I never thought I’d do that
From 1 Samuel: A 6-Week Devotional
One of our culture’s great weaknesses is not believing in pure evil. We want to think all people are generally good. We shake our heads in disbelief at the torture and killings happening daily in the world, as if we can’t quite wrap our heads around it. We scramble to blame anyone but the author of pure evil, Satan. 1 Peter 5:8 calls him a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. John 8:44 calls him a murderer with no truth in him and the father of lies.
It’s easy to say, “I’d never do that,” but if circumstances are just right, we’d likely be surprised by what we’re capable of. James 1:14-15 says, “...but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.”
"Sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death."
Do you think King Saul woke up one morning planning to kill 85 priests, women, children and livestock? Saul’s mental and emotional instability had increased over time as he let jealousy of David and the fear of losing control win over reason and faith in God. His jealousy gave birth to rage, and when rage was full grown, he committed mass murder.
It may not be mass murder for us, but it could be innocently “friending” an old fling on Facebook. We don’t intend to have an affair, but some marital strife mixed with an innocent conversation or random encounter, and it happens.
Three things we can do to thwart Satan’s attacks:
- Constantly be on guard, examining our hearts and minds to see where we’re vulnerable to attack. (Psalm 139:23-24)
- Know our enemy. “...our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:12).
- Prepare for battle. Put on the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18).
- What’s something you never thought you’d do, but did? Ask God to reveal how you got there, and repent.
- What is one area you’ve allowed “just a little bit” of evil in, leaving yourself vulnerable to an attack?
- What do you need to start doing, or stop doing, to remove it from your life?