I often dress in the dark and determine which side of my T-shirt is the back by feeling for the label. That used to be easy because all T-shirts had a tag in the collar and every little boy knew the back of his pants and shirts by the tag. Now, many times, the labels are printed on and you need a strongly functional sense of touch to feel them. That doesn't bother me much since I didn't get into the habit of wearing a T-shirt as an undershirt because the tag bothered the back of my neck.
Anyway, I was dressing recently, but couldn't feel that printed label for anything. After a while I realized I had better things to do than waste time feeling for the label and decided to just put the shirt on. I knew, as every little boy knows, that if you put your T-shirt on backwards, your arms will feel funny because it doesn't fit right at the shoulders and armpits, and it'll choke you. It took me less time to put the shirt on, take it back off and turn it around, and put it on again than I had wasted trying to feel for the label.
Like little boys (and old men) with their T-shirts, every Christian should become so familiar with God's word that we know immediately when it's misquoted, misinterpreted or misrepresented. Even before they became Christians, the Bereans were commended because they searched the Old Testament scriptures that spoke of the Messiah (Christ) to see if the Apostle Paul was teaching the truth (Acts 17:10-12; John 5:37-40). This is consistent with the good ground described by Jesus in Luke 8:4-15 where we're told that learning and applying the word to our lives is of great benefit.
Satan knows the Bible about as well as Jesus, but he'll use it to lead us away from God just like he tried to separate Jesus and God when Jesus was in the desert (Luke 4:1-13). Satan always looks for opportune times to steal the word from our hearts or to plant weeds that choke it out (Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43). Ok, saying that Satan sows seeds of evil in our heart was a stretch on the parable, but that's how he deceived Eve and there is perishable seed and there is imperishable seed (Genesis 3:1-5; 1 Peter 1:22-25; Mathew 15:7-14).
The fact is, Satan appears as an angel of light, but he really comes to keep us in darkness (2 Corinthians 11:14; 4:3, 4). We should be so aware of the scriptures that when we hear something that doesn't sound right, a signal goes off in our mind so we won't be outwitted by him (2 Corinthians 2:11).
The desire to learn the scriptures should be instilled in every Christian kid (babe in Christ) and adult so we can get dressed in this world's darkness, come to know God, and avoid wasting our time for eternity (1 Peter 2:2-10; 2 Thessalonians 1:8-10; Matthew 25:13).
Are you finding your way out of the darkness?
Leonard Lauriault is a member of the Church of Christ in Logan. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org