Watch Out for Satan’s “But”

September 8, 2012 — 2 Comments

The smell of sulphur fills the air when his parched, cracked lips open and he speaks.  His voice is low and gravely, its pitch indistinct.  Yet our senses are oblivious to these disgusting warning signs.  In our ears we hear the voice of reason that seems to come from our own mind.

That’s the power of Satan – the master of disguise.

His weapon?  One of the tiniest words in the English language.  “But.”

“But” has grappling hooks that seize our mind.  It spins us, turns us on a dime, sending us in an opposite direction.

“But” is the beginning word of the novel in your heart that is entitled “Doubt.”

Once “but” enters the picture it triggers our fear and insecurity response system and we conceptualize spiritual cognitive distortions.  These distortions, these things that our mind convinces us are true but are actually false, become the building blocks for a spiritual life that is devoid of joy, contentment, and security.

You hear the preacher talk of God’s grace.  You even read about grace in your Bible – the matchless gift.  However, Satan whispers “But” into your ear.  And you finish his sentence with, “I don’t deserve it.”

You read the beautiful story of The Prodigal Son.  You see the prodigal son when you look in your mirror.  Lost is something you understand.  Tears flood your eyes when you picture the boy’s father welcoming him home with open arms and a forgiving heart.  Your heart is pricked and you think of turning back home to the Father.  That’s when Satan says, “But” and you complete the thought with, “You don’t know all the awful things I have done.”  Then your shoulders sag and hopelessness refills your heart.

When the simple prayer of Jesus that we call The Lord’s Prayer is recited you feel the urge to talk to God.  You want to speak to him as easily as Jesus did so that you can unburden your heart.  It’s at that exact moment Satan throws “but” into the picture and you complete his suggestion with, “I don’t know what to say or how to say it.”  So you feel as if any effort to speak to God is pointless and your tongue is fastened to the roof of your mouth.

Your heart is filled with excitement at the possibility of a life hereafter in the beautiful place called heaven.  This strikes fear in Satan.  So before you get carried away and do something like give your life to God, Satan steps close and whispers, “But.”  Your mind reels at this and you say, “What if it’s not real?”

Lying on the bottom of a pool filled with despair your lungs ache for a fresh breath of hope.  Above the surface you see the crucified Christ and his offer of salvation.  With a smile on your face, you push yourself up and begin swimming toward those outstretched arms.  Just before you break through the surface you hear, “But.”  You stop your ascent and say, “I can never live such a perfect life” and you slowly sink back to the bottom of the pool – defeated.

What can you do about Satan’s “but”?  I say confront him!  Call him out!  “Satan I know this is you.  I know what you are about and what you are trying to do.  Shut up and leave me alone!  The one who is in me is bigger and stronger than you will ever be.”

After you confront him, remind yourself that all those thoughts are distortions of the truth.  They are not the truth.

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2 responses to Watch Out for Satan’s “But”

  1. 

    Can it just be a coincidence that I read this phrase in 2 different articles today?
    The smell of sulphur fills the air when his parched, cracked lips open and he speaks. His voice is low and gravely, its pitch indistinct. Yet our senses are oblivious to these disgusting warning signs. In our ears we hear the voice of reason that seems to come from our own mind.
    That’s the power of Satan – the master of disguise.

    Things that make you go umm!!

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