Monday, July 21, 2014

Giving Credit to the Adversary

I received a voicemail from a friend years ago that I will never forget.

She and her husband were in their car, when they rear-ended the vehicle in front of them.  Here's what the voicemail said as he left the message, and her voice was overheard beside him:

Him:  Yeah, um, just calling to let you know that we had a little trouble on the road.

Her:  We crashed!

Him:  We just had a fender-bender. 

Her:  We hit a "Beamer"!

Him:  No big deal...

Her:  It kinda is!

Him:  It's's spiritual warfare.

Her:  Bad things happen for two reasons, Satan and stupidity.  Don't blame Satan for your own stupidity!

Before you think that is the way I'm encouraging wives to talk to their husbands, please know that they were absolutely joking with each other as they left that funny voicemail.  There was nothing at all serious about it....except the fact that they DID hit a BMW!

The point of sharing this with you is to say that sometimes things DO happen that are not really the doing of our adversary, Satan.  We can read all about what he is capable of doing, with the Lord's permission, in the book of Job, but sometimes it is not an attack from him.

If we have an accident going down the highway at excessive speeds, or while trying to text on our cell phone, that isn't Satan's mistake, it is our own.  It is a natural consequence.

If we eat foods that are known carcinogens, we cannot blame Satan for a diagnosis of cancer.

Right now, I'm dealing with some really bad tooth pain.  Someone called it a "spiritual attack".  Well, it's not.  It's the natural consequence of eating too many sugary foods in my 35 years and not always maintaining good oral health with regular checkups at the dentist and better oral care habits at home.  Had I been sure to do those things, I wouldn't be dealing with these issues now.  They are not from Satan.  They are a result of my own bad habits over many years.

Let's stop giving Satan credit for all the things that don't go as we want them to go.  Bad things do happen because of Satan.  But, sometimes, it isn't an attack, but simply a consequence of choices previously made.


  1. Great post! I recall when I worked at a Christian bookstore years ago, a pastor came in looking for a book on spiritual oppression and/or possession. He said he believed Satan was attacking the members of his church because several were struggling with adultery, alcohol addiction and numerous other bad choices. I asked if I could speak bluntly. When he agreed I said, "Pastor, I don't think your parishioners have an oppression problem, I think they have a sin problem." The puritan, Thomas Watson puts it brilliantly, "Sin can do without Satan, what Satan cannot do without sin." Anyway, thanks for sharing your perspective on this topic!

  2. Thank you! I've heard moms say they were "under spiritual attack" when their children misbehaved. Um, no...try applying the rod of correction to their backside and watch "Satan" flee. ;)


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