Stop Scaring Your Brother!

I’m going to get right down to business with this post because there’s something we MUST stop doing to one another in the church.

We MUST stop using Satan to scare our brothers and sisters. Seriously. Be done with it.

I’ve seen it happen a thousand times. Someone shares a new ministry,  a vision, or a risk they’re taking following prayer and leading from the Lord. There’s ALWAYS a brother or sister listening who will inevitably chime in, “Ooo, watch out now. Satan’s going to come after you!” or “With all the progress in your work for Jesus, you’re definitely a target for Satan.”

People weirdly intend this as a kind of backhanded spiritual compliment but seriously, this kind of conversation has to go. Next time someone says this to you, look them in the eye and say “So what? I packed my life in a coffin the day I signed up with Jesus. Do you think Satan can do anything in my life without permission from Him? Are you saying He would ever leave me to my own, unprotected, defenseless against evil? Are you trying to discourage me from moving forward with boldness to do that which God has called me to do? Hunh? Hunh? Exactly what are you saying?”

Okay. Don’t really do that because it wouldn’t be kind to blast some poor little old church lady for saying something a thousand other people have said but do say it to yourself in your head. And stop throwing out comments like this – as if Satan were some sort of boogie man for believers.

Jesus warns us to count the cost of following Him. This is true. And when we give our lives to Him, we are choosing sides in the battle, so Satan becomes our enemy but he’s never anyone’s friend. Satan has no good side. No one makes deals with him over high-stakes poker and wins. He has no bevy of consorts who party through eternity. Satan is evil, destructive, boring, and ultimately doomed.

But, so what?

This week, of all weeks, we remember that Jesus triumphed over Satan. His death on the cross paid our ransom and His resurrection from the dead proved His power over evil, darkness, and death. Satan is defeated. Small. Diminished. Fading. Yesterday’s news.

Yes, Satan is active on the planet and the source of much suffering. I don’t minimize or romanticize suffering in this life. There’s nothing glorious about it. And when we move forward with Jesus, He may allow us, as He allowed Job, to endure various trials and agonies for the sake of the kingdom.

Still, there are many pursuits for which people suffer – Olympic medals, boot camp in the military, chemotherapy, childbirth – which we consider worth the result. If we suffer in the process of building God’s kingdom, we know the suffering will one day end but His kingdom will continue into eternity. Our contribution to the work will be the stuff of stories told around Heaven’s campfires long after the name of the evil one has been laid to rest.

You’ve likely heard tell that in the late 1800’s, early 1900’s, it was so common for Christian missionaries to Africa to die in the field, some took to packing their possessions in their coffins for the trip. How’s that for sobering prep for God’s call on your life?

They said farewell to loved ones as if it was their final good-bye. They set out for the unknown, in faith that Jesus would equip them for everything they encountered – including persecution by evil. Some never returned. Others suffered terribly. But around Heaven’s campfires will be brother and sisters who heard the news of Jesus because of them.

Is it time to pack your life in a coffin?

Modern believers are so used to safety. We’re so accustomed to good health, strong bodies, long lives, and living without threats that we’ve forgotten that isn’t what this life is about.

Jesus loved being alive. He wasn’t a masochist who sought out suffering for suffering’s sake. He lived to please His Heavenly Father and died so that we could be free from Satan – NOT so we could threaten one another with fear of him!

We are free.

The apostle John saw suffering on a grand scale. He certainly saw the targeting of Satan up close. And yet, John penned these words the believers: “Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” I John 4:4

The next time someone warns you that Satan may be out to get you, remember those who headed for the Sudan as missionaries. Look that person in the eye and say, “I’ve packed my life in a coffin and thrown in my lot with Jesus. I refuse to fear anything except not moving forward with Him.”

So go forward, take risks in the name of Jesus. If Satan targets you, remember he’s defeated and press on. Jesus and Jesus alone has the last word on your life.

And PLEASE, stop scaring your brother!

I want to take a sentence or two here to thank all of you who are messaging me about what my book has meant to you. I love that you’ve taken time to leave Amazon reviews, spread the word about Running from a Crazy Man, or reach out to me. That’s all. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

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    The Conversation

  1. Satan has a target on our backs just simply for being Christian. He doesn’t need another reason. Might as well move forward boldly in the joy of the Lord and do something mighty for the kingdom.

  2. At the end of a Weekend to Remember, a conference on marriage, the speakers warned couples to expect an argument in the next few weeks – Satan would test our commitment. I appreciated the warning. When the big argument came, I knew where it was coming from!