Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Devil - Up Close and Personal

I've been tempted in my life. Haven't you? Tempted to do the wrong thing, tempted to lash out, tempted to think terrible, mean-spirited thoughts. Oh, I have been.

And, I've been convinced by my pride that I'm right, determined to war or seek revenge, seek my own reward, and I've at times even been tempted to play the martyr and soak in self-pity like a bubble bath til I was shriveled up like a raisin.

I never see it in the exact moment for what it is. It always fools me.

Why is that?

I think I've learned something. A major "aha" in my life as of just days ago.

When the devil is in your face, you will NOT see if for what it is. You CAN'T. Because he'll never look like the devil up close and personal. Like a ghost or a vapor, you will sense him there lurking in your problems, your drama, your anger, but you won't be able to really see how big or ugly he is until the light comes - hours, days or sometimes even years later.

In the light of truth, the light of wisdom, the light of hindsight, or the light of conviction, the devil can be clearly seen. Stepping back a few paces from the situation, the drama, the problem, the challenge, you can see him clearly - seeking to tear you down, confuse the issue, breed fear, create division and destroy your self-esteem and life mission.

So, the key when you find yourself questioning your actions, your motives, your wisdom, your faith, and it doesn't feel good to your soul . . . put some distance between you and the devil - take some alone time with God and see your life as heaven sees it . . . and what you'll find is the Devil's been in your face . . .

Enter Jesus. Arms open wide enough to put some distance between you and that deceptive joker. Arms open wide enough to help you see your possibilities and limitless value. Sacred space.

For with Jesus it is personal as well. Bring any problem, challenge, bitterness or loss to Him and He'll shine a light. So bright that the devil disappears like a vapor. And what is left is truth, strength, grace and love . . . hold that close . . . for with those you can never be deceived. And it will feel good to your soul. So good.