Satan Wants You
by Joshua Travers - December 30, 2021
Teens within God’s Church are being targeted by the evil ruler of this world, but there’s more to the story!
The tall, gangly gentleman looks at you from the poster. His piercing blue eyes, the stern set of his jaw, and his dignified bearing strike you and make you aware of the solemnity of his request. It may have been his colorful hat, blue jacket and red bow tie that first drew your attention to the poster, but it’s the look on his face and the finger pointing right at your soul that keeps it there.
You look down on the poster and see the fateful words:
“I WANT YOU FOR THE U.S. ARMY.”
Not just an image
The famous image of Uncle Sam pointing at people and telling them to join the U.S. Army made its appearance in July 1916, not long before America entered World War I. Finalized in the imagination of famous illustrator James Montgomery Flagg, the poster served as a call to action for many young men to join the U.S. military in both World Wars.
Images have power. The notions behind the image—patriotism, the desire to do more and to serve one’s country—also have power. When these are combined, they create a force that can easily pull the heart and mind in a particular direction.
However, this image can also remind us of a spiritual danger, one that pertains to every teen within the Church.
Satan is out and about
The Bible doesn’t provide a lot of information about Satan, but it does provide us with enough for us to be cautious. (For the information that we do have on Satan, read “Satan: A Profile.”) One of the most powerful descriptions of Satan is that he is like “a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). Satan seeks to destroy mankind, and unfortunately, he has various tools at his disposal to do just that.
Satan has already deceived the entire world (Revelation 12:9). He set the human race on a path toward destruction by convincing us we could go our own way (Proverbs 14:12; 16:25).
But there’s a group of people out there who aren’t being deceived. God has selected a special people, dear to Him, who have been given the ability to see through Satan’s lies and strive to live righteously in order to please Him (1 Peter 2:9). These ones are on Satan’s target list.
This may appear to apply only to adults who are baptized and fully committed to God’s way. But teens are also a part of this calling and incredible promise. Peter told early Christian parents, “The promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call” (Acts 2:39).
You are wanted
The threat of Satan can seem vague and shadowy. After all, he’s an invisible being with invisible attack methods. But the truth is that Satan is waging an active war against God’s people.
With all of the cartoon caricatures that we are exposed to, it may be difficult to visualize the danger Satan poses to us. But Satan is real, and he’s a direct threat to you.
Satan will go out of his way to single you out and target you, just as he did the apostle Peter (Luke 22:31) and the patriarch Job (Job 1-2).
But Satan’s methods are diverse. He seldom goes at you with a frontal assault.
And that’s where the power of the poster comes in.
Craftiness of the serpent
A picture (or an image) is worth a thousand words, as the old saying goes, and unfortunately for us, Satan is a master at exploiting the power of images. He uses images and ideas to great effect—much like the Uncle Sam poster and the alluring ideas behind it. In fact, he’s been doing this since the dawn of humanity.
The very first thing the Bible tells us about Satan is that he is very cunning (Genesis 3:1). He has unimaginable power, but his greatest danger to us is his ability to manipulate and deceive. Satan used the image of a fruit tree to drive a firm wedge between God and mankind (Genesis 3). He made his description of the tree’s appearance so enticing! Eve’s mouth might have started watering at that point. But the real attraction was the idea of becoming wise—like Almighty God Himself!
The combination of a powerful picture with the offer of freedom and wisdom—the ability to decide between right and wrong on her own—proved too much for Eve, and she gave in. The rest, as they say, is history.
Satan is still doing what he did then, using images and ideas to draw people in. He skillfully leads mankind (and, at times, God’s own people) astray with the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life (1 John 2:16).
What can you do?
The purpose of this blog post is not to scare you, but to inform you.
Satan is a formidable opponent, but he can be successfully resisted. Whether Satan has the victory over your life or suffers defeat is entirely up to you.
We will always have choices to make, but we can achieve a victory and overcome Satan. However, we can’t do it on our own. In fact, recognizing that we can’t overcome Satan alone is the first step toward that victory.
“Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). We have to submit and count on God for His protection. If we yield to God and resist the tools that Satan uses, we can win.
Satan wants you. You can yield to him by giving in to his powerful images and ideas, or you can resist him and yield to God.
Which will you do?