeat!)
2. When you’re alone (There is a big difference in being lonely and isolated, versus solitude!)
3. When you are physically drained (I could add when you are emotionally and spiritually drained!)
4. When you’re at church (C’mon, you’ve been there and done this one too!)
5. When you begin something new for God (Like a fast!)

Look at the wording here of this scripture:

13 Now when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from Him until an opportune time.
The New King James Version. (1982). (Lk 4:13). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

He tempted but didn’t fulfill his desire of making Jesus fail, so he departed until a more opportune time. Jesus wasn’t fooled by the disguises or temptations, nor was He ignorant of the basis of the attack. Why? He knew the Word! Just as the devil can dress for success, so can you, by putting on the whole armor of God.

Further study:

Ephesians 6Matthew 4Luke 3
Judges 16:4-21Luke 4:1Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
II Samuel 11 and 12Genesis 2:18Mark 14:38
I Kings 11 Luke 4:14-15Nehemiah 13:26

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