“…for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light” (II Corinthians 11:14).
As Christians we are called to be a wise and discerning people. To guide us and to direct us, God has placed His Holy Spirit within us and has also given us His Word, the Holy Bible. Of this book, the Psalmist said, “Your word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path” (Psalm 119:105).
In the verse above, the Apostle Paul tells us something about the strategy of our enemy, the devil. He lets us know that when Satan is out to tempt us, he does not show up on our doorstep as some drooling fiend smelling of sulfur and brimstone. He comes in disguise! Cloaked in light! He comes tempting us with things that are pleasing to the eye, attractive to our fallen nature, titillating to our basest instincts. From the outside, at first glance, it looks so right, so beautiful, and so attractive.
This is where the Christian is called to be wise and discerning, drawing on the power of the Spirit and the Word, so that they can sort out the truth from the error, the good from the evil.
While pondering this, my thoughts went to a scene from the movie The Wizard of Oz. Do you remember this scene? The Scarecrow, the Tin Woodsman, and the Cowardly Lion are on a mission to rescue Dorothy from the Wicked Witch. They climb to an outcropping of rocks that overlook the courtyard of the witch’s castle. Parading in the courtyard are the castle guards. While looking over the courtyard, planning their next move, they are ambushed from behind by three of the guards. A struggle ensues from which Dorothy’s rescuers appear wearing the uniforms of the guards that they have just overpowered. Now, all they need to do is to slip in the ranks of the marching guards and follow them into the castle.
As they slip into the ranks, all is well except for the fact that the tail of the Cowardly Lion will not tuck neatly under the coat he now wears. Marching at the back of the ranks we see him doing his best to hide his tail, which is a dead give-away that he is not what he is disguised to be.
My friends, my prayer for you, my prayer for myself is that when Satan shows up on our doorsteps as the imposter that he is, that no matter how convincing his disguise, we will see, sticking out from under his disguise the tail that will give him away.