January 6, 2014
“Satan is smarter than we give him credit for!”
Slogans about the devil are abundant at Christian bookstores and in the youth rooms at our churches around the country (there is even a supply of bumper stickers aimed at him) — such as… “God good. Devil bad.” “God-seeking, devil-bashing believer” or “If the devil doesn’t like it, he can sit on a tack (oh, that must really hurt him!),” Or “if the devil were here I would SLAP his face!” These all sound very strong in statements and conjure up an image of a devil who staggers around a dark alleyway like a drunken sailor just waiting for some welterweight to pinch him on the neck so that he can collapse from the impact.
Bad news! Satan was created chief of all angels. God did limit his boundaries of inflicting harm to individuals who belong to God (remember Job 1:9-12). Satan is wise and cunning and deceiving when it comes to how he threatens and captivates believers and non-believers alike! Remember, Paul calls him the “angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:4).
I am more convinced than ever before that we longtime Christians are only playing games when we call the devil names and shoot our spiritual ‘spitballs’ at him while he holds, tightens the noose around our necks, and cuts off our digits with a hatchet!! Is that too graphic? If so, I’m sorry, but it best describes the situation as I see it all around us in America today.
God has impressed upon my heart that we are engaged in a life or death struggle for the hearts and minds of our children, our students, our marriages, our neighborhoods, and our College. Why? Because the spiritual warfare rages on while we “educated Americans” explain the scientific, psychological, intellectual, or political reasons for their existence, rather than taking up our weapons and fighting the enemy to hold ground and take back the ground that rightfully belongs to Christ.
“We battle not against flesh and blood, but against the ruler, against the authorities, against the power of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:12).
In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul implores us to dress for battle and engage in warfare! We cannot defeat the enemy by “sitting on our butts” and discussing whether a problem exits and what pedagogy would best address the issue. My fellow warriors, even the students coming to Grace from excellent Christian homes are bombarded daily with sexual innuendos and images that captivate their minds and passions. The blatant materialism disguised as “success” in this world destroys our young people’s motivation to sacrifice themselves for God and a life of service to Him. These are the tremendously successful ploys of the devil, he’s not visible so as to be “slapped,” and he won’t be tricked into “sitting on a tack.” Our warfare must begin in our hearts as we pray, search, and pray again that God would free us from the bondage of this world and Satan’s cleverly laid entrapments. At Grace Christian University, following this prayer for ourselves as faculty and staff means will be prayer for our students, engaging them in conversations, building friendships with them, inviting them into our homes, and discussing informally (and formally) the war Satan is waging against us and them — and prayerfully doing battle with God’s armor – the Word of God, prayer, ministry, genuine fellowship, and worship.
Pray! Get on your knees and give me twenty! Let’s do twenty seconds of prayer, over and over today, and tomorrow, and the next day, and the day after that! Open your eyes to the battle! Discuss it with God, with friends, recognize it on TV, billboards, radio, in magazines, and call it what God calls it! Pray about it, and discuss it with those you love!