You stood silent as the two greatest powers in the universe raged on in your head. Satan was there, tempting you with smooth words. God, at enmity with Lucifer, commanded otherwise.
“You cannot trust that God.” the Evil One insisted. “Did you see what He did to those people on the East Coast? How could He? Only someone pure evil could make a hurricane do so much harm.”
“No,” God quickly countered. “I did not make it happen. I let it happen.”
“Yes,” Satan’s detestable voice said. “You let it happen. You should have saved those innocent people!”
You thought. Your grandmother was killed in the hurricane. You were angry at God.
How could a good God do this to her? She was innocent! I loved her, you thought.
“You see,” Satan continued. “how evil God is? He hated those people. He hates you. Who knows what He will do to you!”
“But I thought God was good?” you wondered.
“Exactly,” said the Prince of Darkness. “He is supposed to be good. But what you have seen is evil. God obviously does not exist.”
“Are you sure?” you asked.
Satan was quick. “Think about it. Have you ever seen God? Have you heard Him? Have you smelt, touched, or tasted Him? You do not even have any evidence to prove He exists.”
“Then evolution is true?”
You asked, “Who are you then? If God does not exist, Satan does not either.”
“Why, I am just the voice of reason. Listen to me, and you will become great.”
After a thought, you decided he, Reason, actually, was right. You left the Church. They were a people suffering a delusion, a bunch of oddities dancing to the tunes of a fictitious being. You listened to Reason, and never looked back.
One day, one of your dear friends asked you to come Church with him. You were appalled and refused glumly. He, however, refused to back down. He took the scorn with undying love. You tried to avoid him, but however you tried, he was there. Reason told you to stay away. Reason reminded you that you must never give in to love. You were the only thing that mattered.
To retaliate, you made up lies about him so that his friends would hate him. It was to no avail. He was never pushy, but always inviting. Exactly what angered Reason the most. This man was insane. He went against everything Reason had to say.
Finally, against the will of Reason, you went with the man to Church, hoping to get him off of your back. As you sat in the pew, something terrible happened. You started to listen to the pastor, and began to consider his words.
“No!” Reason screamed. “You cannot listen to this man! He is insane.”
But you could not make yourself move. In a moment, you felt the slightest of doubt to the Reason you had faithfully followed all these years. Suddenly, another voice spoke in your head. It was a God. A God that you remembered. A God you used to love and adore before Reason came on the scene and told you of the idiocy of the fantasy.
“My son,” this God said. “I love you. Come back to Me.”
“Do not listen to Him,” Reason commanded. “He is lying.”
“I thought He did not exist.” you said.
“Er, that is what I meant. What you hear is just an illusion.”
“Why do I hear it so loud and clear, as if it were the voice of my father?” you inquired.
“Remember your grandmother?” Reason suggested. “Evil. The evil that was done to her? Explain that,” he challenged.
“Satan, be gone from Him!” God commanded. “You know the truth. Evil is not something that harms, evil is not Me. Can I be where I am not?”
“But—” Satan started.
God interrupted him, “I am good. I am not good as one is happy. Good is My identity. My identity does not describe Me, but I describe My identity. Good is who I am.
“My son, your grandmother died because she rejected Me. I am Life. Whoever disconnects themselves from Me are dead, the absence of Life.”
“But my grandmother was a good person,” you insisted.
“Not good enough,” God declared. “But fear not. She has been ransomed in the death of Christ. His blood has washed her white. He died that she may have Life.”
“Wait a minute,” Satan commanded. “What about the lack of evidence? No one can prove God is really there.”
“My son, have scientists described a thought? They use electromagnetism, yet they have not understood nor seen it. There is no empirical evidence for Me because I am not empirical. I am spiritual. If one thinks there is music being played, should he then smell and see if he can find the music? He will not find music that way. In the same way, when scientists search for empirical evidence of Me, they will find none, for they are searching in the wrong places for the wrong things.”
“My Lord, why, then, have You created this, this monster who has controlled me for all these unfaithful years? How can that be for better?”
