Even he

 
Just in case you ever think that you are just one of the billions, unimportant, unrecognized, and forgotten – consider this perspective. 
 
If you haven’t read The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis, I highly recommend it. There is even an audio version narrated by John Cleese the Monty Python actor famous for Fawlty Towers.  In Screwtape, a demon is assigned to one human fellow.  The demon’s job is to find a temptation that will lead the human into sin.  Satan continually badgers the demon, whom he calls “Nephew,” to work hard at his task.  Nephew continually fails.
 
The story is obviously fiction; or is it?  Even he, Satan, recognizes the uniqueness of each human and seeks to find a way to lead them away from God.  As unique as the Lord has made each of us, even the Devil recognizes our individuality.  Ironically, though Satan knows this, he tries to convince us that we are just like everyone else.
 
Remember, he came directly to Jesus in the desert while He was praying.  Satan tempted Him with a three-part plan.  Knowing Jesus was hungry, he offered Him a way to food.  Knowing Jesus was popular, he offered Him global recognition.  Knowing Jesus was close to God, he tempted Him to test God by throwing Himself off the top of the Temple to see if God would save Jesus before He hit the ground.
 
Temptation comes in three stages.  First, we see or hear about something we desire.  Then we think about it.  Then we act.  It is impossible to prevent the seeing or hearing.  The other two stages are up to us.  Let me give you an example.
 
I see a glass of wine that is very desirable.  For me, for Bob, when I think about it, there are conflicting possibilities.  To drink, perhaps with a favorite meal, is to taste and relish the flavor.  However, to drink is also to start a cycle of drunkenness which may carry on for a day, a year, or the rest of my life.  I think about all the different outcomes.  The Devil is not in control of my thoughts at this stage because it is up to me to choose between allegiance to his ways or to God’s ways.  The next stage is action.  After thinking through the temptation, I can choose to partake of the ruby liquid shimmering in the glass, or I can say “No thank you.”   Satan is not in charge of my choices.  Now, if I choose to drink, I have given control back to Satan.  If I choose to resist it, I have given God control over my desire.  Satan knows which temptation he has crafted for me based on my past. 
 
Our temptations can be pornography, romantic fantasy, adultery, gluttony, thievery, pride, murder, hatred, gossip, lying, cursing God, criticism, selfishness with gifts, wasting of talents, or ingratitude for all that God has given us.  The list is endless, but for me and for each of us, it is very specific.  I don’t need to tell you your temptations because you know them already. 
 
I can only encourage you to stand strong in the face of what the Enemy of Man wants to give you.  All the while, he will be taking from you what God has planned for your life.  Even he knows how exceptional you are.

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