Comedian Flip Wilson hosted a variety show back in the 70s that featured a character by the name of Geraldine Jones. She had a boyfriend named Killer and her frequently used line “the devil made me do it” became a national catchphrase. In a world gone crazy, I’ve decided to write a blog about the devil. We don’t hear much about the devil from the pulpit, but he is alive and well. According to the scripture John 10:10, “the thief (the devil) comes only to steal, kill and destroy.” The devil is wrecking havoc in our world today. The only way for me to maintain some level of peace is to remember that the devil is our enemy and he works through people. We are told that we are all born with a sin nature. I have a problem however looking at a newborn baby and accepting rocker George Thorogood’s lyrics. “On the day I was born, the nurses all gathered round and they gazed in wide wonder at the joy they had found. The head nurse spoke up and said leave this one alone. She could tell right away that I was bad to the bone.”
The devil has all kinds of strategies and well thought out plans to use against us. He is the author of life’s problems. He does not want us to succeed or to make progress in life. He wants to keep us defeated, discouraged, bitter, angry, weak and down trodden. Most often we get attacked right after we get good news or receive a blessing. The Bible says that “we war not against flesh and blood (people) but against principalities, powers and wickedness in high places.” When we blame other people for our problems, we are letting the devil off of the hook. Our job is not to over think things or dwell on the devil but to recognize and to be aware that he is there. He is not a Halloween character with a pitchfork and red suit. Our challenge today is to learn to remain peaceful when negative things come against us. We need to be aware and to remember that God sees it all and knows it all. I have been a Christian since I was 12 years old and I too have the tendency to blame people, places and things including God and myself for my problems. The devil does have power over us, especially when we are passive and inactive. His playground is our mind and he gets to us when/where we are most vulnerable, through our thoughts. But we have the ability to take authority over him. We can’t fight the devil with weapons; we must fight him with the word of God. We must know the scriptures well enough to recognize his lies. Forgiveness and acceptance of other people sometimes comes easier when we have the ability to recognize the devil as the source of a lot of the problems. Of course we are all given free will and we have the right to resist or assist the devil. In closing, I would like to share that the devil has come against me twice since I decided to “spread optimism one blog at a time”. A few weeks ago, a random tree limb fell and pulled my internet cable loose from the house causing me to lose connection for a couple of days. There wasn’t a storm and no one else was affected but me. The tree that the limb fell from wasn’t even in my yard. This morning as I sat down to write this blog, I thought that my modem was going bad. I ended up scheduling a service call with my internet provider. I remained in peace and guess what? The problem seems to have fixed itself. What a way to give the devil a black eye!