Lifelines November 28, 2021

It did not take the evil one very long to invade God’s perfect creation.  The garden did not provide a safe haven from his wiles, and the first couple soon fell for his lies.  The world has suffered the consequences ever since.  The Son of God was engaged in the battle with temptation soon after His baptism.  He succeeded in resisting through the use of the Scripture, and deliverance became a possibility.  The devil is a formidable foe, and we make a terrible miscalculation when we underestimate his strategy and power. 

Humanity is vulnerable to deception.  Shiny objects attract our attention, and no one polishes them better than Satan.  He convinced Eve who persuaded her husband, and they both learned quickly that he delivers empty delusions.  Disregarding the command of the Lord only led to shame and a desire to hide from their benevolent Creator, a far cry from his promise.  He still packages destruction in glittering boxes with nothing but heartaches inside. 

The devious one is intimately acquainted with our wants and wishes, guaranteeing fulfillment if we will simply give him God’s place in our lives.  It was one of his traps for Jesus (Matthew 4:8-10) and surely will be for us, too.  He dangles before us the achievement of our biggest dreams if we will bow before him.  Sacrificing the Lord on the altar of success is a fatal mistake.

We retreat to the safety of the church only to find that he is there, too.  He puts on his disguise of “righteousness” and slips into the sacred family.  He is angelically appealing (2 Corinthians 11:13-15), and so are his workers.  He is so clever that he convinces us that no one could possibly be that evil, but they are.  They look good, righteous, in fact.  They are anything but.  They are fakes, and their fate is sealed.  Ours will be, too, if we follow them.

Satan attacks homes, families, friends, churches and anyplace else where he can get his foot in the door.  He doesn’t require much of an opening.  Unresolved anger is one of his favorite tools (Ephesians 4:26-27).  He magnifies the hurt in our minds which eventually turns into a regrettable word.  The contents of our heart will eventually escape through the mouth.  We explode.  He smiles.  Another Christian grieves the Holy Spirit.  He is clever and damaging.  Cain committed the unimaginable sin of murdering his own brother. The Lord had warned him prior to that homicide that sin was waiting just outside his door but that he must master it.  He didn’t (Genesis 4:7-8).  Sin is still lingering, hiding every day with a plan specifically tailored for each of us.  We either defeat it, or it conquers us.  We dare not underestimate the schemes and skills of the devil.  He lies and kills, and is looking for his next victim.  Will it be one of us?