One of the most terrifying movies of my childhood was the “Exorcist”. Just to clarify, I saw it on television and my parents were not on board with me seeing movies like this. My cousin was watching it and I happened to walk into the room. You know, how many stories of debauchery start. When I walked into the room I was captivated by the tension between the characters and the suspense that was building. The crazy thing is, I didn’t watch much of it but the 15-20 minutes of it that I did see, blew my mind. It shot the bowl cut straight off of my head. After watching the scene where the girl’s head rotated 360 degrees, I decided to stop watching. Great discernment on my part. What do you want, I was like ten??!!!
The thing that struck me most about the movie, was that I never considered too much what the Devil might be like. This movie showed me that Satan wasn’t this guy in a red suit and horns. He was a moving, active entity that could do a lot of damage. FYI I’m not saying that the movie was theologically accurate because I don’t subscribe to a lot of what the movie portrayed about spirituality but it did make me think…and not sleep for like two weeks.
We have many different ideas when it comes to who the Devil is. Some of us don’t believe he exists, that he is a boogey man at best. The idea of him keeps us from doing too much bad and scares us into following God. Some faiths describe Satan as the brother of Jesus but there is absolutely no biblical support for that. It is simply not true. Jesus isn’t an angel and is in fact God. Satan is a created being. As to what Satan does? Well, we can talk about that in detail.
1) The Voice: Liar & Accuser
First and foremost, he is a liar. Since we’re friends, let me ask you a question, do you ever hear voices? Don’t look at me like I’m crazy. You don’t even know me, don’t judge! Okay, if you knew me you would REALLY think I’m crazy but that’s beside the point. Seriously, do you ever listen to voices? No? Have you ever set a goal for your life and then just decided, whether it is actively or passively, not to pursue it? Why did you do that? Think hard. Why didn’t you pursue a goal that you knew you should? Was it fear? Were you too fearful of the time it would cost you? Were you scared of failing? Were you fearful of what other people would think if you went after it? Maybe you feared that you didn’t have the skill set to accomplish this goal? Perhaps people told you that it was impossible or that you were too old or young?
Look, certainly there are things that you shouldn’t pursue or go after and you should listen to wise counsel. I’m talking about God given goals and burdens that He has put on your heart. Why did you stop passionately pursuing those things? I’ll tell you why, because like me you hear voices. Sorry. Go ahead and find a good counselor.
The fact of the matter is that we hear and listen to internal voices all of the time. Most of the time we dismiss them as thoughts or logic. If you are a believer, at times you are being guided by the Holy Spirit. At other times, even if you are a believer, you are being guided by a different set of voices. The voices that tell you it is only reasonable to give in to fear because it is “practical”. Think about this verse for a second though:
2 Timothy 1:7 “For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.”
Sure there is a healthy type of fear. The fear that tells you not to put your hand on the stove, the fear that tells you jumping out of a moving car is stupid and the fear that keeps you from dusting off your parachute pants and wearing them out on a date. All of those are healthy fears along with the fear of God. Boy, I could unpack that last sentence for the rest of this blog but I don’t have time. However, the fear of pursuing a God given goal is not healthy, it is cowardice. Look, I’m guilty just like you are. I’ve been a coward on several different occasions and will probably be a coward again. I think that’s healthy for each of us to admit. Let’s be honest with ourselves though, if we give in to fear and call it “being practical” we are cowards. I’ll take it a step further then. The voice that you just listened to, the one that led to cowardice is the voice and influence of Satan.
Next time we talk, we’ll discuss other ways that you might be influenced and not even know it. See ya then.