A colleague recently shared a very troubling story about the boyfriend breakup of his daughter, a high school senior. She had broken her relationship with him, allowed him back into her life, and then broken up again. The young man must be troubled. He causes her embarrassment, and trouble at school by saying unkind and untrue things about her. Worse yet, she reported that he came to her home and was peeking in through the windows there. This is the attack of Satan through this young man – troubled as he certainly is.
A friend of mine is currently battling cancer. He describes the battle as one against a visitation of the devil. He’s in good company. Paul spoke of his thorn in the flesh as a messenger of Satan to torment him. This is also an attack of Satan.
Jesus speaks of the devil as a thief who comes to steal, kill, and destroy. It is Satan’s greatest desire to steal our joy, kill our hope, and destroy our souls. There is nothing cartoonish, impish, or exciting about anything Satan is offering. He may disguise it as such, but his ways lead to death. Every time.
It wasn’t some maggot-infested, half-rotten piece of fruit that the serpent pointed to on the ground near the tree in the Garden of Eden. It was good for food. Desirable for wisdom. Pleasing to the eye (cf. Genesis 3:1-8). Satan’s offerings always look good. But they always also kill, steal, and destroy. He has an agenda. It is for our harm and eternal destruction. We must not be unaware of his designs (cf. 2 Corinthians 2:11).