Satan & Me
JANUARY 25, 2022
“Shame on you.
I can’t believe you did that. What were you thinking? Well, that confirms what I know to be true of you: You don’t measure up. You messed things up back then and it totally defines you today. You don’t get a redo. You can’t go back and undo it, even though you tried to get a redo…and you’re depressed because you can’t go back. Ya, I know you’d do anything to take back what you did and redo it better. Hey look, you don’t get a redo and you don’t get a relocation from your sin either—you can’t move far enough away from it. It will always dog you. You can’t undo what you’ve done and what you did is who you are now. You are what you did, a failure. You haven’t even earned the right to view yourself as God’s son, let alone someone who should be loved. Come on! Look at all the negative results that have come because of what you did! Too many to count. Ya, you’ve done some good things in your life but overall, your life’s reputation is shot full of holes. You’re really a fraud as a minister, man. Don’t play games. Admit it. You’re a failure. Your legacy is that bad decision back then. You defined yourself by your sin. Your sin is your shame. You ought to change your name to Shame. Shame is what covers you and everyone sees it. Don’t fool yourself, you’re nobody’s hero, man.”
Satan talks and, too often, I listen…to the whole speech.
And then I’ll hang my head and say, “You got me dead to rights.” It seems I’m his whipping boy. Remarkably, I just let it happen. Satan & me. I’m on his team sometimes.
Oh, but here’s the kicker. Most of the time I don’t even recognize that Satan is speaking…those ideas seem to come straight from my own thinking. Satan’s ideas of me have become my ideas of me. They might even be God’s assessment of me…the solid, irrefutable truth! But I’m talking to myself inside my own head and I just preach that skunk smell to myself. “Stinkin’ thinking” I think was the phrase that Zig Ziglar used to use.
So here’s what I find going on: I’m in collusion with Satan. Satan & me. I work for him…a lot…too often. Yup…I make it easy for him.
I take the ammunition my greatest enemy hands me, and load it up in my gun and point it at my head (or heart) and pull the trigger. I’m not just in collusion with him, I’m…my…own…worst…enemy. I do his dirty work for him. I make his job a cakewalk. Makes me crazy to even try and unpack who’s saying what to whom.
Subtlety is too kind for Satan…he’s skilled in sneaky military kill-tactics. Brilliant, evil genius in fact. He’s the ninja of insanity…he sneaks in, implants a soul bomb, takes off and, on the way out, detonates it. I don’t see him or hear him…but he’s come, and I believe every word. In fact, I help him light the fuse. Satan & me. Ya, I work for him.
And I can do his work for months on end like that. Years even.
Well…one thing I CAN say for sure in my saner moments: Jesus didn’t say those words above to me. And my Father didn’t, and wouldn’t, say things like that to me. Not after Jesus has come.
You know when I adopt and follow a line of thinking for a long time it feels normal and right even if it isn’t…even if it’s killing my soul.
And so when the Spirit of God turns on the light and helps me see the truth, then it’s like I’m born again, again! That’s what happened when I read this:
“I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service, though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life. To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.” 1 Timothy 1:12-17
Fact is, I’ve never done what Paul did, tracking down, arresting and throwing in jail Christians for the sole reason of their believing Jesus is the Messiah. But guilt and shame are what they are…toxic…relentless…unremitting in their attacks. Guilt and shame will make you want to put a knife to your throat.
And I might have…
But for mercy…mercy given to me…and grace…the favor that comes from an otherworldly love for this poor boy.
Do you ever do what I do? Work for Satan, I mean? Don’t. Quit. Resign. Abandon him. You owe him nothing. Ya, I’m resigning from working for him in 2022. It’s not working out.
We owe Jesus everything…including accepting by faith our new name: Son or Daughter.
Now that’s status—being a deeply beloved son or daughter…of God.
Mercy. Grace. A fresh start. Not a redo, but a renewal…a new vision for a new life. Those are all ours in Jesus.
Take the gift today. Stop working for the enemy…
In a relatively short time he’ll be whimpering in a gutter in hell anyway, and he won’t be able to taunt you anymore.
You take it to heart in 2022.