Yesterday a few friends of mine put this for their status on Facebook:
“When you carry the bible, Satan gets a headache. When you open it, he collapses. When he sees you reading it, he faints. When he sees that you are living what you read, he flees.”
I couldn’t for the life of me figure out exactly what bothered me about it, until this morning. Then after my morning run (I’m so happy to say that!) it hit me. It’s a lie. And really an almost superstitious one. It has some truth to make it sound good, but the bulk of it is a lie. Who likes to lie like that? Well it’s sparky’s MO. Sparky AKA the devil, likes to hide behind half truths. That is his favorite way to trick us. Mostly because it’s easy to do. We will fall for anything that resembles the truth, because it’s easier than actually seeking the truth for ourselves.
I’m going to attempt to tackle this little FB status as best I can to show why it is a lie and why it is dangerous for anyone to think that it is true.
First of all Scripture does not give Satan a headache. In fact he knows the bible from the first verse of Genesis to the last one in Revelation better than any human person does. The best biblical scholar wouldn’t be able to defeat sparky in a battle of Bible trivia. Sparky is a angel, a fallen angel but still an angel. He is smarter than any human, he is just evil. He didn’t lose any of his knowledge when he fell from heaven and he has the same power as any angel. The bible even shows that he knows scripture. And he used it to tempt Jesus himself. Nowhere in the scriptures below does it say that sparky had a headache.
Luke 4 1-15
 And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost, returned from the Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the desert,  For the space of forty days; and was tempted by the devil. And he ate nothing in those days; and when they were ended, he was hungry.  And the devil said to him: If thou be the Son of God, say to this stone that it be made bread.  And Jesus answered him: It is written, that Man liveth not by bread alone, but by every word of God.  And the devil led him into a high mountain, and shewed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time;
 And he said to him: To thee will I give all this power, and the glory of them; for to me they are delivered, and to whom I will, I give them.  If thou therefore wilt adore before me, all shall be thine. And Jesus answering said to him: It is written: Thou shalt adore the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.  And he brought him to Jerusalem, and set him on a pinnacle of the temple, and he said to him: If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself from hence.  For it is written, that He hath given his angels charge over thee, that they keep thee.
 And that in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest perhaps thou dash thy foot against a stone. And Jesus answering, said to him: It is said: Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.  And all the temptation being ended, the devil departed from him for a time.  And Jesus returned in the power of the spirit, into Galilee, and the fame of him went out through the whole country.  And he taught in their synagogues, and was magnified by all.
I’m sure that he would love us to believe that all we have to do is open the Bible and he will flee, but that is so dangerous for us to believe. It is only by the command of God that the devil flees. As you’ll notice Jesus used the scriptures twice and then in verse 10, the devil used them, then Jesus came back with “it is said” instead of “it is written”. The devil can quote scripture but he does not have the authority to speak them as a command. Jesus does, because he is God.
In Luke 4 verses 1-15, Jesus casts a legion of demons into a herd of swine. Before he did so, he had a conversation with the demons. They did not flee as soon as they saw him. In fact they begged him to leave them alone in the name of God. It was by the command of Jesus, fully man and fully God, that they were cast out of the man and into the pigs. All throughout scripture we can read where Jesus cast out demons, that’s what a huge part of his ministry. Every one of the stories that I have read says “Jesus commanded”. Not “He opened the scrolls (they were scrolls back then, not The Bible) and the evils spirits fled”.
When Michael the archangel, disputing with the devil, contended about the body of Moses, he durst not bring against him the judgment of railing speech, but said: The Lord command thee.
Even St Michael, the highest of the archangels, doesn’t cause the devil to flee, only by the power of God can he win the battle against the devil.
Finally the last sentence is the one that I think is the biggest lie. When the devil sees us live out the gospel, he does not flee, he attacks. And most of the time we don’t even see him coming. Sparky’s attacks are not always obvious. Sparky doesn’t always attack the way we think he will. It’s not floating beds, spinning heads and levitating that we see on movies. Those cases are actually pretty rare. He attacks us with subtle little lies that resemble the truth. He uses scripture, and even church to get us to turn away from God. And he makes it seem like the “right thing to do”. That sparky is one big huge liar.
If he sees that we are trying our best to live out the gospel, and he has no choice but to use “good” to make us lose focus on God. In other words if he can get us to focus on church activities, “rules”, being better than everyone around us, social standing in our church, and all that stuff then we lose focus on Jesus and we begin to sink, like Peter when he was walking on water. It becomes self serving for us to go to church. He gets me every time with this trick. Every time. I want to have a hand in everything and I have a hard time saying no. Not to mention that I’m terrible at organizing my life, so that just sets me up to running around like a chicken with my head cut off and forgetting to feed my family dinner. So by the end of the day, I’m burnt out and forget to pray. I already am horrible at setting time aside in the day to pray, it’s even worse when I’m so busy I can’t even figure out which way is up. And that’s how the devil likes it. If I don’t pray then I start to lose sight of what God wants and I start focusing on what I want. There is no happiness outside of God’s plan for us. No matter how much we may try, there just isn’t.
Sparky will try whatever he can to make us think that he is not attacking us. But he is. Always. Especially if we are trying to live the gospel. He has no reason to attack those who aren’t. They are already heading right where he wants them. But he makes sure that they don’t ever realize it, he keeps an eye on them until the day they die, because up until then anything can change. All it takes is one good Christian to tell them about God’s love for them, Jesus dying on the cross and them accepting God’s mercy and forgiveness and the Power of the Holy Spirit helping them work out their salvation with fear and trembling.
Don’t be fooled the devil is real, and he really wants you to end up in hell. He uses little things like the chain letters and FB statuses like the one above to get us to fall for his tricks. The best way to defeat him is by living the will of God and seeking the truth with all our mind, heart and soul. The best way to do that is to ask why. To look past what we see, to examine everything. Not just put up something because it says the devil will flee if you post this or email that. God does not work that way. Don’t get me wrong, I know the power that is in the Bible, it is the Word of God. I’m not saying that it isn’t, I’m simply saying that opening the bible alone will not guard us from sparky’s attacks. We have to learn what we are reading and have faith in God.
1 Peter 5 6-11
 Be you humbled therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in the time of visitation: Casting all your care upon him, for he hath care of you.  Be sober and watch: because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, goeth about seeking whom he may devour.  Whom resist ye, strong in faith: knowing that the same affliction befalls your brethren who are in the world.  But the God of all grace, who hath called us into his eternal glory in Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a little, will himself perfect you, and confirm you, and establish you.
 To him be glory and empire for ever and ever. Amen