“My son,” said God. “you have many questions. I cannot give you the answers to all, for you could never understand. But let Me tell you this: I created Lucifer because I loved you.”
“How can this be?” you wondered.
“If I had not created Satan, and he had not shown you evil, you would not have fallen, and you would not have needed be ransomed. I, by creating Satan, gave Myself the opportunity to show you My extravagant love by sending My Son to die and redeem your lost soul. In doing this, I also gave you the ability to love, My dear son. If I had not created Satan, and he had not shown you evil, you would have only known good. Good would then be your only choice. With only one choice, there would be no choice. You cannot love without choice. That is why I made Satan. Because of him, you must choose between him and Me, and I may receive what I desire: true love.”
“I will be baptized for You. Again.”
“Yes,” said the Lord. “Do so.”
As the argument subsided, and you became aware of your surroundings, you saw the pastor, passionately speaking, “If this message has spoken to you, and if you wish to give your life to your Lord and Savior, stand up.”
You stood immediately, and your friend nearly jumped in surprise. You requested that he baptize you and you faithfully repeated your confession of faith for the second time. You were on fire for Christ. Your testimony brought many others to Christ. But inevitably, troubles overtook you. Satan’s voice reentered your mind because of your doubt. He told you lies. But because of your faith, God entered your mind as well.
“Lord,” you cried out. “Why have You brought these things upon me?”
“My son, My dear son,” God responded. “It is for your good that I have done these things. It is My will for these things to be done, that greater things may be done consequently.”
“Lord, tell me how this will work out, how this will be good.”
“My son, it is not My will that I show you the future. And if I were to, you would not understand.”
“What am I to do, my Lord?”
“Trust, My son. Simply trust.”
This story tells you several important things. One thing it shows is the kind of battle your mind and heart face. The greatest battle you will ever fight is the one going on in your head.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:12
The devil used what happened to the man’s grandmother to deceive him. It is not uncommon. Notice that once the man began to doubt God and believe the devil, God’s influence in the conversation slowly disappeared. Not because God was not speaking, but because the man was not listening.
The man doubted the devil’s existence, the perfect situation for the devil. He quickly claimed to be ‘reason’. He claimed he would make the man great if he would obey him. The devil had tricked the man into worshipping him. The man was enslaved to the will of Satan, yet he thought he was listening to reason. This was a revolution of the man’s heart.
The man had a friend. When his friend asked him to Church and the man realized he was a Christian, he was appalled. He would not go with him. Yet when his friend persisted, even after the man had done terribly rude things, the man finally came, even against the voice of so-called reason. That is another important detail. If you will persistently show love and invitation to your friends, they might just come to Church. When the man was at Church, he underwent a revolution for the second time. Satan tried to stop it, but the pastor had opened the man’s eyes. Even with the slightest of doubt towards Reason, God’s voice made it into the man’s mind. Satan had lost his position as ‘reason’. Without this position, God prevailed in the argument (of course, if God had really been talking, it would have had much more wisdom and fervor than my foolish ravings that attempted to represent His voice). When the argument is over, and the man decides to get baptized again, the pastor is just getting to his part about baptism. As usual, God has perfect timing.
The man gets baptized (I’m sure he apologized to his friend, but I omitted any involvement of that, for it was besides the point) and uses his testimony to bring others to Christ. This is an illustration of how God can take bad things that happen to us and make the best of them.
The man inevitably fell into hard times. I said ‘inevitably’, because it is a promise that we will come across hard times. Jesus says so.
God causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. Matthew 5:45
Satan entered the man’s mind, as he always does in times of doubt. The man, however, had strong faith, and he cried out to God instead of listening to Satan. When he asked God about his future, God explained that it was not His will that the man know the future, and if He did will it, the man would not understand. You need to realize that it is not God’s will that you know everything, and you could not understand it, anyway.
The man asked God what to do.
“Trust, My son. Simply trust,” is what He said. That is what you need to do: simply trust.
“Just as the Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life in Him.” said Jesus.
For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:14-16