Thoughts On Satan
Thoughts On Satan
Once upon a time, Satan got scared. Jesus had lived and died and been resurrected and people were flocking to Him like crazy. They were spending time with other Christians, consistently worshiping God, constantly listening to or reading God’s Word and praying without ceasing. And Satan was afraid.
So he tried to beat this discipleship thing out of them. He made Christianity illegal, but Christianity kept growing. He threatened disciples with death if they kept studying God’s Word, but they kept studying anyway. He sent people to hunt down and disrupt their assemblies, but they kept assembling anyway. He sent people to arrest Christians when they were together, but they got together anyway. He made the Word of God illegal and threatened them with torture if they kept teaching it, but they kept teaching it anyway. He promised to throw them in fires and let them be eaten by lions if they continued to pray and devote themselves to God, but they prayed anyway.
Then Satan saw his failure, and he grew ever more cunning. He legalized Christianity and gave Christians a nation they were convinced was their own. He provided them a Declaration and a Constitution that honored their God. He provided them with money that pronounced their trust in God. He let 10 Commandments be posted in their courts and on their school grounds. He gave them a pledge that said they were under God. He invited the Christians to be one with this nation and this world. He let them believe that the goals of the nation and the world were not that much different than those of Christianity. He let them believe that blessings from God were equal to finances, food, and fun. He convinced them that getting ahead in their country, company, or college was just about the same thing as growing in their Christianity. He invited them to be true to their schools. He invited them to be committed to their country. He invited them to gain wealth through their work. At first all of this seemed to be in balance and fit well together.
But then he started adding more. He started talking about commitment to teams and extra-curriculars. He offered vacations and retirement if they worked more and harder. He increased trophies, awards, and recognitions for those who excelled in everything from athletics to accounting. He gave them never-ending entertainment on tv, radio, and computers. He allowed some people to be really wicked so the Christians could always believe they were different from and better than the world. Worst of all, he did all of this behind the scenes, with soft words, gentle nudges, convincing them he wasn't behind any of it.
And now Christians, who never would have abandoned assemblies at the point of the sword voluntarily opt to stay away to earn money, study for tests, throw a ball, and play in the band. Christians who never would have set down the Word of God under threat of pain, torture, and death, voluntarily lay it aside in order to have time to study math, science, and French or worse to keep up with reality on TV. Christians who never would have isolated from their brethren under the watchful eye of government and betrayers, voluntarily ignore their brothers and sisters most of the week in order to keep up with their work, tv shows, and community organizations. Christians who never would have avoided prayer upon promise of persecution, voluntarily forget to pray because it just doesn't seem all that necessary.
They defend all of this because they have forgotten Christ and the world don’t mix. They have forgotten that the church is not merely a meeting a few times of week, but a relationship that governs life.
What Satan couldn't accomplish with Christians at the point of his pitchfork, he has too often accomplished with a pat on the back. What he couldn't get done by attacking, he has too often gotten done by asking, and “Can’t we just get along?” What he couldn't win by force, he has too often won by friendship.
And too few Christians even recognize what he has done to them. And he has too often done it to me. And that makes me sad.