Happy Friday! Check out our Fruitfulfab flashback originally posted on October 3, 2016.
Open Your Eyes
It is often said “when people show you themselves, believe them”. But what if they disguised themselves and if you, like Mr. Ellington, didn’t recognize the signs of whom the person really was?
“I-I didn’t believe you. I saw him and didn’t recognize him,” gasps Mr. Ellington. “That is man’s weakness…and Satan’s strength,” stresses Brother Jerome.
How many times has the devil disguised himself or you failed to recognize what he was doing before it was too late?
How well can you recognize him and his work, and why can’t we recognize him?
I have always loved watching reruns of the Twilight Zone. One of my favorite episodes is called The Howling Man. On a rainy, stormy day, David Ellington recalls of another rainy, stormy day he endured. Déjà vu or not? That day he was wearied, lost and had stumbled across a place of refuge. He needed help. Mr. Ellington pleads with the strange man who answers the door to let him in. After being let in and waiting for further approval to speak with the leader about resting there for the night, Mr. Ellington collapses from sheer exhaustion.
The men at this sanctuary reluctantly give Mr. Ellington shelter to rest. And Mr. Ellington discovers where the howling he had been hearing, since he arrived there, is coming from. No one acknowledges at first his discovery. But throughout the night, the howling continues to capture his attention. Behind the bars is a homely man with a gentle appeal to Mr. Ellington for freedom from the men who have imprisoned him. The man behind the door pleads for help. He tries to warn Ellington also that the men are not who they say there are.
“They’re mad, Mister Ellington. All of them, raving mad. Listen. I was in the village in Schwartzof. I was walking in the street with my woman. We paused to rest by a tree. And we kissed. Is it wrong to kiss? Tell me,” begs the man.
He Let Him Loose, Ya’ll
To make a long story short, Mr. Ellington sets the man free, only to discover he had been tricked. He let loose the devil and had to spend years and years chasing him to bind him again. Now Ellington has captured him, has him bound and is sharing his account of when he let him loose. But will that person fall for the devil’s tricks; will that person doubt who the devil really is, only to let him out again?
“I know. It’s –it’s an incredible story. I, of all people, know this. And you won’t believe me. No, not at first. But I’m going to tell you the whole thing. Then, you will believe, because you must. You must believe.”
As I watched this, I thought, if I was in Ellington’s shoes, “Would I recognize the devil for what he is?” Would I trust what the brothers were telling me? Would the devil appeal to my flesh, my emotions, etc. to deceive me into letting him go? How many times has he deceived me already?
Father of Lies
The devil is a deceiver. In fact, he is the father of all lies. He can masquerade as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14). In the appearance of man, a homely one, the devil appears even as a victim, falsely accused while accusing the brothers to Mr. Ellington. He draws Ellington’s curiosity and appeals to his emotions as well as sows seeds of doubt into his heart. And he does it at such an opportune time, when Ellington is weary, exhausted and in the midst of a storm. Not saying the devil doesn’t come at other times to distract us, deceive us, and let loose in our lives, but he seems to come and have his way the most during tests and trials as well as when we are unarmed and feeling weak.
So how aren’t we recognizing him?
We aren’t consistently in the Word of God. “Truth is dogma. We believe it to be man’s greatest weapon against the devil, who is the father of lies,” says Brother Jerome.
We are building our doubt and not our faith. Doubt means to lack confidence, to consider unlikely, to distrust.
We are being led by our flesh, emotions, etc. and not by the Spirit of God.
We are in a spiritual state of slumber. We are not growing in our walk; our prayer lives are dull; our hearts are numb and our appetites and pursuit of God and godly things are growing cold. 1 John 2:28
So, I encourage you to not be deceived by the enemy and let him loose in your life.
Seek God first, pursue God greatly and nurture your relationship with God intimately daily.
Saturate in the Word of God daily. Ellington asks, “But if he’s the devil, how do you keep him locked up?’ Brother Jerome responds, “with the staff of Truth!” Read it, obey it, use it, speak it, and believe it!
Pray. Pray for God’s discernment and help. He knows everything and has already overcome the enemy and the world. He knows what the devil has planned and can protect you from his deception and attacks.
Build your faith and not your doubt. Faith comes by hearing by and hearing by the Word. Trust God and believe Him at His Word.
Know and believe that God has good intentions towards you.
Pray for wisdom and revelation; and when the Holy Spirit gives you insight into where the devil is at in your life and what he’s doing, call the enemy out on it in the name of Jesus. I know, Lord, the devil is trying to distract me and I rebuke these distractions in Jesus’ name. I pray I will fix my eyes on You, Lord, for You are the author and perfecter of my faith.
Check the condition of your heart and check unchecked sin and repent wholeheartedly. James 4:7-8
The M.I.A(Most Important Accessory) that a Christian should have in their possession is The Holy Spirit & The Word of God. They are something we don’t hang up or sport from time to time, but something we must wear daily, second by second, minute by minute. It is through His Word and through the Holy Spirit we can stay alert to the devil’s schemes.