It’s Magic

Magic has always peaked my interest. I remember one Christmas my parents got me a “Magician’s Starter Kit.” It had a bottle that you could have float on a rope, a couple of card tricks, and some other small tricks with it. The whole concept of magic, though, is to be able to move your hands fast enough, or create a diversion, so that you’ll be able to pull of the “magic” trick.

Well, as I’ve gotten older, I’m still intrigued with magic. Dawn and I watch America’s Got Talent and when the magicians come on we’re just blown away, if they’re good. They come out and do these card tricks that are just amazing. We both sit there and try and figure out how they did it. We have even re-watched the trick in slow motion to see if we could see the trick. Some of them there’s just no way. I know, from my starter kit, that part of the trick is to get you to look in one direction, while they do the trick over to the side, “Deception.”

When you get into a “spiritual battle” that’s exactly what the devil is doing. We could say that he’s employing a form of magic to get you to fall. The Word says in Ephesians 6:11, “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” That word wiles actually means; deceit, craftiness, trickery, methods, and strategies. These are things that the devil uses to wage war against us. He will do everything he can to deceive and capture us. He’ll say things like, “You can’t be forgiven. Look at all the bad things you’ve done in your life. How can God ever forgive you?” If you slip up and do something that the Lord doesn’t want in your life, the devil will say, “See, you couldn’t walk in righteousness. You call yourself a Christian??? God doesn’t love you now.”

I want to tell you that the strategies, the deceit, the tricks, methods that he uses aren’t new. He used them in the Garden of Eden and has been using them ever since. Let’s take a look at them real quick. There are the strategies that appeal to the lust of the eyes. Satan will see to it that something crosses your eyes, something that is very appealing to the flesh and pride of life. Something like delicious food, some attractive person, some person who is exposing their body, some possession like clothing, land, cars, houses, or whatever; some position; some authority and power. He will put them in front of your eyes and make it so appealing. Isn’t that what he did to Eve.

We’re doomed, unless we’re dressed in the full armor of God. Satan will entice us to eat the second helping, take the second look, buy the unneeded possession, or begin to selfishly seek more power and more position. He will use all the strategies he can to appeal to the flesh and to our pride as believers. This strategy hasn’t changed since he deceived Adam and Eve in the garden. Go back and read the story in Genesis 2 and 3.

One other strategy of the devil is to send false teachers, very impressive teachers, across your path. We must never forget that Satan is not a fiery red person with horns, a pointed tail, and a pitch fork in his hands. He is a living being in the spiritual world—a being who is transformed into a messenger of light. Don’t think that he works alone either. He has ministers who walk about as ministers of righteousness, but they proclaim a righteousness other than that of Christ. Their message is that of self-righteousness. A message of human goodness and works. A message of ego and self-image. A message of personal development and growth. A message of self-improvement and correction. A message of mind and will.

These messages appeal to our flesh, and they are helpful. This must be realized and acknowledged, but such messages are not the basic power needed by man. They cannot deliver us from the great trials and sufferings of life or death. They can only lead us down the path of all flesh—that of death, decay, and eternal judgment.

The point is this: one of the most prominent strategies of the devil is to deceive us with false teachers and ministers and their appealing but false messages. As believers, we’re doomed unless we clothe ourselves in the full armor of God.

Let me close this week by saying, “There’s no trick up his sleeve.” Oh, we always think there is. We walk around saying, “Well, the devil tricked me again.” I’m sorry, he didn’t trick us, we just let our guard down. If we’re reading God’s Word, if we’re clothed in the Armor of God, if we’re spending time in prayer, if we’re spending time in worship, then we’ll be aware of the tricks of the devil. All his tricks are laid out right there in God’s Word. He hasn’t changed since the Garden. The “flashbangs” might be a little brighter, but the methods haven’t changed. Be alert, be aware, put on the whole armor of God.

Until next time,

Pastor Rob

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