Satan’s best-laid plan has always been for us to destroy ourselves first.
At any stage of life, Satan loves using the weaknesses of our flesh as a weapon against us; much like the bully who grabs our wrist, swinging it toward our face, yelling, “Quit hitting yourself! Quit hitting yourself!” Satan targets our insecurities and then laughs at our self-destruction. The Bible says we fall into his snare and are “taken captive by him to do his will” (2 Timothy 2:26). [Facing the Mirror, page 19]
Bullying is a nation-wide problem and topic of discussion these days. We’ve all either seen it, been effected by it personally, or know a loved-one who has fallen prey to a bully somewhere. And it’s not just children. Businessmen around a conference table or water cooler have been known to bully the “new guy.” Women at the park, ballgame, or office, are just as guilty of picking another woman apart with their stares or snarky comments.
But I want you to know the first bully (and the culprit behind all bullies) is the devil. And his unseen tactics have traumatized and inhibited millions of people since the beginning of time.
Take the story of Gideon for example. Who told him he was unworthy to great feats for God? (The bully–I mean, the devil.) What about Moses? Who told him he was unworthy to speak for God before Pharaoh? (The devil.) Who made Sarah feel insecure about having a child in her older years? (Yes, the same bully as all the others–the devil on her shoulder whispering in her ear.)
Think about this: the devil has had the same bag of tricks since the beginning of time. In the garden, he picked on Eve and tricked her into the ultimate sin of disobeying God. He made her believe it was the right thing to do and would have no consequences, and then as soon as she acted upon his suggestions, he turned, pointed a finger and laughed at her. It was then that she and Adam felt ashamed.
The Book of Genesis says when Eve “saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate” (Genesis 3:6). Notice how he tricked her: through the lust of the flesh (she saw the tree was good for food), the lust of the eyes (it was pleasant to look upon), and the pride of life (it could make her wise).
1 John 2:15-16 says, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world–the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life–is not of the Father, but is of the world.”
The bully knows this.
He knows if he can trick you through the weakness of your flesh (and make it sound okay and harmless), then he has you positioned right where he wants you. And his next move is to turn and sneer. He targets our insecurities and then laughs at our self-destruction.
But don’t be discouraged. Just recognize the real bully in your life. And then realize “Greater is he who is in you than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4). Learning who you’ve been made in Christ is your ultimate defense against the bully.
You are more than you think you are–through Christ. Don’t be bullied.
This is the life of the righteous.