James A. Washington

You know, I’ve got to give it to the devil. He truly is as slick as they come. He has some power in this physical world and zilch in the eternal kingdom of heaven. Hence, he has an advantage when it comes to orchestrating the events of this world in order to accomplish two very important things to him.

One is to get us to believe he doesn’t exist. Two is to show us a perspective on this world that leaves God entirely out of the equation. Now I don’t know which one is more damaging.

But to think the devil doesn’t exist is extremely dangerous, and to further believe that God is not an integral part of life is spiritual suicide. As in the Parable of the Sower, we learn this reality: “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 4:15.

This entire parable speaks to how life, its worldly seductions, its illusions about acquiring wealth and desire for personal gratification, can obscure the truth contained in the Word of God.

Can you imagine being tricked out of what rightfully belongs to you because you didn’t know it was yours in the first place? Now underscore that with the belief that the person doing the tricking is actually someone who doesn’t really exist.

Many of us, me included, spend far too much time and energy relying on the lies of Satan in a world that measures success by the weight of one’s wallet, rather than by God’s divine will. Our struggle is one where we must first be the soil made ready to produce a crop. Our challenge is to be prepared to hear the Word. The intent is to bear fruit. By bearing fruit, I mean we should spread the Word, pollinate the lives of others with the reality that evil is real and walks and talks and lives and breathes in this world today.

What do you believe in? Your world becomes defined by the answer to that simple but very important question.

Belief in God necessitates a belief in the devil and fortifies and insulates you against the evil in your life winning. If you don’t believe in God, what you don’t know will be what ruins you eternally. You will never seek Him out. You therefore become vulnerable to the devil’s tricks because keeping you ignorant is and always has been the tool of this oppressor. It’s a control thing.

The one thing that insures salvation is just a little bit of knowledge based in faith. That faith, no matter how small, stands as a testament to all that God is in control and the first option should always be Him. A little bit of faith is required.  

Faith always gets tested. Salvation lies somewhere between what you say, what you do and what you believe in. When you know the truth, you can’t be tricked. However, the effort to trick you will be constant and the lies will keep coming.

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