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Throughout your life you are going to be faced with many enemies. People will be enemies who oppose you or sin against you in many different ways. Sin is an enemy that harms our relationship with God. Sickness and ultimately death are enemies that tear our families apart. One other crucial enemy that you will have to face throughout your Christian life is Satan.
Satan, or the devil, is the oldest enemy of God. He was the first to rebel against God’s glory. Instead of wanting to be like God, Satan wanted to be God. Because of this, he was banished from God’s presence forever. You see, all those who try to be God will never be with him. Only those who are like God will be with God forever. Satan really doesn’t want you to be like God. But he would love for you to try to be God. He wants you to follow in his footsteps and rebel against God.
The bad news is that we all do this. This is because it wasn’t only Satan who rebelled against God. Adam and Eve rebelled against God too. They followed Satan instead of God and tried to be God. We all fall under the curse of sin from Adam. So, we, much like them, rebel against God and try to be God instead of being like God.
One of the main ways Satan works to see us rebel against God is to blind the eyes of our minds from seeing how amazing Jesus is. Paul puts it this way: “In their case 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). The way Satan keeps people from believing in Jesus is to keep them from seeing the beauty of Jesus. The reason we sin is because we don’t see Jesus as our greatest treasure. We think sin will satisfy us, and we think sin is as good as it gets.
Our greatest need is for the eyes of our minds to be opened. People you are blind from birth have no idea what the world looks like in the light. Their world is dark. If they were able to see, if their eyes were opened, the light would cause them to see the world in a whole new way. The same is true of all unbelievers. Before we trust Christ we see the world in darkness, and we walk in darkness. But because Jesus died in the darkness of God’s wrath, we can live in the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ.
This is exactly what God has done for us in Christ. The greatest miracle of salvation is that God himself opens our eyes to see his beauty: “For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Cor. 4:6). For those of you in Christ, God has looked into the darkness of your heart and said, “Let there be light!” Walk in that miracle by walking in that light.
Mathew Gilbert (B.A. Boyce College) is Associate Pastor for Children and Preschool at The Church at Trace Crossing in Tupelo, MS. He is married to his high school sweetheart, Erica. Mathew and Erica live in Tupelo with their son, Jude. You can follow him on Twitter @mat_gilbert.