The Devil’s Strategy

By:  Staci Stallings

When we did the Jesus activity I talked about last time, we also did another activity.  In this one, I blindfolded one child and stood him at one corner of the room.  Jesus, my oldest daughter, stood some distance in front of him.  We talked about how we often don’t get the chance to VISUALLY watch Jesus’ feet as He leads the way.  Instead, we have to listen for His voice.

So the student was supposed to follow what Jesus was telling him.  “Take two steps forward.  Okay, now take one step to the right.”  (I was putting chairs and obstacles in his path as he went.)

Everything went fine.  He was moving quite well.  Then I added (already worked out beforehand) a twist.

“Satan,” my middle child stepped up next to him.  “Satan” could tell him whatever she wanted to get him to stop listening to Jesus.

So Jesus would say, “Take a step to the right.”  And Satan would say, “Take a step forward.”

At least that’s what I THOUGHT she would do, but these kids are super-smart.  Here’s how it went:

Jesus:  Take a step to the right.

Satan:  Take a step to the right.

He did.

Jesus:  Take a step forward.

Satan:  Take a step forward.

He did.

Jesus:  Take a step to the left.

Satan:  Take a step to the right.

About every third time “Satan” would give them the exact WRONG directions.  But “he” didn’t do it every time.  I almost tried to correct Satan, but she looked very much like she knew exactly what she was doing so I let her go.

Another 5 feet, I brought another “demon” in to help.  By now the student was getting a little confused, stumbling over chairs and coats in the way.  He would hear Jesus’ voice, but it was getting confused and drowned out.

Then in the corner, I said that anyone who wanted could come join in.  Poor kid.  He got way turned around.  Half of the kids were telling him to go Jesus’ way, half were telling him to go Satan’s way, and some were just saying random things:  “Go right.  Go left.  Go forward.  Turn around….”

Suddenly all he was doing was going in circles.  When I stopped him and took the blindfold off, he was shocked to see that he was going back the direction he had come from (right road, wrong direction… ever been there?!)

I asked him why that was so hard.  He said, “Well, I couldn’t tell who was right.  I could hear everybody, but I wasn’t sure who to listen to.”

Lesson learned.

Then I got a lesson on the way home.  My middle daughter said, “Mom, do you know what I was doing when I was Satan?  Do you know why I kept saying what Jesus did at first?”

I was glad she’d asked because, yes, I did want to know.

“Why?”

“Well, I figured my voice is just like hers.”  (Which is unbelievably true!)  “But if I kept saying opposite of her, he would figure out it was me.  So I had to get him to trust me first.  I said what she said and he would wait for me to say it the second time and do what I said.  Then sometimes I would say different than she said, and he would do what I said because he was starting to trust me instead.”

WOW!  Amazing insight from an 11-year-old!

How many times have you had Satan tell you good things to do, like join a church group.  You think you’re doing what Jesus told you to do, but then you start noticing you’re spending far less time with your family and far more time with the group.  The group wants to cook a meal and you volunteer.  The group wants to donate items, and you volunteer to collect and deliver them all.  The group wants to get together, and you volunteer your house.

Now, none of those look like the wrong answer, but they can be.  If you start resenting your “service” and the other involved…  If you start feeling overwhelmed and like the group’s activities have taken over your whole life…  If something about all of it just doesn’t feel right, you may have been snookered by the Devil’s Strategy.

Take heed.  Satan can turn the best things in life around if you get taken in listening to him instead of Jesus, and at first, they may sound an awful lot alike.  After all, what chance would Satan have if he always said the opposite of Jesus–especially at first?  No.  First, he will try to get you to trust him more than Jesus.  When that happens, look out.  You’re going to get all turned around and you very well may get going the wrong direction on the right path.

Just beware of this happening.  And when/if it does, be willing to stop, regroup, and stand there for a while until you’re sure you’re hearing Jesus again.  Otherwise, who knows where you’ll end up?

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