Vol.XII No.VIII Pg.3
October 1975

The Devil's Deal

Dan S. Shipley

Satan desires to have all men the way he desired to have Peter (Lk. 22:31). Relentlessly, he seeks to gain advantage over men through the employment of devious and persuasive devices (2 Cor. 2:11). That some dont care and that others dont take him seriously only makes his work of destroying souls easier. Peter calls him our adversary, who, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour (1 Pet. 5:8). Not that he looks or sounds like the lion (better that he did!), but that he seeks his prey as the hungry lion, even when appearing as an angel of light 1 (1 Cor. 11:14). It matters little to Satan that most of his followers deny (even resent) being identified with his kingdom. Why should he care about those who deny voting for him so long as he carries the election? Men serve Satan as they serve sin, claims to the contrary (even by some religious folk) not withstanding! As John puts it, he that doeth sin is of the devil (1 John 3:8).

But even worse than Satans seeking a place in man is that man will give it! When Paul says neither give place to the devil (Eph. 4:27), he Implies mans ability to resist. James says plainly, resist the devil and he will flee from you (Jas. 4:7). This means that no man has to serve Satan; that every man as a free moral agent can choose his master. It means that the only place Satan can have in man is that which man gives him! Such bespeaks of a potential and power for which every man should be thankful. Satans power is limited. With Gods help we can resist; we can endure (1Cor. 10:l3), therefore we must. The devil ever seeks a place in man, but thanks be to God, he cannot take it!

Not only can the devil be given a place in man, his given, place becomes a growing place. Sin begets sin. The attitude that permits one will permit yet others, and with increasing ease. Recall Davids lustful looking upon Bathsheba and how it led to adultery, lying and finally murder. In every sin lies the germ of a hundred more. And with each successive sin comes a degree of hardening (Heb. 3:13); a gradual dulling of the spiritual senses that soon numbs the violated conscience. Once given a place, the devil is hard to displace and soon expands his base of operations. Thats why he needs resisting — and early!

In addition to being a given and growing place, the devils place is also a distracting place. In his second letter to the Corinthians, Paul writes, But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve in his craftiness, your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity and the purity that is toward Christ. (11:3) Simplicity here is singleness and sincerity as opposed to double or divided. Satan would divide and distract our minds from Christ — perhaps with cares; perhaps with riches and pleasures, or in other ways, just so long as it is occupied with earthly things and not spiritual (Col. 3:2). Mark it well: whatever distracts us from Christ; whatever hinders our doing His will or encourages not doing it is of the devil! His deal is simple: give him a place in you now and hell give you a place with him in eternity. (Matt. 25:41)