The sermon I happened upon---reminded me of who Satan is. A fallen angel--a cherub---created by God--and who left the heavenly realm in full fledged rebellion before man walked on this earth. He does not look like the pictures we use to portray him---in Ezekiel we are told of his great beauty, deep intellect, and powerful strength. God is allowing him to roam this earth--and he is seeking to steal, kill, and destroy. He is crafty, deceitful, and treacherous---constantly badgering any who might be a threat by their usefulness in The Kingdom of God. Seeking at a minimum to create doubt as to our usefulness and then circumventing our trust in God--and discounting that those that love Him and are called according to His purpose will be blessed.
"He is no gentlemen." my old friend reminded me. His manners may be polished when it suits his purpose, but his ultimate goal is to effectively destroy your witness by any means possible. Someone is reading what I am lead to write, he whispers in my ear, "Let others do the writing. There are many others out there to write--and write better. This is not your calling." He causes me to forget---if even one---reads and is touched--God has used me well.
I was reminded--I am much harder on myself than anyone else is. God is filled with leniency---leniency gained by grace---grace freely given by Jesus. Why would I be harder on myself than the Judge of the Universe?
Finally--my daughter quoted a line from a movie she cannot remember the title to from many years ago,
"Satan takes particular delight in men who do not believe in his existence."
He does his most effective work---when we deny his presence in this fallen world.
I am amazed--why I am not sure---but once again---not even realizing I am having doubts which come from the prince of liars--that God knew this was going to happen. He used others to remind me of the lies I was listening to and remind me of their source. And I prayed the words of the master,
"Jesus turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns."