“One of the greatest tricks the devil ever pulled was making people believe he didn’t exist” says Kevin Spacey’s character, Kaiser Soszay, in The Usual Suspects.
Of course, today it seems ridiculous to believe in a bad guy in red tights with horns and a trident. But that was just an image Middle Age artists developed to try to convey evil in a way that spoke to their audience; what if we use an image for evil that speaks to us today? What if I said Satan is a hacker.
Imagine him as a spiritual hacker – looking for weaknesses in your life to exploit and using your personal information against you.
Every day thousands of computers are hacked and huge amounts of data are compromised, but people never think it will happen to them and some are not diligent about the precautions they take to avoid falling victim.
In the same way, Satan invades and ruins millions of lives every day, and many of those people are unaware, unconcerned or foolishly ill-prepared.
The Bible says in 1 Peter 5:8: Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
Like a hacker, Satan disguises himself as something appealing – an online date or a Nigerian banker who wants to give you millions. The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 11:14 “For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.”
Like a hacker who can look through your search history and work out what scheme is most likely to catch you, Satan’s minions (demons) have been watching you your whole life, and he has been studying humanity for centuries – he knows what temptations will lure you most effectively. He kicks you when you’re down, when you’re tired or sick or emotionally vulnerable. Just like a hacker looking for weak spots in your firewall.
We leave our lives open to Satan’s hacks when we sin. Sinning is like going onto dodgy websites – we know we shouldn’t but it seems interesting or harmless at the time, until we find our lives are compromised, and there are consequences to our foolishness that we could not have imagined.
If your computer is hacked, at first you may be unaware and the effect on your performance may be minimal. Maybe you just see a cute icon or avatar. When first you play with sin, allowing Satan to hack into your life, you may not notice any harmful side effects – it may seem quite fun and innocent.
But soon your performance will be inhibited, you will experience glitches, and the information you receive will be polluted by the rubbish in your system – whether your life or your computer. Like many people in this paper, your life may completely crash because of the destructive power of sin.
But regardless how many viruses your life has, how hacked it’s been or whether you are experiencing ‘the blue screen of death’, Jesus can fix it. He can sort out the hacked mess we make of our lives and His rules for living defend us from future attacks, teaching us to close the firewall against sin.
Isaiah 1:18 says, “Come now, and let us reason together,” says the Lord, “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”
Why not let Jesus reboot your life today?