As I turned the crank on my grandson’s jack-in-the-box, it played that familiar song. Like a little kid who had never played with such a toy, I was startled when the clown popped out of the lid. My daughter-in-law had been watching and laughed.
“You always know he’s coming,” she said, “but somehow he always surprises you.”
Yes, I had been caught, but I think it’s a natural thing. The little guy does seem to spring out of nowhere. I guess that’s the point.
Later, I thought of how Satan, the enemy, works the same way. I’m just going along, when all of a sudden I realize there’s something wrong. That haunting melody of lies is playing in my head and I feel out of sorts.
Everything seems to be falling apart. I can’t concentrate when I pray. My best Christian friends are getting on my nerves. My confidence is flagging.
Oh… I get it…I’m under spiritual attack.
The Bible says we should “Be self-controlled and alert.(our) enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). It’s possible for me to let my guard down with Satan taking full advantage of the situation. Sometimes by the time I recognize the culprit he’s already pounced, robbing me of joy and peace.
Jesus told his followers that the enemy is a murderer and a liar. Lying is his native tongue. What is he killing and with what does he try to accomplish the kill? Here are a few of the taunts he’ll use as ammunition:
• You’re inadequate (as a Christian, mother, husband, employee, etc.)
• God can’t forgive that sin
• People are out to get you
• It’s okay to indulge this one time
• Your attempts to succeed will fail
Recognizing the lies means the difference between victory and defeat. Knowing the difference between his condemning voice and Holy Spirit conviction is key.
Those in Christ Jesus are no longer condemned but live under grace. God examines our hearts and we can turn to him to discover truth to any message we suspect may be a lie. We don’t need to go looking for the enemy under every rock, but we ought to be aware of his schemes. If we recognize that we’re truly under attack, we stand firm and claim truth. We can also call on a trusted friend to stand with us in prayer.
In addition, there’s no substitute for wearing our spiritual armor (Ephesians 6:13-18).
If the enemy is toying with you, like the little clown did who jumped up at me, slam down the lid and walk away. “Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).
Satan needs to be reminded that we know he’s a liar. He knows that he is powerless when we live in the power of Jesus Christ.