Behind the Scenes
Recently I posted something my silly middle child, Sam, said regarding the top four people he’d NEVER listen to. That list consisted of “Tucker (his older sister), Satan, Watts (baby bro), and robbers. In that order.”
I had to laugh each time I recounted this “list” to someone - I found it funny that he would list Tucker ahead of Satan on his list of those not to associate with. To be fair, he’s only five years old, and Tucker does seem to get him into more trouble than she keeps him out of. But in sharing this story, the Lord reminded me of just how often I make my list in a similar fashion. How often do I fail to recognize the enemy as the true source of the struggle I’m having with something or someone in my life? How often do I direct my frustration, anger, or blame at another person instead of the master of dissension himself?
Ephesians 6:12 reminds us that “our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”
Our battle isn’t against those things that really annoy us or those people that really aggravate us. Our battle is with the enemy himself. The manipulator of situations and circumstances. The igniter of anger and frustration. The distractor. The deceiver.
Once when I was in high school, our church youth group visited New York City. On that trip we took a “behind the scenes” tour of NBC studios. I was excited to see the ins and outs of some of the iconic shows like Dateline and Saturday Night Live. I was surprised to discover what small spaces these shows were filmed in and how the “magic” of television production was really able to disguise what was present behind the scenes. After that trip, I never watched another episode of one of those shows without thinking about what was actually present behind the camera.
Because once I knew what was working behind the scenes, I had a new perspective.
Likewise, once we acknowledge that Satan, our primary enemy, is the one working behind the scenes of our every day struggles, our perspective should shift away from that which we can only see with our eyes and onto the one waging a spiritual war against us.
1 Peter 5:8 says, “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”
Satan is on the prowl, pressing in to those areas of weakness where we’ll be caught off guard, seeking to devour those of us who sit comfortably unaware of the impending attack.
But, as believers, we do not have to sit helpless or hopeless. James 4:7 says, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
By submitting ourselves to God, we are giving ourselves over to His will, His ways. At the same time, we are tapping into the power that is part of our inheritance as adopted children of God. It is this power - His power - that enables us to resist the schemes of the devil and, as Ephesians 6 says, “having done all, to stand.”
So, while Sam was a little misguided in his ordering, he was on the right track by acknowledging his enemy. If we recognize who is at work behind the scenes of our troubles, we can change our perspective and position ourselves for battle - knowing that greater...mightier...stronger is the ONE alive within us than he who is prowling around in this world.