By James Washington (The Dallas Weekly/NNPA Member)
I’m sure at one time or another, you’ve heard the phrase, “the devil is a liar.” I’ve said it here many times. Satan specializes in deceit. You know the drill. Harden not your heart, when you hear the Word of God. More often than not, that small voice you hear at difficult times, when your faith is really challenged, is that of Satan. Be careful when it happens to you, because according to the Bible, you are indeed in dangerous waters. One of my favorite passages of scripture is, “Some people are like seed along the path where the Word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the Word that was sown in them.” (Mark 4:5). My point is that recognition is a most powerful attribute to have. If you could only recognize when you’re being fooled, used, manipulated or lied to by someone or something hell-bent on destroying you, then possibly you might be able to handle it accordingly. I have a pastor friend that reminds me that the devil does not want to just hurt you. He wants you dead.
Emotionally, we all have responded vehemently when recognition affords us the opportunity to see when we’re being made a fool of by someone else. For the perpetrator, it is not a pretty picture. In Satan’s case, he doesn’t always show his hand in a manner obvious to us. The devil is a liar and specializes in presenting situations and circumstances that never reveal his hand in your life as the reason that everything is going to Hell in a hay basket. “And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness…” (2 Corinthians 11: 14-15). So, it is my speculation, using what I hope is my sanctified imagination, that Satan is hard at work in your life, when you are most likely trying to be true to your faith. The Bible says watch out, because it is at these times that “so-called” supporters, advice givers and yes, even friends and family show up to help us, comfort us, guide us in a way that on the surface, appears to be consistent with our efforts to hear and follow the Word of God. In truth, if we could see the devil at work, then it would be fairly easy to make the right decisions and the right choices. But the devil is so cunning that at that moment of truth, he sees to it that we blame others, rationalize our actions, defend sin and otherwise fault life for what we ought to know that God has total control over.
In the name of everything but Satan, we can explain away all those things that will virtually insure us a ringside seat in Hell. Rarely do we permit ourselves the time and thought to recognize this is the devil doing his best to win your soul as his ultimate prize. Rarely, if ever, will we give him his due for all that we regret doing on the morning after. Rarely do we consider him or his agents the night before the morning after. If we did, then the Word of God would emerge out of our chaos and light our paths to peace as in peace of mind. At this point, how we live becomes second nature to why we live. When one understands the why of life, the how becomes pretty easy. “Be careful then, how you live, not as unwise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore, do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.” (Ephesians 4:15-18). The key to all this, I believe, is recognizing the difference between God’s Word and the devil’s whispers. It’s those whispers and who’s in your ear that’ll getcha every time.
May God bless and keep you always.