We all have noticed that once we start shopping for an item, ads for that item start following us everywhere on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
After moving into our new home last year, I searched online for semi-flush lighting for my dining room for a few months. I must have looked at 1,000 light fixtures.
Then one day I was scrolling through Twitter and there they were.
Another time I was searching feverishly for a Wil Lutz NFL jersey to give my son for Christmas. The cost for one kept hovering around $100.
Then suddenly an ad appeared for the jersey I wanted at a discount price of $70.
My son loves it.
So how is it that Satan uses the same strategies?
A computer doesn’t have a brain. It can only observe my behavior by recording my clicks. The computer had been monitoring my behavior of clicking on semi-flush light fixtures so it started sending more my way.
Eventually I took the bait and those lights are in my home.
The same with the shirt. The ads found me and now my son wears it.
Like a computer, Satan can’t read our minds. He can only watch our behavior to see what leads us to unwise decisions or sin. He can watch me eat when I am sad. He can watch me get agitated when I am around certain people. He can see me escape into a good movie before I read my Bible.
Then he starts sending me the lies. They start following me everywhere.
Eat that ice cream. It’ll make you feel better.
She is so annoying…and she doesn’t like you either. Stay away from her.
Watch that movie and read the Bible later.
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. 1 Peter 5:8-9
He wants to devour us. He wants to render us ineffective for God.
So what is his strategy?
It’s the same as advertising. He watches our behavior. He watches when we pause to linger on Amazon, or at the mall, in a magazine or on the TV guide. After pausing, what do we eventually “click” on? He also watches when we browse and buy. Are we weakest in the morning, noon or night; because he can time his lies too.
He gets to know us.
Then he feeds us to false messages to make us pause, linger too long and then act unwisely. To add another layer, he also feeds lies to people with whom we have relationships. If they choose to “click” on something false, then they too may become contributing factors in what makes us vulnerable to poor decisions.
We resist for a while, but eventually take the bait.
Let’s be alert. Let’s resist, knowing every Christ follower in the world is in the same battle to live well in this crazy world.
© 2018 by Oaks Ministries. All rights reserved.
Picture Explanation: I attended a conference last weekend and fell in love with the campus of Columbus State University. When an architectural photo includes metal, wood, concrete, brick and wood…that’s my kind of place. And there’s a river with a path for walking and running. Absolutely beautiful partnership between the university and the city.
And of course I had to show you the semi-flush lights that tracked me down until I took the bait and had them installed, and the NFL jersey that followed me so my son could eventually wear it.