I have a problem with Snow White. Oh sure, she turned some bachelor dwarves into gentlemen, and had forest animals cleaning house for her; but homegirl was not present, when it came to a genuine life or death decision. Snow White may have been the fairest of the land, but she surely wasn’t the brightest.
Let’s review her story, shall we? Snow White’s wicked stepmother tries to kill her on the sly. An assassin lets her go with the warning that her stepmother won’t stop trying until she (Snow White) is dead. Then begins a lifestyle of witness protection with the aforementioned dwarves, and everything is hunky dory, peachy keen. Out of the blue, a witch appears – horrifying in the face, traditional crone features, etc. This witch offers a poisoned apple, and without a “hmmm-I’m-a-hunted-woman-perhaps-this-is-a-set-up” pause, Snow White eats the apple. Of course, since the apple is poisoned, she’s out of commission indefinitely.
“Girrrrrl, what happened? How could you get comfortable enough to forget that someone was out there trying to kill you?” Feel free to read that out loud with indignation and soul, we’ll come back to it later.
How does this relate to us? Snow White is, after all, a Disney spun fairy tale. There is only one enemy for the Saints. Although his influence is far-reaching, and he can use people to perpetuate his hatred of us, our fight is against satan. The devil. His hatred for us is deeper than we can imagine, and irrevocable. There is never a time when the devil will not hate us – but, we know this, right? We write songs about how he “thought he had” us, and shake our fists at him when traffic makes us late for work. I am sure many of us spend more time commenting that “the devil is busy” than we do noticing that God is busy. We are definitely aware of our enemy’s existence.
And yet, far too many of us are comfortable. We are so relaxed that, while we know satan is against us, we take up no defense against him. In a world full of every sinful imagination and indulgence, we exercise little to no caution. Listen: the devil is not petty and he doesn’t shoot to scare. He wants us to fall in sin, and then die in sin. Peter cautions us to be on guard against Satan, because he is “like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8-9). How many of us would sunbathe in our backyard, if we knew that there was a hungry lion looking for food in the neighborhood? That’s not an oops decision, that’s a deadly decision.
Look at how the stepmother approached Snow White though. Undeniably evil in the face, right? If she was peddling Amway products, the door would have slammed in her face. But this stepmother offered “a dream come true,” to a dreamy girl; and, despite the overtly wicked presence, Snow White took the bait.
We have the Holy Spirit in us. When we walk in the Spirit, it’s impossible to interact with evil, and not see it as evil. That’s part of salvation’s protection plan: we are no longer blind to satan’s hand at work. As Paul says, we’re not ignorant of satan’s devices. So, when the enemy comes to attack Spirit-filled Christians, he offers us something that we desire, to make us override the evil that we see. “I may look like lust and depravity, but I’m the promise of good entertainment. I’m the promise of mindless relaxation.” And so, we take the bait and turn on Scandal, or some other sin-filled show (yes, it’s that real folks). Satan promises a groove, good vocals, and deep thoughts about love, so we indulge in secular songs full of innuendos and base desires.
Remember though, there’s poison in that fruit! James tells us that our desires give birth to sin – “biting the apple” so to speak – and that our sin brings forth death (James 1:15). It’s not always a physical end; it can be death to our standards, death to our purity, death to our proper understanding of what love is. We cannot afford to be willingly mindless of the wiles of satan. We cannot afford to hear of the sin that lies at our door, desiring to rule over us, and not strengthen our defenses against it – lest we end up like Cain, marked by the very sin he embraced.
THE BOTTOM LINE: Never forget that you have an enemy who hates you, and wants to kill you. Never. Ever. When he comes like this…
…you know what’s coming next, if you take the bait. Don’t get comfortable, get vigilant!