Satan’s favorite tool is a magnifying glass. He likes to make small things look big, insignificant things seem important.
In fact, the first words out of his mouth in the Bible are an effort to do just that: “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” (Genesis 3:1b, ESV) Of course, God didn’t actually say that. He prohibited them from eating of one tree, not all trees. But you see already how Satan twisted one tiny restriction into full-on oppression. It’s like watching someone convince a couple of teenagers that their 11:00 PM curfew is more like 24/7 house arrest — not very hard to do!
If you read a little further in the story, you’ll see that he does it again, but more subtly. “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it, your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil. “And believe it or not, this time, Satan doesn’t even really twist the truth, for this is exactly what happens to them (see verses 22 and 23). Instead, he just changes the way they perceive the truth.
In other words, he makes “being like God” and”knowing good and evil” sound more desirable than they apparently should be. Hindsight 20/20, right?! He makes their access to every other tree in the garden seem insignificant compared to the one tree they couldn’t have. He takes something minor and makes it major, something peripheral and brings it into focus.
Like I said, his favorite tool is a magnifying glass. He likes making a big deal out of nothing because it distracts us from the matters that deserve our attention and the God who deserves our devotion. This, my friends, is one of the greatest threats to your well-being.
Time for some self analysis.
As you peruse over the ongoing list of important things in your life, which items are most prominent. Which do you actually spend most of your time thinking, worrying, caring, or praying about? Consider these questions:
- Are you so worried about missing out on a promotion that instead you’re missing out on your loved ones’ lives?
- Are you so concerned with material comforts or financial security that you’re unable able to find contentment in God?
- Are you so consumed with being liked or respected that you’ve forgotten how much God loves and values you?
- Has the desire to pursue the things of this world led you to abandon the gifts of God’s kingdom?
- Has the fear of being hurt deterred you from building meaningful relationships?
- Has the need to feel justified in your anger disabled you from forgiving others?
- Have all the things that are wrong in your life overshadowed all the things that are right?
Don’t be fooled any longer. Satan will always be magnifying your weak spots — your fears and desires — so that you don’t bother to pay attention to the things that have the greatest impact. But the good news is that there’s great power in simply knowing his game plan so that you aren’t tricked by his moves. While you may not be able to take the magnifying glass out of his hands, you certainly don’t have to look through it.
Set your mind on things above (Colossians 3:2), and the things below will begin to fade. Seek first the kingdom of God, and the rest will be added unto you (Matthew 6:33).