Don't Compromise With the Devil
July 1, 2001
by Greg Laurie
Do you remember the day it dawned on you that there is a God who loves you? When the Gospel suddenly came into focus, and you put your faith in Jesus Christ? When you took the plunge and believed? I hope you weren't expecting a standing ovation in hell.
The devil is not happy about your becoming a Christian; he has lost you. Satan's goal now is to keep you from moving forward spiritually. Hence, the spiritual battle begins. The Bible tells us that we are not wrestling against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers and spiritual might in the heavenly places.(1)
Satan knows that he cannot overpower God. He knows that he needs to lure you out on your own. One of his most effective strategies is to try to neutralize you spiritually through the subtle trap of compromise. He will try to take you one bite at a time.
This is illustrated in the story of Moses and his confrontation with Pharaoh over the deliverance of the Israelites from the land of Egypt. God had made it clear that Moses was to go into Pharaoh's court and demand the complete release of the Israelites.(2) God told Moses that He would confirm His word with dramatic miracles to prove to Pharaoh that Moses was indeed sent by God.(3)
The Bible says that Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and told him, "Thus says the Lord God of Israel: 'Let My people go, that they may hold a feast to Me in the wilderness.' "(4) Pharaoh answered, "Who is the Lord, that I should obey His voice to let Israel go? I do not know the Lord, nor will I let Israel go."(5)
Moses and Aaron had already met with the leaders of Israel and told them of their mission to Pharaoh's court, and the leaders believed that Moses and Aaron had been sent by God to deliver the Israelites from the Egyptians.(6) But when Pharaoh refused to let the Israelites go, the people of Israel turned against Moses.(7)
Moses reacted in the right way. He turned to God. And God told Moses to go back and again tell Pharaoh to let the people go.(8)
So Moses and Aaron returned to the court of Pharaoh, with Aaron to be Moses' spokesman. It was time to pull out the big guns; it was miracle time: "Aaron cast down his rod before Pharaoh and before his servants, and it became a serpent. But Pharaoh also called the wise men and the sorcerers; so the magicians of Egypt, they also did in like manner with their enchantments. For every man threw down his rod, and they became serpents. But Aaron's rod swallowed up their rods. And Pharaoh's heart grew hard, and he did not heed them, as the Lord had said."(9)
Then, to bring Pharaoh to his senses, God sent a series of plagues upon Egypt. First, all the water in the river turned to blood,(10) and Pharaoh's heart grew hard. Then frogs filled the land,(11) and other plagues followed.
But Pharaoh didn't give up—he changed his strategy. This brings us to the theme of compromise. Pharaoh tried to bring Moses down through compromise, just as the devil tries to bring us down through compromise.
Pharaoh told Moses, "If you have to worship your God and offer a sacrifice, go and do it in the land."(12)
Moses replied, "We can't do that. If the Egyptians see us offering a sacrifice to God, they will kill us. We'll go into the wilderness."(13)
"OK," Pharaoh said. "I'll let you go, but don't go very far."(14)
Notice the pattern here. It is the anatomy of a compromise. Satan will give a small concession. He knows that you won't listen to such an obvious temptation as, "Hey, you, happy Christian—why don't you blow your brains out tonight?" or, "Why don't you abandon your spouse and do whatever you want?"
But Satan will come and say, "Go ahead ... just a little bit won't hurt you." He will say, "What's wrong with doing it?" He will urge, "Come on—you can do it. The ends justify the means. It won't hurt anybody."
These are the kinds of thoughts that we get, and we give in, saying, "I guess it isn't so bad." We rationalize that it's just a little thing. But little things turn into big things.
If you are in a lifestyle that you know is a compromise, stop being in that lifestyle"
Look at any time in your life when you have sinned. If you trace your steps back to the beginning, you will find that it started with a little compromise.
That is what Pharaoh tried to do with Moses. He didn't tell Moses his endgame. He tried to make Moses compromise.
I have seen this ploy played out. Christians may not find others in the church to date. So they start looking in the world. They date nonbelievers, thinking, "I will win him or her to Christ." Famous last words.
That is what Satan is trying to make you do. Satan will say, "If you have to be a Christian, go ahead; but it is still OK to have a little fun and dabble in the world."
Pharaoh tried this ploy with Moses, but Moses refused to compromise. More plagues came: Pestilence on the livestock,(15) boils on people and on animals,(16) severe hail on everyone and on animals.(17)
Pharaoh was cracking. Moses and Aaron were brought before Pharaoh again, and he told them that they could go. So Moses went to God and God stopped the hail and rain. But Pharoah returned to sin and his heart grew hard.(18) Then God sent a plague of locusts(19) and a plague of darkness.(20)
Pharaoh may have realized that he didn't have many options left. He called Moses to him and said, "Go, serve the Lord; only let your flocks and your herds be kept back. Let your little ones also go with you."(21)
Moses might have said, "Let's go. We're out of here! Who cares about the animals?" But Moses said—and I love his answer: "Not a hoof shall be left behind."(22)
Moses was saying to Pharaoh: "You don't get anything."
The point is this: Don't work out deals with the devil.
Whatever your deal is with the devil, it ultimately leads to your undoing. Satan may say to you, "You can believe in Jesus and go to church and read the Bible, but let me have this one little area of your life." You need to say, as Moses did, "Not a hoof shall be left behind."(22) You need to say, "You don't get anything. I give you nothing."
Make a clean break. Maybe you have gotten yourself into a compromised state, and you are in it right now. You need to change it. If you are in a situation you should not be in, get out of it. If you are in a lifestyle that you know is a compromise, stop being in that lifestyle. Repent. Make a break. No more deals with the devil. No more compromises. No more small things. Say, as Moses did: "Not a hoof shall be left behind."(22)