There is a joke about a man who went to a Halloween costume party dressed as the devil. As he was walking home from the party, still dressed in his costume, it started to rain.
It happened that at that very moment, church was in service, and the preacher had been preaching about the devil, and what an evil, awful creature he was, and so when all the people saw a man walk in who appeared to be the devil, they became hysterically frightened.
They all scrambled to get away from him as quickly as possible. Some people were crawling out windows. Others were hurrying toward doors.
One old woman had caught her skirt on the end of the church pew. The man in the devil costume approached her wanting to tell someone — anyone — that there was nothing to fear.
But as he approached her, with her skirt still caught on the pew, she cried out in desperation, “Devil, I just want you to know that even though I’ve been a member of this church for over fifty years, I’ve really been on your side all along.”
Kidding aside, what should people do when the real devil comes around in their lives?
You’ll know Satan is around whenever you feel tempted to sin. The Bible identifies Satan as “the tempter” (Matthew 4:3).
Furthermore, the Bible tells us what to do in these situations: resist! The Bible repeatedly says to resist the devil (James 4:7; 1 Peter 5:8-9). In other words, resist temptation.
Let me share with you a great quote from C.S. Lewis, from his book, “Mere Christianity,” about the matter of resisting temptation. He wrote, “A silly idea is current that good people do not know what temptation means. This is an obvious lie. Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is. After all, you find out the strength of the German army by fighting against it, not by giving in.
“You find out the strength of a wind by trying to walk against it, not by lying down. A man who gives in to temptation after five minutes simply does not know what it would have been like an hour later. That is why bad people, in one sense, know very little about badness — they have lived a sheltered life by always giving in.
“We never find out the strength of the evil impulse inside us until we try to fight it: and Christ, because He was the only man who never yielded to temptation, is also the only man who knows to the full what temptation means — the only complete realist.”
Let’s be like Jesus. Let’s resist temptation. When Satan comes around in your life, resist him!
By Jake King
(Jake King is the preacher at Seneca Church of Christ. He can be reached at (417) 776-3077.)