Continuing our series on the "Chess game" between the crafty Enemy of our souls and Christians, today we come to Satan's insidious attempts to waylay a believer, who has already "tasted" God's love.

   1. Perception:
 

 

 

He would always try to make us "perceive" things we ought to avoid looking at. Eve's fall can be originally traced back to "looking" (Genesis 3:6) at the forbidden fruit. How nice it would have been had she completely avoided looking at it, in the first place! Also, never get carried away by a lie, even when it's cunningly sandwiched in betwixt the seemingly inviting fresh bread and presented. Did not the wily ole' foe sandwich the lie "you will not die", between the alluring true bread "your eyes will be opened" and "you will be wise as God"? On the subject of the original temptation, it needs to be reiterated that even 99.9% truth is not truth...truth is 100% truth. Period. Nothing more, nothing less and nothing else!

Samson's fall also illustrates the fact sin does not actually leap on us but stealthily creeps on us! Had Samson avoided looking at an erotic philistine lady (out of bounds for him), all the trouble, which he fell into later, could have been avoided!!! Samson fall was not a sudden crash but a slow decline into pleasures of flesh, from which there would be no escape (Judges 16). Nothing quite like nipping in the bud a tempting thought (be it of sexual or financial immorality)! No wonder Paul exhorts young Timothy to "Keep a close watch on all you do and think..." (I Tim 4:16 TLB)

While on the subject, let me emphasize getting tempted is not sin (remember our Lord too was tempted), but how we respond to the temptation is what is crucial to our spiritual welfare. We cannot avoid a sparrow from flying over our head in the sky but we can surely prevent it from hatching a nest on our heads (thanks Martin Luther for this pearl of wisdom)!

 

   2. Negation:

 

 

Another of Satan's pet tools' is to make us look yearningly at "pets" of others (2 Sam 11:1-4/1 Kings 21:1-4), without appreciatively counting the "pets" God has already placed in our hands. Negated far into the background of our thoughts are the blessings, we have received from God's bountiful hand. So effectively, if Satan is a proven expert in making US LOOK at what we ought not to see, he is just as skilful in making us NOT SEE, what we ought to look at thankfully.

The grass would always look greener on the other side for those, who turn a blind eye (blinded by the spiritual adversary) to lush green grass on their own side of the fence. Even as the Jews were being fed a Divine food miraculously in the wilderness en-route to the Promised Land, did not the food "on the other side of the fence" (read Egypt) appeal more to them with tragic results (Numbers 11)?

3. Botheration:

 

 

It is said that as long as you are bothered and worried stiff about your future, Satan wouldn't be bothered about you! Since it would mean that he has you well and truly caught in his "mind trap". He is a "natural" at selling clever lies such as that the coming days in this period of "economic meltdown" are going to be "too hot" for you to handle. Oh how would my future pan out, is the vexing question in the minds of many nowadays robbing them of the joyous fellowship with the Lord. That is why the Bible exhorts us to live one day at a time (Matt 6:34) casting our entire burden upon our Lord, who is willing to carry them (I Peter 5:7). In this fallen world, sometimes groaning out of the difficulties created by the unscrupulous are inevitable, but if He has promised to bring you, out of them, He certainly would (I Peter 5:10)! Remember Joseph ...

Want to have peace that passes all understanding (Philippians 4:7)? Then say along with me "I may not know what the future holds, but I personally know and love the ONE who holds the future". Has not the good Lord, who faithfully sustained you in the days gone-by going to sustain you in the days to come also? Say Amen!

Prayer: Father, we are no match to the wiles of the wicked enemy of our souls, if we try to fight Him with our own hands. However depending on Thee, we claim victory in Jesus' Name. Amen.

Please join us next Tuesday for Part 4 of CHECKMATE!

Suresh Manoharan

 


(To access the entire "Checkmate...Pal!" mini-series, please click here.)