Around the celebration of Halloween, it is inevitable that someone we know will come to our office or wander down our street in a bright red costume. He or she will be carrying a pitchfork and have a nasty set of red horns. This ugly-looking character is trying to mimic the devil.
Most people don’t stop to consider the evil presence that they are trying to depict. Or, for that matter, what he actually looks like. They certainly do not pause long enough to contemplate Satan’s intentions.
In our message this week, we looked at 1 Thessalonians 2, where Paul explained to that church how he longed to come for a visit, but Satan stopped him. Chet explained that the enemy will bring three specific things into our lives as a means to upset the purposes of God.
Satan will bring persecution in all shapes and forms. He is the master of destruction. John 10:10 lays it out very clearly, Satan came “to kill, steal, and destroy.” In a more subtle manner, Satan is always trying to stop the advancement of the Kingdom. He is an obstructionist. He will use neighbors, family members, a co-worker, or whomever will allow themselves to be used by his demonic power.
In order to do those things though, Satan has to disguise himself. Scripture says that he loves to masquerade as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:15). He wants to come across as a good guy. He feigns interest in our lives. He appears to genuinely care, and he offers us all manner of “treats.” (You might remember Edmund and his Turkish delight problem in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.)
Still, it’s all fake. He is functioning in a disguise. I recently read a story that highlights this truth. Apparently, in the early 1800s there was a notorious English robber named Captain Thunderbolt. After terrorizing Great Britain, he moved to America and settled down along the eastern seaboard. After a while, he began to practice medicine under the name of Dr. John Wilson.
To make sure no one ever recognized him, the good doctor often wore three suits of clothes. Those layers made him look much larger than he was, and it also helped hide his deformed leg.
At some point, Dr. Wilson spoke to his good friends and asked them to make sure that he was buried with all of his clothes on. Soon, that day came. Of course, the mortician couldn’t honor that request, and he was shocked to find a myriad of scars and wounds on the body. He also discovered his withered leg. Dr. John Wilson wasn’t who they had thought he was.
At his home they found a stash of watches, jewelry, and diamonds. The truth came out: He was a thief in disguise.
And so is our enemy. Paul was right, Satan wants to stop us. He is a fake, and he is not an angel of light. We can’t take him and his schemes lightly. We must be on our guard (1 Peter 5:8).
So, dukes up this week!