If you’ve seen “The Usual Suspects,” then you know that according to the Kevin Spacey character, “The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.” That is laughably low on the list. Hiding the reality of his existence from sin-blinded humanity is a parlor trick for Satan. It is EASY for spiritual darkness to hide in the shadows—that’s their native habitat. How in the world did Satan “hide” God?
Our God is the single greatest Being in the universe, bigger than the universe He created. He is the Lover and Sustainer of everything that exists, the Beginning and the End of everyone and everything, the One who is closer to you than your next breath. He who lives in unending Light, blazes with magnificent, unquenchable glory. How do you hide the Light of Life in plain sight?
Yet, Paul says that’s just what the devil did: “The god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God” (2 Cor. 4:4-5 ESV). Unquestionably, that was the greatest trick the devil ever pulled! And he keeps right on pulling it with every child born.
But wait a minute. Wasn’t I going to tell you about the second greatest trick? Sure, but you have to see the greatest one first and appreciate the immensity of the deception involved. We grew up so thoroughly under the spell of that one that it still seems natural for people to question God’s existence. Stop a moment to consider how bizarre and how wrong the “normal” state of things actually is.
Absolutely everyone is born totally blind, unable to “see” the greatest Person in their life. It may be as common as the cold, but it is positively unnatural! You have to be thoroughly deceived not to know that there is loving, forgiving, help-giving God right there with you ALL the time. That was certainly my story, until Jesus turned on the Light, so I know firsthand what it is like to be tricked out by the devil this way. Perhaps, you do too.
That brings us to the second greatest trick, one which closely rivals the first and may be even more diabolically clever. If the devil loses his grip on unbelievers and cannot keep Jesus from being revealed to them as Savior—if that first trick gets exposed—what is his next play? How does he recover the ground he’s lost? Somehow, with many, he manages to make Jesus seem undesirable as Lord. He tricks them into following himself all over again!
How is it possible that a once blinded worldling (such as we were) can behold Jesus by faith and yet choose to turn from Him to follow Self instead? A blind worldling cannot be blamed for having no idea that the most Beautiful Being in the Universe desires to be his/her Friend and Guide. Until Jesus is revealed, there really is no other option than to live for Self, as in “What do I want? How can I get it? How can I handle this? What should I do with my day?”
But now that the Light is turned on for us, we know better. We can go to Jesus asking: “Jesus, what do You want me to be doing? How do You want me to handle this? What have You got planned for my day?” Following Jesus produces joy and peace; following Self leads into stress and mess. Let’s round up the usual suspects—I, me and mine—and keep our eyes on Jesus!
Get a free download of my ebook, “Rescued from Hell: An Odyssey of Deception and Discovery,” at our website.