Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Satan, A Boy, and Things to Avoid

"The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist."
Kevin Spacey as Verbal Kint in the Usual Suspects

I had an interesting conversation yesterday as I headed home with my boys after picking them up after school. They said that a young boy they both knew said somethings that sort of worried or confused them. The boy, who is the same age as my sons, said that he sees the devil every night. The boy went into some descriptions of what he sees and they relayed that to me. The young boy even went so far as to say he gets possessed during the night too. Hearing stuff like this coming from my 8 and 9 year old sons was a little unsettling, even for a pastor. I hope and pray that this young boy is simply trying to scare my boys in a childish way, but you can't play around with this type of stuff. I used this opportunity to teach the boys how they should avoid any and everything that has to do with the devil. I told them that if this young boy is ever talking about this stuff again they need to encourage him to learn about God and His love rather than Satan and his lies.

In the conversation we had I made 3 main points with the boys that I think can benefit us all.

1. Stay away from everything satanic.
If we allow even a small satanic influence in our lives we are opening up ourselves to Satan's influence on a larger scale. Ephesians 4:27 warns us not to give Satan a foothold. That's because once he has even the slightest grip on our lives, he will ravage our lives and try to destroy everything that God has done in us to make us like Christ. I warned the boys not to read horoscopes, play with Ouija boards, or even discuss things of a satanic nature. Even watching movies about demonic influences and spirits or TV shows about ghost and spirits opens you up to satanic influences that followers of Christ should avoid at all cost.

2. Satan tries to get people to think he doesn't exist.
During our conversation Cooper quoted our revival speaker's remarks about how Satan isn't some cute little figure in a red suit with a pitchfork. I was shocked to hear him remember such a deeply theological truth. That's when I paraphrased the quote given above from the movie The Usual Suspects. Satan wants us to think he's harmless. He wants us to rationalize our sins that draw us away from God. He wants us to think his influences on us are minimal. The exact opposite is true. John 10:10 tells us Satan's game plan when it says "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy" (NIV). If he can get us thinking that horoscopes, medium shows and paranormal shows or movies are no big deal then he has done his job. Jesus didn't call Satan a liar and the father of lies for no reason (John 8:44).

3. Satan Loses, Jesus Wins, End of Story!
If you've ever read the book of Revelation in the Bible then you know that in the end Satan loses and Jesus wins. Satan may have some control right now (and only what God allows him to have), but one day in the future Satan will be destroyed by Christ.  As I told the boys yesterday Jesus will give Satan the worst butt-kicking of all time. But Satan is simply trying to take as many people with him into hell as possible. The great thing about the Bible is that it tells us that we don't have to go down in flames, literally, with Satan. God freely offers us His unconditional love and grace, all we have to do is accept it.

One thing that we should all do from time to time is to ask God to reveal to us those places in our lives where Satan has taken a foothold and then seek God's wisdom for dealing with it. In the end we will avoid Satan and his influence and draw closer to God, by conforming more to the image of Christ.

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