The old devil has many names mentioned throughout the Scriptures, but in this particular story, I’d prefer to call him old “Ugly.” And ugly he is, friend. If you have never encountered him in a full all-out spiritual warfare, you really have no idea what you are up against.
I want you to understand that he is suave and debonair. On the outside. This is the way he enters your minds and hearts. He simply finds a vacant little spot, and nudges you gently to let him reside there. Well, what could it hurt? He’s homeless.
I recently watched an episode unfold with him at the wheel. It started quite simply when a holy woman let her guard down. She became indignant and insulted when her mother passed away, and the pastor had not been able to visit her at the hospital. It never occurred to her that the pastor had not only a total care spouse to attend to, but also had taken on the care of his spouse’s mother. These ladies had to have constant care, bathing, diapering, and cooking and household cleaning chores as well. The woman allowed her hurt to provide a place for old Ugly to dwell. And dwell he did. Oh, he didn’t rear his head up often, but gently nudged the holy woman with soft words and reassurance, telling her she had every right to be upset. Why, it was unheard of for a pastor to fail to visit the sick.
Why do you think Jesus told one of his disciples to let the “dead” bury the “dead?” He wasn’t talking about physical death. He wanted those who were spiritually dead to bury the dead. Those who are alive spiritually have much work to do, and cannot spend a lot of time in grief over the passing of a loved one. But, now, Ugly disagreed.
Over the next four of five years, old Ugly reared up now and again. The woman slowly became quieter and lost some of her joy in the spirit. Once in a while he spoke something through her that began to spread like gangrene throughout the little community church. Each time a new person found something they disliked about the pastor, Ugly was secretly thrilled. He was growing, that was for sure.
You know, there is a reason that God warned us to put on the full armor of God each and every day through reading of the Scriptures and prayer. He said the old Ugly was going to and fro upon this earth, seeking whom he may devour. Oh, yes. And devour he will. Only he sneaks up on you. You don’t even know he’s there, and all of a sudden you are in the middle of the biggest spiritual warfare that’s ever been waged.
Sadly, most Christian folks are so blinded by worldly things, they don’t know what’s happened until the show is over. And the saddest part is that they have no idea that God left. See, He will fight our battles for us if we ask Him, but He is a gentleman to the max, and He never stays where He is unwanted and unnoticed.
Old Ugly is having a field day with a lot of good people right about now. Why, there is so much tongue-wagging going on, no one has time to notice that the Spirit of God has been grieved.
Friend, open your eyes. Look around you carefully. Do you see God? He is not in the Ugly. He is not in the “gossip” session operating under the pretense of a Christian women’s group. He is not in the hearts of those who enjoy hurting others. So tell me, where is He??
I plan to know always where my Shepherd is located. And where He is, there I will be also. The Lord is my Shepherd. I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures. He restoreth my soul. I love Him, and I plan to stay near Him. I find comfort in His presence. He said, “My sheep know my voice“, and I pray I will always hear His gentle whisper.
I urge you to put on the full armor today, because you are going to need it in the coming days.