For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:12
Anyone who grew up in the 50’s and 60’s will remember the cartoon showing the cat being tempted by a little red 3-inch-tall imp on his shoulder with horns, a tail, and a pitchfork, whispering enticements in his ear, while a little angel on his other shoulder is squeaking, “Don’t do it!” And we may know how that cat is feeling.
But I seriously doubt that Satan looks anything like that little cartoon character. If he appears at all, Scripture says he appears as an angel of light. (II Corinthians 11:14) I can’t tell you exactly what the devil looks like, but I can tell you what he sounds like, because I have heard his voice in my own life, often without realizing who it is that I’m listening to.
His lies, temptations, and accusations might be heard coming through the mouths of people in the world, and even those within the church, when arguments break out, confusion takes over, and division takes place.
But I’ve found in my own life that there are times when his voice sounds more familiar. For years I didn’t recognize where that voice was coming from, for a simple reason.
It sounded just like me.
It was a revelation to me the first time I heard that Satan can speak to me in a voice that sounds just like mine, and that he speaks in the first person. For example, let’s say that I’m a new Christian, and like any believer I desperately need the fellowship of other believers and to be fed the truth with the preaching of the Word; I need church. This is especially crucial, because during the week I work at a secular job, surrounded by people who are indifferent or downright hostile towards Christians.
So, on Sunday morning, the devil doesn’t pop on my shoulder, poke me with a pitchfork, and say, “Hello, my name is Satan, and I’m here to steal, kill, and destroy. I’m going to lie to you, tempt you, get you to sin, and then accuse you and separate you from God, ’cause that’s my job.”
Instead he says to me – in my own voice – I don’t think it would be that big a deal if I skipped church, just this morning. [LIE.]
He doesn’t say in an impish little cartoon voice “Hey, Christian, go back to sleep and skip church.”
He says – in my voice – It’s been such a busy week. I’m exhausted. I need more sleep. [TEMPTATION.] And I pull the blankets back over my head.
Then when I can’t get back to sleep, an hour and a half has passed, it’s too late to get to church, and I’m more tired than I was when I woke up, he doesn’t roar. “HAHA! I win!”
He moans – still in my voice – What’s the matter with me? I did it again! What kind of Christian am I? Am I even saved? I’m hopeless! [ACCUSATIONS. DOUBTS. DESPAIR.] He might even throw in a migraine just for his own amusement.
And all this time he’s had me thinking these are my own thoughts, as I face another week spiritually malnourished.
If you are a believer in Jesus, you have the mind of Christ (I Corinthians 2:16). Not a little angel sitting on your shoulder, battling it out with the little red imp that’s on the other shoulder, although there is definitely a battle going on!
The Bible tell us to put on the whole armor of God and take up the shield of faith and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. (Ephesians 6:11-17) The more we know God’s Word and purposefully put our faith in His truth, the harder it will be for Satan to trip us up with his lies. If we are studying Scripture, meditating on it, memorizing it, and hiding it in our hearts, the more we will be armed against the enemy when he tells us things contrary to what we now know.
The battle is in the mind, and the prize is our very souls. So arm yourself with the truth of God’s Word, and let Him strengthen you against those destructive thoughts that seem to come out of nowhere – now that you know where they’re coming from.