Satan is smarter than human beings. But he’s also got a really stupid streak. Embracing rebellion against a sovereign, benevolent God will do that to you. It will twist and corrupt your reasoning and ability to think logically. Someone once said that sin is stupid–a form of insanity.
2 Corinthians 4:4 says, “The god of this age (that’s Satan) has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” (NIV)
Romans 9:7 declares, “For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will.” (NLT)
Satan and those hostile to God are literally unable to obey and please him. But how does that equate with stupidity? The commands and directives for living found in the Bible, come from the heart of a wise and loving heavenly father who created the world and everything in it. He knows how it all works best and his commands are designed to facilitate health and joy in his creation if those laws are obeyed. Human beings display sheer stupidity when they ignore these laws, live according to their own agenda, then complain when things go south and heartache ensues.
They are like an automobile owner who decides he knows better than the car’s designer who wrote the manual in the glove compartment. Since soda pop tastes good to him, he concludes it should work fine in the car’s crankcase where motor oil should reside. Of course the car sputters and dies but he wonders why.
“That’s stupid,” you say. Yet it is the same for those who ignore God’s operator’s manual for life. Isn’t it odd how the ills and problems in our society have surfaced since we’ve thrown the Judeo-Christian God out of the national picture?
Okay. Point taken. So what’s this about an inherent flaw in the nature of evil? Years ago, I spent some time in India on a missionary trip. In the courtyard of the mission base was a large, spreading April tree with beautiful orange blooms on its crown. Yet it broke into three pieces in a heavy rainstorm due to rottenness inside its trunk.
Similar to the rot inside that tree, disobedience and rejection of God’s wise, loving commands, corrupt and eat away at the heart and spirit like cancer, whether it is an individual, a nation, or a civilization. Weakness and vulnerability to collapse result.
Satan signed his own death warrant when he chose to “become like God.” When he was fired and tossed out on the street, this once beautiful, created, eternal being made it his goal to wreak havoc and vengeance on God and those created in God’s image. He seduced the first human couple to embrace his promise of enlightenment and life. Instead, their relationship with their wonderful Creator was broken, their paradise shattered, and death became their end.
So the Father launched the greatest rescue mission ever: Jesus came in the guise of a servant and after paying the dreadful price for our sins, rose from the grave, proving that even death was no match for the Lord of lords. He then sent out his disciples to tell the world of him and make even more disciples. His body, the church, was established over which he’d promised the gates of hell would never prevail.
That body, however, has a disturbing tendency to nod off spiritually when, “It’s summertime and the livin’ is easy.” We snooze when the challenge to truth and our faith stays mainly in the dusty corners of society and the pews of a few ultra liberal churches. Then the the icy winds of national and social corruption masquerading as progress or freedom, begin to blow through our nation. Churches and individuals who have not guarded their hearts and minds from deception unwittingly open their mouths to swallow a toxic mix of lies and truth turned on its head.
Expecting to gain ground for his kingdom, Satan’s very best efforts trip an automatic switch in the hearts of God’s true people-who know their own rebellion has been forgiven and their hearts transformed by the Savior. A holy boldness (1 )arises in them and they run to the battle lines. Their hearts and souls are yielded to the prince of light and they operate upon an unyielding foundation built on the whole word of God. They refuse to join with those who, “no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching,” but instead, “follow their own desires and…look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear.” (2 Timothy 4:3)
These saints are aware that forces from hell must be driven out before change can come to the hearts of those the devil has deceived into being ambassadors for his evil schemes. (2)And so they pray by the direction of the Holy Spirit and on the authority of the name of Jesus Christ. At the same time, they lovingly, humbly, and respectfully proclaim God’s whole truth, remaining steadfast though persecuted, (3)their minds, hearts and lives shaped by the love and the word of God rather than the self-destructive mold of a rebellious and hard-hearted generation.
When I started this blog post, Kim Davis, a county clerk who lives in Kentucky, was languishing in jail for refusing to issue a marriage license to a gay couple. She stood for truth and righteousness in light of the Supreme Court’s decision to tread on the thin ice of God’s judgement and force every state in the union to legalize gay marriage. Two conservative presidential candidates launched a petition to our current president, the U.S. Attorney General, and the U.S District Court Judge “calling for Davis’ immediate release.” More than 170,000 Americans signed the petition and a rally was held outside of the jail on September 8th in support of Davis. Lawyers from the Liberty Counsel represented her in court. On September 9th, Davis was released.
I have seen many such examples of right rising up in bold opposition when evil dares to overstep its bounds and think itself greater that the one who indwells the saints.
In Acts 8, “a great persecution began against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles.” In verse 4 we hear the thrilling news that, “those who had been scattered went about preaching the word.” Would this have happened if the early church in Jerusalem had been left alone?
In Philippians 1, the apostle Paul, imprisoned for preaching the gospel announced, “Now I want you to know, brethren, that my circumstances have turned out for the greater progress of the gospel, so that my imprisonment in the cause of Christ has become well known throughout the whole praetorian guard and to everyone else, and that most of the brethren, trusting in the Lord because of my imprisonment, have far more courage to speak the word of God without fear.”
A modern-day example of the Lord turning evil into good can be found at http://shoebat.com/2012/07/09/courage-in-pakistan-16-year-old-and-her-christian-faith/. As a Christian teen-ager in Pakistan, Aftab was burned with battery acid when she refused to deny her Lord. But the attack led to immigration to the U.S. where surgeons donated their services to repair her injuries. Aftab’s physical and emotional scars have faded and she is now living in and attending school in the U.S. Her story and her message of forgiveness to her attackers appeared in an article in the Houston Chronicle, an otherwise liberal publication.
Today the battle can no longer remain hidden behind the veil of excuses, fear, laziness, or ignorance. Darkness is creeping across the land and into every institution like never before as God’s truth is tossed out like last month’s moldy bread. We as believers must know our rightful place as children of the living God, and rise up like the sons and daughters of Adam who fight the evil Queen Jada in the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WKTnvE8iPLc
As loyal followers of Christ, we are the sons and the daughters of Adam, called to do battle with the prince of darkness and his minions, knowing his time is short and his kingdom nears its ultimate demise. And like the young heros and heroines of C.S. Lewis’ classic tale, we are assured of our victory from the start.
1. “The wicked run away when no one is chasing them, but the godly are as bold as lions.” (Proverbs 28:1 NLT) 2. ”For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places”. (Ephesians 6:12 NLT) 3. “Everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution..” (1 Timothy 3:12 NLT)