Are you kidding me? Again? I know that’s how many of us feel every time we see a new update on the coronavirus, another social media post about a disunified country, or a regulation that we don’t agree with. I sense from people that they're being worn down. It doesn’t matter where you land on things, we’re all fatigued. How about you? How are you feeling about everything? No really, you should be able to honestly answer this question. Now isn’t the time to be a tough guy; it isn’t the time to pretend that the world is rainbows and unicorns and it isn’t time for you to stick it to The Man.
From mask mandates, social distancing to the poor buffet restaurant industry (maybe I’m the only one grieving that), things today can feel out of control. They can feel broken and disagreeable like when the mechanic comes back to tell you that there’s something else wrong with your car. That new restriction on your freedom is like those tires that need to be changed. That’ll be another $1200.
So again I ask you...How are you doing?
I want to give us all a challenge/encouragement. The devil is in the details. That’s comforting, right? Here’s the challenge: the devil will use anything and everything to keep you afraid, worried, angry or confused. I’ve heard it said, “The devil doesn’t work in 100% lies; he works in the 99% truth.” All he needs is 1%. The devil isn’t working in the coronavirus or racism like some may think he is, he’s working in the details like telling you, “You’re going to get sick.” “No one cares about anyone but themselves in this country!” Maybe he’s saying, “No one can tell you to wear a mask.” Or, “Why aren’t people taking this seriously?”
The enemy doesn’t have to use a massive thing like a virus or racism, but he loves to use that 1% to whisper lies or doubt into your ear. He wants to turn you in his direction just by making you believe a lie. The devil seeks to steer the ship, not change the wind.
Peter tells us this very thing in 1 Peter 5:8. He says, “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.”
When a negative thought enters your mind, do you ever think, “Man, the enemy really could use this.” I think that’s what Peter is telling us. If we aren’t aware of how we are, then we’re not going to be alert enough to know when he’s going to attack.
Now to the encouraging part of the devil being in the details. Are you ready? Here it is: the devil is in the details because he can’t be in the victory. He uses the details because he knows that he’s outmatched and defeated by Jesus.
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet He did not sin. - Hebrews 4:15
Even in the details, the devil couldn’t stop Jesus. He was tempted as we are, but came out without sin. If you’re a follower of Jesus, that should encourage you.
You may be thinking, “Yeah, yeah, I agree with you, but it’s more complicated than that.” To you I’d say, “Is it?” Maybe the problem is that we’ve over-complicated things because the enemy has whispered in our ears so many times that we don’t know what Truth actually looks like anymore. Let me remind us.
“For the word of the Lord is upright, and all work is done in faithfulness.” - Psalm 33:4
“They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” - Lamentations 3:23
“I have said these things to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” - John 16:33
While this isn’t an exhaustive list of scriptures, it should show us the faithfulness of God as our hope, our constant. So if in this moment you find yourself answering my question of “How are you doing?” with anything other than the hopeful grace of Jesus then maybe it’s time to look for the devil in the details.
Need to hear the voice of God? Go to His word and pray for the direction of the Holy Spirit. He will guide you in truth and peace. Remember, Jesus is 100% faithful.