Only one adequate plan has ever appeared in the world, and that is the Christian dispensation.
John Jay - First US Supreme Court Chief Justice
Wednesday's Word: The Devil, Part One

Wednesday's Word

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Tuesday, October 18, 2016

The Devil, Part One



“The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was to convince the world he didn't exist.”
          ~ "Verbal" Kint The Usual Suspects

What’s the first thing that comes to your mind where you hear “the Devil”? Is it the scary image of the red guy with pointy ears, horns and goatee? Is it that overwhelming sense of pure evil? Or is it not much of anything at all? Well here’s news for you: If any of those thoughts are YOUR thoughts, then the devil's deception is already at work in your mind….and he's patiently waiting to gain more ground. Most people don’t talk about the devil except for in very non-committal ways. Ways that neither validate the reality of who he is, nor the proper theological position of who we are in reference to him.

Why is that? In some ways I think that WE think talking about him gives him power, but as soon as you say that out loud it makes much less sense than it did when it was a mere thought.

My assumption is that we should be talking about the devil more since Scripture assumes that we are to have a well comprised understanding of him and his tactics. This is why this post is titled, The Devil, Part One. I fully expect that as time goes on, I’ll revisit the discussion to elaborate more. I pray that The Spirit lead me in this effort.

I mean, just think about it: It’s football season and for the most part, if you name 2 teams that will be playing each other, there’s more than a few people that can give you a rundown on the possibilities of the outcome based on who has the stronger or weaker defense or offence, including key players that will need to perform well…or even those who’s injured absence will probably factor in.

As a youth leader, I always tried to clear up misconceptions about our enemy “called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world (Rev 12: 9)”. It made sense to me that parents didn’t want their kids scared of the devil so they portrayed him (to a child’s mind) to be stupid, a loser, and a bunch of other ‘non-scary’ stuff. However, as we grow into maturity, there’s much re-learning to do. If you consider the Trinity as ONE being (consisting of 3 persons), then Satan is the second smartest being in existence and his tenacity is not to be considered something insignificant or to be trifled with: It doesn’t cost him anything to throw everything at you everyday. Other misconceptions about the devil is the pic of Satan in an arm wrestling match with Jesus - He's not the embodiment of evil in some equally opposing way to the Goodness of God and he's most certainly not 'in charge' of Hell. Hell is not a pleasant eventuality for the devil. But when you strip away all of that "Hollywood" - The Bible never softens the idea of who the devil is, never makes light of his intentions, never pacifies us as being ‘off limits’ to his efforts.

Here’s The Word;

1 Peter 5:8 -9(a) Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith,

The devil is the consummate deceiver. Some could make the case that he’s had thousands of years to learn us and get better at doing what he does. However, I wouldn’t discount his abilities as such. On his first encounter with Adam and Eve, I don’t think he’s had to improve (much, if at all) to be as effective against us as he was with them. We simply have to understand his tactics of deceit and our response of resistance. In being sober and vigilant, we have to continually ‘test the spirits’, question ourselves about the “truth” we seek, expose and validate our motives, ask God to reveal and uncover deception and to give us ever-increasing faith to resist and stand strong.

James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

Don’t be afraid to talk about the devil, or mention his name – odds are, you’re on his mind much more than you realize and although it’s not a reason for fear or apprehension, we are commanded to know him and what it means to resist his subtle, yet enticing strategies.


In Him,
Cros

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