GOOD GOD – BAD DEVIL
If I was the devil, how would I take you out?
We’ve all heard the phrase, ‘The devil made me do it.’ I suggest the devil can’t ‘make’ us do anything. However, just as God has a plan for our lives, so does our spiritual enemy. At a minimum, his goal is to make our lives far less than God’s intent, and at most, to keep us from experiencing a life-changing, eternal relationship with Jesus.
I find it interesting that talking about a good God is more readily embraced than the conversation about a bad devil. An honest reading of Scripture reveals there’s more to this life than what we see. A cosmic battle between good and evil saturates its pages. Denying we have a spiritual enemy doesn’t change the reality of his existence.
Speaking to some who wanted to kill Jesus, he says, ‘You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.’ – John 8:44
1 Peter 5:8 also warns us, ‘Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.’
Addressing the church in Thessalonica, Paul writes, ‘I was afraid that in some way the tempter had tempted you and that our labors might have been in vain.’ – 1 Thessalonians 3:5
Several times in the Bible, we see that the devil, Satan, lies, deceives, tempts, accuses, even desires to steal, kill, and destroy.
If the Bible is true, our spiritual enemy is real.
Just as true is Romans 8:31, ‘If God is for us, who can be against us?’ And, James 4:7, ‘Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.’ And, Romans 16:20, ‘The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.’
We need not fear our spiritual foe. The devil isn’t behind every bush, and he’s not the source of everything wrong in the world. However, we do need to be aware of how he works. 2 Corinthians 2:11 reminds us, ‘…in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.’
Back to my creepy question, ‘If I was the devil, how would I take you out?’
Where are you vulnerable? Where in your life is the door left unlocked? We all have propensities toward compromise. What’s yours?
Share them with a friend; someone who cares about you and who invests in your well-being. Walk in humility with someone you trust. Be open, honest, and vulnerable. As cliche as it sounds, it’s accurate and powerful – what we hide grows, what we expose (confess) begins to die.
Our spiritual enemy feeds on our secrets. Jesus frees us from our secrets. He says, ‘If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’ – John 8:31-32
God is good, and the devil is bad. Deep theology? Maybe not. Good to know? Definitely.