If I Were The Devil

I preached from Daniel 10 yesterday morning. Daniel is a key text when it comes to looking behind the curtain of everyday life and seeing the spiritual battle that is going on all around us.

12 Then he said to me, “Fear not, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand and humbled yourself before your God, your words have been heard, and I have come because of your words. 13 The prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days, but Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I was left there with the kings of Persia, 14 and came to make you understand what is to happen to your people in the latter days. For the vision is for days yet to come.” Daniel 10: 12-14

I took a few moments on Sunday and talked about what I would do if I were the devil. Thought I would take a few moments and expand upon it here on my blog.

I would get Christians to obsessively watch the news.

I would get Christians to use social media in such a way that brings dishonor to the name of Jesus Christ.

I would keep Christians from praying and going deep in the Word of God.

I would get Christians focused on talking about Covid, politics, masks, vaccinations. The last thing I would want them to talk about is the gospel.

I would get Christians angry at other people who come from different theological and political tribes.

I would get Christians to begin to lose interest in being a part of the local church. Sunday attendance is not that bad, but I would keep them from meaningful community.

I would use Christians to stir up division and strife with others in the church.

I would make Christians confused about the priority between being a patriot and being a follower of Jesus Christ.

I would get Christians to believe the intoxicating lie that they can only make changes in the world if they are in a position of power.

I would lead Christians to believe that making disciples and investing in people is optional.

I would get Christians to believe in all kinds of modern day false prophecies.

I would use fear to rob them of their joy. I would make them so unhappy that they would be terrible advertising for the Christian life.

The War On Christmas

I just want to quickly ask and answer two questions.

Is There A War On Christmas?

To some degree I believe the answer to this question is yes. Christmas is all about Jesus Christ coming to this dangerous world to rescue men and women from their sins. Biblically we know there is an adversary, Satan, who is hell-bent on stopping the work of Jesus and his church. So I think there can be little doubt that there is a spiritual battle to keep the true meaning of Christmas from being displayed and communicated in all its beauty and glory.

If you want some evidence that there is a spiritual battle going on against Christmas consider this overlooked story in Matthew 2:16-18. Jesus had been born and we see how Herod reacts to this news:

16 Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, became furious, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had ascertained from the wise men. 17 Then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah:

18 “A voice was heard in Ramah,

weeping and loud lamentation,

Rachel weeping for her children;

she refused to be comforted, because they care no more.”

Part of the Christmas story is the tragic fact that there was a massacre of innocent children for the specific purpose of killing Jesus. Satan wanted, and would still like, to kill Christmas.

Are We Responding To The War On Christmas The Right Way?

OK, so from Scripture we see that the battle is real. But are we responding the right way? Unfortunately, I believe many times the answer to this question is no. When our primary weapons include anger, rage, venting, and arguing then we know that we have adopted man’s weapons for battle. Might I make a few suggestions?

  • We don’t need to complain about the X in Christmas.
  • We don’t need to post mean things online because a greeter at Walmart said “happy holidays” to us.
  • We don’t need to keep reminding people that it wasn’t like this in the good ole days.
  • We need to be aware that heavy doses of the daily news can make us angry at our culture instead of living as people of compassion and mercy.
  • We don’t need to lose our mind when coffee cups, department stores, and our culture in general has lost sight of what Christmas is all about.

The apostle Paul reminds us that we don’t use the world’s weapons for this spiritual battle. “For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh.” (2 Corinthians 10:3) As followers of Jesus Christ we must keep our eyes on him and how he responded to this war. Think about this, as Jesus was being nailed to the cross he uttered these amazing words, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34)  Jesus loved, served, and ultimately was willing to die on the cross for this world. How should we then live?

The gospel reminds us that our greatest weapon is love. So this Christmas if we have a desire to see our culture more accurately reflect the true meaning of Christmas let’s lay down the world’s weapons and begin loving people in everyday life the same way that Jesus has demonstrated his love to us.