The Devil’s in the Details

The Devil depicted in the Temptation of Christ, by Ary Scheffer, 1854.

The Devil depicted in the Temptation of Christ, by Ary Scheffer, 1854.

There is a story about Martin Luther, the esteemed 16th Century Protestant theologian, where he was said to have turned from his desk, and hurled the ink well he was using at the Devil, who he thought was standing behind him, ready to cause him harm. This may actually be apocryphal—but it does indicate that for men like Luther, the Devil, aka, Satan, was so real that waging warfare against him and all his works occupied their waking hours.

Most of us no longer use ink wells, let alone hurl them at spirits or fallen angels, like Satan. Partly this is due to the times that we live in. We’re more rational in our daily lives, or so we tell ourselves. We at least lack an awareness of the things that aren’t obvious to us; like demons and angels, if in fact, they actually exist. Some believe they do, so I’ll leave Satan to them.

If there isn’t an actual Devil and other demons stalking us, then there are those who personify the presence of possible harm in our lives. According to Christian apologist, Matt Slick, the word “Satan” comes from a Hebrew word meaning “adversary.”

While I don’t believe in a physical presence named Satan, I do have people in my life that I’d certainly consider to be adversaries, standing between me and where I think I need to go for success. I could even characterize a few of them as “devils.”

Today’s post stems from a conversation I had the other day with a friend. I don’t know how the subject came up, but she said to me, “I reject Satan and all his works.”

Mr. Rational post-Xian (that would be me) said, “While I don’t believe in the Devil, if I had to put some of my challenges into some type of theological construct, then yes, I reject Satan and all his works.”

That little catch phrase, “I reject Satan and all his works” got me through the day, caused me a few chuckles, and my friend and I even texted back and forth a couple of times during the day about whether there had been any “Satan sightings.” There had been, but only a couple.

Don’t let your adversaries deter you from what you have set out to do in your life.