AUDIO VERSION: YouTube Podbean
A man sat in the dark and it made him very angry. So he went to God and said, “Give me a candle so that I can have light in my house.”
But God said, “No. It is better for you to sit in the dark right now. Trust My plan for your life.”
This made the man even angrier, so he turned away from God and went to Satan instead.
“Why hello, there,” Satan said with glee. “How can I help you?”
“God is making me sit in the dark even when He knows how much I hate it,” the man complained.
“If you give me a candle, I will repay you.” “You poor thing,” Satan hissed. “How very cruel of God not to help you with this simple request. Here is a candle that you can have. I am always happy to help.”
“Thank you,” said the man and he took the candle home and lit it. Immediately his house was filled with a very bright light. “Why, this candle isn’t like an ordinary candle at all,” he said in surprise. “It puts off extra light, and it sparkles as it burns. God never offered me a candle like this because He is always trying to withhold blessings from me.” Little did the man realize that his candle wasn’t a candle at all, but a stick of dynamite. After a short while, the wick burned down and the dynamite exploded. Now the man was back in the dark, only this time he was in terrible pain and couldn’t move an inch. “Satan, you tricked me!” he cried out in shock.
“What are you complaining about?” Satan scoffed. “I gave you what you asked for.”
There are many times in life when God will refuse to give us something that we desperately want. When those moments come, some of us will try to make a deal with Satan instead. “Just give me this one thing and I’ll do something for you,” we’ll plead. If at all possible, Satan will give us what we want—at least he will appear to give us what we want. But everything that Satan gives us will be like that stick of dynamite which masqueraded as a candle.
Before we consider trying to make a bargain with the devil, there are a few facts we need to understand. First, any business transaction is only as good as the characters of the parties involved. For example, Jesus has promised that anyone who submits to Him as their God and Savior will be taken to Heaven when they die. How do we know that He will keep this promise? What’s to prevent Him from suddenly changing His mind and hurling us all into Hell? Nothing. We can’t make God keep His promises. It is only His good Character which makes His words more than a bunch of noise.
When we try to strike deals with the devil, we are trying to transact business with someone whose character is pure evil. Satan hates God. He delights in making humans suffer. From Satan’s perspective, we humans are like helpless little bunnies trying to hop across a six lane freeway. He enjoys flattening us.
While we know very little about Satan, he knows everything about us. He has been studying human beings for thousands of years. He knows all about your personal fears and insecurities. He can read your mind like a book. He knows where all of your weak points are. You’re like a worm who is too stupid to notice when he’s being threaded onto a fishing hook. While you’re trying to coax Satan into helping you out, what you’re really saying to him is, “Make sure your gun is fully loaded. I’m about to come within range.”
Satan doesn’t play fair. No matter what you try to offer him, he will end up taking far more. When you make deals with Satan, it’s like your letting a sadistic torturer strap you down on his experimental table. “Now remember, you promised not to hurt me,” you say. Yeah, right. You cannot partner yourself with a being who is devoid of all morals and think you’re going to come out unscathed. Would you climb into a cage with a rabid wolf? Would you dive into a pool of burning lava? Making deals with Satan is far more dangerous.
Thinking that you can outsmart Satan is like betting that you won’t be injured when you swing an axe into your own leg. Trying to best him is like trying to stop an oncoming bulldozer by standing in front of it with your arms crossed. You won’t even slow it down.
The only reason any of us survive an encounter with Satan is because God intervenes on our behalf. Even when we turn our backs on Him and intentionally align ourselves with His enemy, God is still merciful to us. But His mercy has limits. Such defiant behavior deserves a dose of discipline, and God knows just the one to give it to us: our little playmate, Satan. Very often God will allow the devil to give us some form of the thing we so desperately want—only so that we can experience him ripping it away from us a short while later. Miraculous healings, financial windfalls, popularity, fame, glory—when these things come to us through demonic channels, they are always laced with bitter disillusionment and pain. The healings never last. The influx of money, popularity, fame and glory destroy us. We end up feeling like rotted wood inside. We either begin worshiping ourselves, or we learn to loathe the sight of our own reflections and seek to destroy our very existence. Satan always wins. Once we walk into his minefield, we will never find a way out. We will only be able to watch our lives being torn apart one explosion at a time. The God we turned our backs on will be our only hope of salvation.
It is not worth putting yourself in this situation. When you find yourself furious with God for not giving you what you want, you must remember the kind of Character you are dealing with. God loves you. Everything He does and doesn’t do for you is for your long-term spiritual best. Satan hates you. Everything he does for you will be for your long-term spiritual worst. In this world, you cannot have your way all the time. Like every other human on the planet, you will have to endure some share of suffering, disappointment, and pain. God has decreed that these things are inescapable aspects of earthly life. You will suffer on this earth—this is not an option, it is a fact. The only part you get to choose is whether your suffering will result in spiritual joy and thriving, or spiritual deprivation and gnawing emptiness. It all depends on the character of the nonhuman being who you choose to align yourself with. Choose wisely.