Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7
Think of the vengeance-driven sociopath currying favor with someone who has hurt him in the past and with whom he is now playing chummy to get close so he can hurt the person back. Think of the pimp who lures the fifteen-year-old runaway into his web by playing the father figure, offering protection from and provision in a hard and hostile world, only to gain control of her to use her as a human slave. These are the obvious expressions, but the mentality can also be subtle: do whatever it takes to create a bond in order to gain, control and destroy.
That’s the progression that happens with Satan’s strategy. Suggestion and temptation are his friendly ploys that make up his passive-aggressive mission in our lives. He acts like a best friend to soothe and stroke our flesh, to offer ideas and solutions that play to our dark impulses, and to give us a crack-hit of pleasure. After he pimps us, he goes from friendly pimp to accuser, serving generous portions of guilt and shame to continue the cycle. “Boy, look what you’re turning into. You must feel horrible.”
This is about as friendly as Satan gets. Suggestion and temptation have a short but brief upside that ends abruptly with you holding the bad and suffering the consequences. Once you bite, Satan’s out, his mission accomplished. Your flesh and the world take over after that. Plenty of God’s men think they can play the Devil at his own game, but they end up trapped.
We talk about Satan only to accentuate your need of awareness. He is as real as Jesus. Don’t we hate to be manipulated, played for a sucker, made a fool of? That is opposite of what Jesus gives us. We have a choice to make.
Father, I see again how important truth is. Thank you for your insight.