September 17th 2010

The Great Illusionist

“Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made….”
Genesis 3:1 (NIV)

I have just finished reading a crime novel. It was fascinating as the criminal was an illusionist, a conjurer, a magician, and used the art of deception continually to put the police off his track. Sometimes he would do this by being concealed behind a curtain of silk which would blend into the colour of the background. Sometimes he would portray himself as an innocent bystander. A favourite trick was to focus the attention of the police in one area so that he could carry out his dirty deeds in a completely different area.

Does this remind you of any one? The devil likes to disguise himself as an apostle or a prophet and appear as something he is not (Matthew 24:4-5, 2 Corinthians 11:13). Sometimes he will grab our attention and have us looking the opposite way to where the real action is, and where we should be looking. He tried this with Jesus and Nehemiah but failed (Matthew 4:8-10, Nehemiah 6:2-3)

Two thirds of the way through the story the police discover the man’s identity and begin to track him down. But guess what? He has one more deception. He has taken on the identity of his former boss and is masquerading as him. Satan is fond of this trick too. He likes to appear as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14).

So what do we do? Put on the armour supplied to us (see Ephesians 6:10-17), and resist him until he goes (James 4:7, Matthew 4:10-11).

At the end of the book the man is caught and imprisoned, leaving the world safe from his tricks. And the good news for us—Revelation 20:10, “And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulphur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.”

Dear Father, please protect us from the deceit of the devil and the distractions he throws our way, and give us the strength to resist his temptations.

Study by Debbie Thomas 

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