“Around, around the cobbler’s bench, the monkey chased the weasel. The monkey thought ‘twas all in fun. POP! goes the weasel.”
As I turned the little 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. But I guess that’s the point.
Later, I considered how the enemy, Satan, works the same way. I’m just going along, when suddenly, I realize there’s something amiss. 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. Even my best Christian friends are getting on my nerves. The pastor sounds like a drone. Oh…I get it…I’m under spiritual attack.
The Bible says that we should be self-controlled and alert because our enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. It’s possible for me to let my guard down with Satan taking full advantage of my lazy attitude. Sometimes by the time I recognize the culprit he’s already pounced, robbing me of joy and peace.
Jesus told his followers that Satan is a murderer and a liar. Lying is his native tongue. What is he killing and with what lies does he try to accomplish the kill? Here are a few of the things he’ll use as ammunition:
- You’re so inadequate (as a Christian, spouse, parent, employee, etc.)
- God can’t forgive that sin
- People are out to get you
- It’s okay to indulge this once
- Your attempts to succeed will fail
- And a host of other equally damaging attacks
Recognizing the lies means the difference between victory and defeat. Knowing the difference between his condemning voice and Holy Spirit conviction is the 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 the truth of any message we suspect may be a lie.
We don’t need to go looking for the enemy under every rock, but we need to be aware of his schemes. If, indeed, we’re under attack, we stand firm and claim truth. We should also call on a trusted friend to stand with us in prayer. And there’s no substitute for wearing our spiritual armor.
If the enemy is toying with you, like with the little clown who jumped up at me, slam down the lid and walk away. He just 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.