Since The Inquisitor never flinched at testing Jesus, what makes you think he’ll hesitate before testing you?
“Don’t you mean ‘tempting’? He’s The Tempter, right?”
Satan, the deceiver and Adversary of your very soul, is whatever he needs to be to ruin your day. His design is to get you to surrender your soul so he can ruin your eternal destiny. So, yes, he’s all those things. In many cases, the word you and I translate as ‘test’ can also mean ‘tempt’.
I’m not using them interchangeably this morning. Some individuals never get to be seriously tested because they never grow beyond temptation level in their faith. They even make jokes about it.
“Oooh, I’m SO tempted. You think they’ll miss one of those off the plate?”
Jesus’s little brother James paints a word picture of that when he says that God doesn’t set anybody – anybody – up to be tempted. He says we tie the lure onto our own line, toss it out there and troll it right past our own eyes and imagination, and . . .
“Oooh, now THAT looks so—GLOMPF!” A-a-and we’re hooked. Again.
I know. You’re thinking, “Okay, that’s just lame. Who’d be dumb enough to go after something they know hurts them?”
The same ones who are dumb enough to go back after something they know hurts them. “Whee-ee-ee. That was fun! As soon as I get my mouth healed up from all the hook barbs, I believe I’ll try that aGIN! WOO-hoo!”
Job 1:5 and 2:1 say it. “One day when the angels came to report to God, Satan, who was the Designated Accuser, came along with them. . . . Satan also showed up.”
Remember: he couldn’t STAND being around God. All that PRAISE and WORSHIP and CELEBRATION? All that bowing at His feet and laying crowns before Him, recognizing HIM as Creator and Sovereign of His Universe?
BLEEEECCCCCHHHHH!!! He wanted all that for himself, right? Challenged God. That right there shows he’s defective and ain’t got all his punkin seeds planted, neither.
So why’s he there? Yep. You got it. He’s there to mess with Job. And you. And me.
Here’s the deal. What if you and I as believers quit paying any attention to the Designated Accuser? He’s got nothing new to say that he hasn’t already used again and again and again and— yeah. We already know why he’s there and what he’s after. We already know what listening to him spin his sales junk will get us.
So how about we get rid of the middle guy? Quit inviting him. Stop listening to him.
How much better do you think your day will be?
“Well, won’t that just make him mad?”
He already is.
I say, let’s go for it. He’s managed to waggle his way into stuff that’s none of his business long enough. He’ll still show up.
We don’t need to make him feel welcome.
© D. Dean Boone, January 2015