Ephesians 6:11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (KJV)
It seems easier to divert a flowing stream than to stop the flow, right? It’s easier to swerve than to stop a car when an obstacle is spotted, isn’t it? Satan knows this well. What I call misdirection is one of Satan’s very successful tools for thwarting people’s move towards God. This wile of the devil includes multiple resources: time, distraction, diversion, etc.
This is how time can play out in Satan’s scheme. Time is frequently used on the lost (although Christians are far from immune from this ploy). The devil convinces the lost that there is plenty of time to make a decision for Christ. Because time continues till God stops it with death or His return, people are lulled into a false sense of security. However, the scripture is clear with passages like, “My Spirit will not always strive with man…” and ”Now is the appointed time of salvation…” as well as, “It is appointed to man once to die and after that the judgement.” That time is not on our side, regardless of what the song says. Still, men and women, boys and girls oftentimes wait when the urgency of the call to salvation and faithfulness is extended. We assume that there will be more time to respond but even the next breath is not promised, much less next week, next month, next year, nor next decade.
Distraction plays out this way. Many of you are familiar with the “squirrel factor.” You watch as others are walking along and a squirrel flits across the lawn. Whatever they were doing, wherever they were going is immediately abandoned in order to focus on the actions of a cute rodent. As we live our lives, we don’t even recognize when Satan has scared up a distraction to hinder us from following Christ, whether for the first time or as we “press towards the prize of the high calling of God.” Satan knows what to use as distractions for each of us as individuals. He has his henchmen study our reactions to situations just to identify effective focus-breakers to move us away from God’s plans.
A famous quote from John D Rockefeller goes, “Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great. This is an excellent descriptor of how Satan uses diversion to cause us to avoid being soldiers in God’s army, settling, rather, for normal when His intent is for us to be supernatural. He wants us engaging His power for His work. What we do, instead, is take the path of least resistance. We are diverted from God’s best by Satan showing us an easier route. Satan’s easier route never gets is where God wants is to go, though. Complacency is a super example of how this works. Moving out on God’s commands takes spiritual vigor and vitality. When we see the daunting task He has set before us, Satan steers us to something that, in and of itself, is not bad, but because it isn’t God’s plan it is sin for is. It may even be what God has called someone else to do and would be a faithful execution of His call. In reality, if we take on that work, we are stealing their ability to serve God as He desires and allowing our own work to go undone or postponed till we recognize that God is not pleased with our actions—often through discipline—remember Jonah?
What has God called and empowered you to do that you have allowed Satan to misdirect you away from doing it?
In Him, Jerry