The Difference Between You and Satan

     Ninety percent of the problems we have are the result of a lie we’ve believed – about God, ourselves, others, etc. Problems can’t be properly solved outside of God’s order. He is a god of order. When we violate His order or refuse to walk in His structures and statutes, things get… more complicated… 

that relationship you can’t seem to break free from… 
that deal you just closed, but weren’t completely honest about… 
that interest only loan you signed before the market tanked…

    As a result, many of us walk around unnecessarily feeling a bit empty, unfulfilled, bored, or even bitter. The reason behind these ridiculous and annoying feelings is one word:


What You and Satan Have in Common
    God has called every one of us to a purpose so high that if we understood the enormity of it, we might shrink back in terror. We might also scoff at it as “too simple”. But, if we look at the history of the Great War going on around us through proper perspective, we might instead be inspired, refocused, realigned with our proper place on the battlefield. The short version of it is this: you were designed to do what Satan failed to do.

A Look at the Battle
     Ron Dunn was kind enough to share with me his summary of God’s great moves and Satan’s weak, sleazy counter moves for some clearer perspective on the story already in progress (it’s a long list, but don’t be intimidated – crank up the theme to “Rocky” and read it out loud if it won’t get you kicked out of your office):

  • God created angels to bring Him glory
  • Lucifer reacted in rebellion, jealousy, pride and selfishness and took 1/3 with him. 
  •  God countered his rebellion by creating man a little lower than the angels to show what great things can happen when His creation serves Him.
  • Satan countered that move with 6 great lies and tempted Adam and Eve to disobey
  • God countered that move by providing redemption and a way that man could restore relationship with God
  • Satan countered that move by enticing Cain to kill Abel and cut off the Godly line
  • God countered that move with the birth of Seth and man once again called in the name of the Lord
  • Satan countered that move be enticing Nimrod who founded the Babylonians and Assyrians and built the tower of Babel establishing religion that replaces the worship of God.
  • God countered that move by going to an heir of the Chaldeans and a man named Abraham who he called out to establish a nation that would worship the one true God.
  • Satan countered that move by trapping them under slavery in Egypt.
  • God countered that move by rising up Moses with a message from I AM to Pharaoh to “let My people go” and the entire world acknowledged the God of Israel as the true God.
  • Entire OT is move counter move…sometimes not clear who is winning
  • 400 years of silence between OT and NT then Matthew 1…the lineage is reviewed and Jesus is born to save His people from their sins.
  • Satan counters by tempting
  • Jesus counters with God’s Word
  • Satan countered that with a crush move by enticing the local powers to crucify Him
  • God countered that with the Big Move… the Resurrection.  Life conquered death for us and the victory parade took place.
  • That is our deciding move! No matter what is happening we must line up with and tie into that move.
  • Satan is a defeated foe…but isn’t giving up.
  • Until Christ returns He is active with schemes of deception
  • God counters that by providing a Helper and Armor

Back to You and Satan
     So, God created the angels to bring Him glory and Satan (Lucifer) as the Son of the Morning Star, to lead the angels in the greatest purpose: to worship God. How could there be any higher calling? In heaven right now around the throne are three angelic beasts swirling around the throne crying “Holy is the Lord, Holy is the Lord, Holy is the Lord”. Again, could there be ANY higher calling? Yet, when Satan was cast out of heaven, God’s counter move was to reach down into the dirt, blow air into the dust of the earth, and create a replacement worship leader out of mud. Do you get it? That’s you and me… We’re God’s “in your face” reply to Satan’s rebellion!

Five Take Aways
     Satan – the original, fallen Rockstar – designed and commissioned to lead the angels in worship. You and I – the replacement worship leaders: the mud people brought to life by the breath of God and redeemed from sin by His own blood. If you were Satan and you heard the replacement band rehearsing next door for the ultimate worship party, wouldn’t you do all in your power to distract them? Cut their power off? Play louder to get them off tempo?

     If you were that band and you knew that God did nothing to redeem Satan, but gave everything to redeem you as his replacement – would you sit idly by and allow Satan to distract you from your true calling?

     Stay on track: Jesus warns that the “worries, riches and pleasures of life” are the very things that keep us from growing in maturity and fulfilling our purpose. 

     Fight the good fight: worship despite the distractions. You and I, especially here in contemporary American Christianity are being actively sold a bill of goods that allows us to believe it’s okay to be self absorbed with our own wounds, problems, offenses, that we miss the Big Purpose. Worship. 

     Be alert, be on your guard: There are many false prophets preaching in large pulpits to global audiences – that are selling Christianity as the answer to your problems, the deliverance from addictions, the “Best Life Now”, when all of such false gospels deliver far… too… little.

