Playing Cards with the Devil

Disarm your enemy and you gain an advantage over him. The truth is, we have an enemy, and he is very real. The good news is, he has been disarmed.

And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.
 - Colossians 2:15

Satan, the devil, the fallen angels, the powers and authorities (these are all names given them), have been stripped of their power. They no longer hold their weapons of assault with which to destroy us. Yet still we see havoc, death, tragedy, and horror all around us. Why? Because like any disarmed enemy, Satan and his fallen angels have turned in desperation to a thinly veiled power that is really no power.

They now rule with lies.

If you can convince someone that you are bigger and stronger than they are, you have an advantage over them; even though you may have nothing to back your words up with. Take the gun away from a police officer and he is left with nothing but words against his opponent. Strip a dictator of his army and how will he oppress his fellow country man? Jesus called the devil the father of lies. And that is what he is.

His tactic is deception. Like a proficient salesman, he spins lies with a little of the truth mixed in for good measure. And he has experience; he's been doing this for thousands of years. From the garden to Hitler, he's been a liar. From racism to fanaticism, he sows his deception. And he's convincing, for he's used to being in charge. When he walks into a room, he has an air of confidence; he knows how to put on an act.

But truth be told, he's a defeated enemy.

It's like playing a game of poker. There you sit across the table from your adversary. He's called you and raised the bet, put all he has into the kitty. He has a smirk on his stony face; cocky, demeaning, and confident. But he's bluffing. He's got nothing in his hand except for a pair of low cards. But he sure wants to make you feel like folding. Could anyone be so convincing?

But look in your hand. What do you see? It's a royal straight flush. The unbeatable hand. And it's been dealt to you by the hand of God, given when Jesus died on the cross and you believed. You can't be beat, no matter how convincing the poker face sitting across from the table is. 

He'll spew out his lies. That's guaranteed. "You can't win! This is the 10th time you've failed this week. And you call yourself a believer? What a joke, what shame you bring to God." He continues with his accusations, "You don't even really believe in Jesus. If you did ..." Or how about the infamous, "You really want to do this, go ahead, a little won't hurt. Indulge. It's really what you want."

All of his words find themselves summed up in the statement, "You should fold, I've got you beat."

But he doesn't have us beat. We (you, me, the believers in this world) have the victory and it's a victory of faith; faith in the One who defeated the liar. And hope is here to rescue. For no matter how well he plays out his hand, no matter how convincing his poker face, the fact of the matter is, he's got nothing but a lie.

So take a look again at what's in your hand. I see the red. I see hearts. I see the King leading the trail of winning cards. And you're holding those cards in your hand. Don't fold, don't let him fool you. Just lay your cards on the table with a smile of confidence and know you just called his bluff.


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