We just finished studying I Peter last month. In the closing chapter 5 verse 8, Peter writes: “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” Barna Research, the polling organization for the Christian community says that 70 per cent of Christians polled do not believe the devil is real. A force, yes, but not real. However, Peter’s epistle makes it perfectly clear that the devil, our adversary, is alive and real. Here’s some food for thought from a previous lesson for you to ponder.
Satan called a worldwide convention. In his opening address to his evil angels, he said, “We can’t keep the Christians from going to church…we can’t keep them from reading their Bibles and knowing the truth. We can’t even keep them from conservative values. But we can do something else. We can keep them from forming an intimate, abiding life experience in Christ.”
“If they gain that connection with Jesus, living His life in and through them, our power over them is broken. So let them go to church, let them have their conservative lifestyles. But steal their time, so they can’t gain that experience of abiding in Christ.”
“This is what I want you to do angels. Distract them from gaining hold of their Savior and maintaining that vital connection throughout their day!”
“How shall we do this?” shouted his angels.
“Keep them busy in the non-essentials of life and invent unnumbered schemes to occupy their minds,” he answered.
“Tempt them to spend, spend, spend, then borrow, borrow, borrow. Convince the wives to go to work and the husbands to work 6 or 7 days a week, 10-12 hours a day, so they can afford their lifestyles. Keep them from spending time with their children. As their family fragments, soon their homes will offer no escape from the pressures of work.”
“Overstimulate their minds so that they cannot hear that still small voice. Keep them constantly on their cell phones, entice them to play the radio, or their CD’s whenever they drive, to keep the TV, the DVD’s, and their CD’s going constantly in their homes. And see to it that every store and restaurant in the world plays music constantly. This will jam their minds and break that union with Christ.”
“Fill their coffee tables with magazines and newspapers. Pound their minds with the news 24 hours a day. Invade their driving moments with billboards. Flood their mailboxes with junk mail, sweepstakes, mail order catalogues, and every kind of newsletter and promotion offering free products, services and false hopes.”
Even in their recreation, let them be excessive. Have them return from their recreation exhausted, disquieted and unprepared for the coming week. Don’t let them go out in nature. Send them to amusement parks, sporting events, concerts, and movies instead. And when they meet for spiritual fellowship, involve them in gossip, complaints, and small talk so that they leave with troubled consciences and unsettled emotion.”
“Let them be involved in soul-winning. But crowd their lives with so many good causes, they have no time to seek power from Christ within them. Soon they will be working in their own strength, sacrificing their health and family unity for the good of the cause.”
Well, it was quite a convention. And the evil angels went eagerly to their assignments causing Christians everywhere to get busy, busy, busy, and rush here and there—living their Christian lives in the flesh.
Tell me, has the devil been successful at his scheme? You be the judge.
LIFE LESSON: Be on guard and alert, your enemy the devil prowls around looking for someone to devour.
To assist you in becoming more alert to the subtle strategies of our adversary the devil, get yourself a copy of the Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis.
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