Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Don't Look Away

I am convinced that the Devil is real and at work in this world.

So many people think that all this talk about God and Angels and the Holy Spirit and Demons and Satan and Heaven and Hell are just metaphors. We toss around funny images and jokes about Heaven and Hell and about a guy in a red suit with a pointy tail and a pitch fork that lives where it's hot all the time.

We compare earthly things to Heaven and Hell all the time. "She looks like an Angel", or "He is 'Hell on wheels'". We make jokes about how someone we don't like may end up buring in Hell or about talking to "the Devil", hey the Devil even "went down to Georgia". Of course, we don't say that "Satan went down to Georgia", that just wouldn't be funny.

I have to remind myself of something very important as often as possible...

Satan is a real person, he is NOT a funny little guy in a red suit. He is not a "devil", he is NOT funny, he is not someone to joke about and...

he is very, very, very smart.

Satan is tenacious, patient, stubborn, cunning, wily, crafty, determined...enduring. He will wait and wait and wait, and he will pounce when the pouncing is good, he will sneak when the sneaking is good and he will do whatever it takes to win. He is the ultimate foe, he is the snake in the grass, he is the fly in the ointment, he is the monkey-wrench, he is the 2000 pound elephant and the microscopic virus, he is your worst enemy...and...your best friend. He eats Arnold, The Hulk, Rambo, Predator and Gandalf for breakfast and keeps going.

For me, he attacks when I am weakest...when I am distracted, when I am comfortable, when I think I have it figured out. Then he nails me in the teeth and knocks me back and what do I do?

I blame...God.

"God, why did you LET this happen to me?", "God, why is this happening again?"

When the ugly truth of the matter is that I took my gaze off of Him and that's when it happened...that's WHY it happened. When I look away from God, just for a moment, I am vulnerable to Satan's attack, and he takes advantage of every opportunity.

Put away perversity from your mouth;
keep corrupt talk far from your lips.
Let your eyes look straight ahead,
fix your gaze directly before you.
Make level paths for your feet
and take only ways that are firm.
Proverbs 4:24-26

However, the thing that keeps me going, that defeats despair, comes from the words of Paul in Romans 16:20, "The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet". Jesus has already fought and beaten Satan and all I have to do is...keep my gaze on Him.

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"...Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit." 2 Corinthians 3:7-18