My mental image of the enemy was all wrong.
For so many years, when the name Satan came to mind, automatically a mental image of an impish creature in red with horns and a pitchfork surfaced. Especially as a child, when the imagination runs wild and before the unbelief of an adult crept in. Not unbelief because I did not believe Satan was real, unbelief he would have anything to do with my life and because he was defeated he would leave me alone. As I have grown in my walk with Jesus, I have realized two things: the devil does not look like my mental image, and he very much interferes with my life.
First, I would like to explain why Satan interferes in the Christian’s life. Why he bothers, knowing the end of the book and Jesus defeated him. Simply put, he hates God. Satan wanted to be God, hence his departure from heaven and therefore wants to interrupt all God has planned. Satan wants to steal God’s people and turn them. Jesus said in John 10:10 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”
Second, and as important, is how he comes into the Christian’s life. Satan himself avoids walking up to you, introducing himself, and sharing his intentions. More likely, he uses a person carefully placed in a situation at a certain time to somehow affect your life. A perfect example of this is in Matthew 16:22-23 “Peter took him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, ‘God forbid it, Lord! This shall never happen to You.’ But He turned and said to Peter, ‘Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.’” Was Peter actually Satan? No, Peter was Peter. But he was being used by Satan, and Jesus (of course!) quickly recognized the difference.
Sometimes Satan can simply put a thought into someone’s head, creating problems for Christians.
This happens when we, as Christians, do not recognize the ploy of the enemy. We see a person, especially someone near and dear to us as who they are, not realizing that they could be under the influence of the enemy unaware. Obviously, none of us are declaring that we are going to be killed and sacrificed for the sins of the world, so how would this look in a modern-day situation?
Wives, mamas, I’m about to hit a nerve. Right. Here. To a wife and mother, the devil knocking can look like a cute young lady who casually, and seemingly innocently, walks up to your husband and starts up a conversation. Her body not yet ravished with stretch marks, her body not yet saggy from breastfeeding his babies (or just gravity, y’all), not dividing her attention between his responses and her children. No, she’s not yet had to sacrifice her whole life to be a wife and mother, she’s single and she’s cute and she pays attention and engages in a normal conversation.
She can chat it up with your man, not stopping to say things like, “your stomach hurts? have you pooped today?” or “umm, is that sour cream or spit up on my shirt…” or “I hope this is chocolate” or “BE QUIET!!! I AM TIRED OF THE YELLING AND I CAN’T HEAR MYSELF THINK!” no, she can have a conversation with him and not pause because she’s not yet consumed with his children. Or the house, the bills, cleaning, doctors appointments, etc. So they talk, he enjoys it, she enjoys it. And, after all, they’re only talking. No harm, no foul.
But then the devil comes knocking, and husband starts thinking. Man, this chick really gets me. She actually listens when I talk, and we can carry on a conversation. Chances are the conversation and train of thought ends there.
We, as wives, have to pray for our husbands.
Constantly, fervently, sincerely. We should ask God to protect them, to cover them and keep them from the wiles, or the tricks of the devil. Because if we are not vigilant, and if we do not see the enemy’s hand at play, an innocent conversation could turn into something more.
We have to seek God, and we also have to keep in mind that we are wives. And we need to be first Christians, but second wives because if the marriage falls apart, divorce will wreck the children and extended families, not just the two signing the papers. Why would Satan bother with your marriage? Because he wants nothing more than to destroy what God ordained.
The devil could come knocking at the workplace. He could come knocking at church. Any number of places give the enemy opportunity to cause problems for God’s people. So what are we to do when the devil comes knocking? Rebuke him. Satan has no place with God’s people and we need to stop opening the door for him. Rather than swing the door open, take his coat and invite him in, we should do what Jesus did and tell him to step off (ok so that’s a little paraphrased).
Come on, Christians, stop making it easy for the enemy to take hold of our lives.
Ladies, let’s invest in our marriages and stop having our homes destroyed by affairs. Let’s stop losing our tempers at work, causing a scene costing us our jobs. Let’s stop letting Satan sit next to us on the pew, spouting hateful words that stir bitterness and anger within us. Haven’t we noticed yet that when we allow the ploys of the enemy to take hold, we lose out?
Stand up for right, even when it hurts. Protect the little guy when everyone else pokes fun. Walk away from the crowd telling dirty jokes. Give a dollar to the homeless, even if he buys booze; tell him about Jesus when you do. Turn off the tv when nudity and profanity take over your screen. Ignore the gossip about your neighbor. Put the wine glass down. Be a friend to someone needing you. Witness to a stranger.
What do we do when the devil comes knocking? Stop answering the door.