Many years ago, in the mid-1990s, while looking for a new church hall, I heard an interesting tale about a piano. There in South Florida, the retiree population loved to dance, so dance halls were plentiful to rent.
At one location, the hall director was having trouble getting the stage arranged to his satisfaction. Specifically, the piano was in the wrong spot. When he tried to move it, the regular customers protested and demanded it be moved back.
Frustrated, the director gave up. Some years later, however, he stopped by his old hall, and sure enough, the piano had been moved. Intrigued, he asked the new director how it was done. The reply was simple, “I moved the piano one foot a week until I got it where I wanted it to be.”
Have you ever thought about the fact that in a lot of instances, Satan does that to us? When he comes at us with an obvious and blatant move, we can check that, but it becomes more difficult to ascertain when he works subtly, “a foot at a time.” Slowly changing our thoughts, he moves us where he wants us.
It is vital we recognize that, for now, this is Satan’s world. We must stay alert! When we are faced with a new location or environment, our senses are keen. We see and hear things we might normally have missed. But when we return home to an environment with which we are familiar, our senses are less acute. Less active.
Our spiritual life is the same: “For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night…You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober,” 1 Thessalonians 5:1-8, NKJV. If we are alert, we will notice the discreet attempts to move us “one foot at a time” that Satan employs!
Satan is working on each of us. We have to regularly check ourselves and ask, how did that thought get up there? That’s not my normal way of thinking! It shouldn’t be there. That sense of urgency is crucial to our spiritual growth.
As ambassadors of God’s way, our example is crucial. Christ’s example is a perfect reflection of God the Father (John 14:9-12). Christ and the Father have not changed, but the question we must ask ourselves is, have we? Do we reflect Christ as He does the Father?
In order to remain unmoved by Satan, we have four tools of spiritual growth: prayer, Bible study, fasting, and meditation. Is our example effective, and does God get the most out of us if we are not enlisting these tools?
Sometimes the journey can make us weary, but, like a runner, we need to catch our second wind and continue forward. Be aware of the devices and subtleties of Satan. Remain alert! Using our spiritual tools to stay strong, let’s set a positive example as ambassadors of Jesus Christ!
By Ken Parks