     Remember the bigger picture: Our problem is bigger than addiction, discomfort, unemployment, the Falcons losing – it’s sin. Our position is worship. Our enemy is bitter and bent on distraction – to steal, kill, and destroy. What do you expect from a rejected mega-star?

     Worship better than a rock star: We’re here to outworship Satan. Satan refused to worship God. Often, we worship smaller gods – football, career, status, personal disappointments, bitterness, etc. If we’re coming unglued about a football game and barely lifting our voice in church, we’re horribly distracted from our purpose. So, yes, musical worship is important. But, pride was the chief sin of Satan – being self absorbed in any way is a distraction. If we are to “do everything as unto the Lord” (Col. 3:23) then everything becomes worship. Work is worship, raising kids, caring for the sick, sharing the gospel, suffering persecution, standing in line for hours without being bitter… You and I are here to take the place of the one who failed to do his job – let’s be the best replacements ever.

in Christ,


NEED TO KNOW: ONE TH1NG will resume this Friday, Sept. 13th with a new series on Biblical Manhood “Broken Arrow”, led by Ron Dunn, from 7AM to 7:55 at The Cabernet on Windward Parkway and 400.

Do You Resist Getting Clean? Dan Diaddigo Pass-on Post

     Last Friday morning, I had a chance to talk to a room full of men about a topic that’s been all over my heart and my life. Clutter. We talked about why it’s so sneaky, so dangerous, and what’s at the core of it. I guess I was surprised how many detail oriented, organized guys also struggle with keeping a clean, undivided heart.

     By the feedback I got, it turns out just about every table of men agreed that when life, schedule, work, and commitments get cluttered up, the one thing that suffers most is family. Yet, even there, a few of the wisest put their fingers on the fact that when they’re clean with God, have an undivided heart with Him, and stay deep in the word, the clutter seems to fall away. From that base line, organization goes from a “just try harder” behavior modification tactic to a natural outpouring of God’s work in their lives.

     It’s easy to walk away from a teaching/preaching/leading opportunity like that and spot the things you could have done better in your rear view. But, the Lord has assured me that the perfect “preach” doesn’t exist this side of heaven – when we abide in Him, He’ll handle what needs to be said, not said, and most importantly, what gets heard. That saved me from a lot of “I wish I’d have remembered to say x.”

     Then, I got this email, from Dan Diaddigo. We’ve featured him here before. One of my favorite local writers. And, it sounds like “clean” has been on his mind, too. I’ve said what I need to say for a time and I’m sure we’ll come back to it again. For now, here’s a sympathetic thread that’s been on Dan’s mind, too…


Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul.
2 Peter 2:11
If “sterile” has a smell it originates on the 8th Floor Lobby of the Northside Cancer Center and then wafts to the 12th floor where it gathers and lingers. The 8th floor is where you have to exchange elevators. The 12th Floor is where I go every six months for my CT scan. Here, they look inside me for signs my body is turning on itself and plotting its own demise.

If “sterile” has a taste it is found in the plastic contrast bottles I drink before they put me in the machine. I prefer the “chocolate”, if it can be called that.

The machine sounds more clean than sterile. It whirs and hums as it travels up and down my mid-section, occasionally pausing to the instructions of a mechanical voice. Never mind that it’s pumping me with radiation.

This is what you do if you want to stay healthy. You go where it’s clean and you look inside, and you take come risks.

The same is true of our souls.

Too often, we avoid the scans. We miss appointments with God’s Word and opportunities to obey the Spirit’s prompts. I know I do. I suspect you do as well.

And I wonder why.

Sin is a cancer more deadly than the chromophillic renal cell carcinoma that claimed a couple of my organs. Sin pollutes the decisions of our leaders and it poisons our relationships with others and with ourselves.

Most of all, sin corrodes our faith. It gets between us and God and it makes us forget that He is good and that His love endures forever.

Sometimes it’s easy to forget that this world is not our home, that we are forgiven and “clean” before God because Jesus took our cancer into Himself.

We need to remember that sin is deadly and sin is dealt with. Let us also remember who we are. We are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that [we] may declare the praises of him who called [us] out of darkness into his wonderful light. (1 Peter 2:9).

Behind me to my right an elderly man listens intently as his daughter speaks loudly into his ear. He’s a black man in a grey warm up suit. I’d place him in his eighties. His speech is slurred and he’s waiting, as I am, to meet the machine.

I notice this then I busy myself on something else. Several minutes later I hear a loud voice bellowing from the hall. It belongs to the man. His daughter is trying to move him past the nurse’s station, but the man has something to say. I can make out three words clearly.

“God is good” he says.

My spirit yields. My soul remembers. I am clean.