Wednesday, April 19, 2023

The Devil's Face

Just because you're not being attacked by the devil because God wants to use you mightily...doesn't mean that God is not going to use you mightily. In fact, it's just like God to not only use you anyway, but to use the exact struggle that you've been going through for His glory. 

Think about the number of persons you know who have incredible testimonies, great stories of all the good things God has done in their life. 

It gets a little complicated here because so often, these persons with incredible testimonies say things like, "I am so thankful that God let me go through that" or "I'm thankful for the challenges that I've had," as though these were good things that were part of the plan - part of God's plan - all along. 

Now, we're going down a complicated sort of rabbit trail. This kind of thankfulness implies that God caused the trouble or trial because He wanted to use it. Most of us would be quick to say that that's not the case because we know that God is good all the time and that He does not cause the things that break us so grievously. God doesn't want your life to be pain and struggle and fear. Not once in all of His story does God say, "I'm going to scare them into repentance." Nor does He ever say, "I'm going to increase the burden on their back so much that they will beg me for mercy." It's not His style. 

So then, we say that the devil did it. That God was on His way to using us and the devil stepped in and created the trial and the trouble to stop God from using us the way He wanted to. And it worked. We tell ourselves that the stories that we have, the ones we're even "thankful" for, aren't the stories we were meant to live. This isn't how God wanted to use us. This isn't the testimony we were supposed to have. 

But God

But God decided to use the story that we have and turn it on its head and use it for His glory. God decided to shove it right back in the devil's face and make it more powerful than the adversary could ever have imagined. God decided, like in the book of Job, to pour our blessings out seven-fold on the other side of darkness and stick it to the devil one more time through us. 

All of a sudden, our story of darkness and suffering and struggle and near-defeat becomes a story of great victory. Not just personal victory, where we have come out on the other side of it, but cosmic victory. Spiritual victory. One more thorn out of Jesus's crown, right into the devil's side. 

It makes us feel really good about ourselves that we get to be part of something like this. It makes us feel really good about our God that He does something like this. It makes us feel really bad about the devil that he necessitates something like this. Win-win-win. Right?

It would be, if it wasn't resting on the unbiblical foundation that we exposed yesterday, this idea that we were on our way to epic, grand, God-glorifying stories that the devil stepped in to stop because he was scared they'd be too big for him. That part still isn't true. That part still has no biblical precedent at all. That part is still nothing more than the hope of our imagination. 

Because the truth is much more difficult to deal with.... 

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