My sister sent me a picture of the Satanic leaf-tailed gecko—no kidding, I checked it out online. I couldn’t get over it’s name’s appropriateness, as the Bible says Satan appears as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14). For the gecko, it’s largely a defensive measure, but Satan uses his disguises for world-class trophy hunting. And the object of his hunt? You and me!
The enemy adjusts his strategies based on his quarry; some bite at “quick riches,” which require compromises of morality, while others bite at power; whether large or small-scale, it doesn’t matter to the deceiver. Why, he even traps folks with the promise of “deeper” spiritual experiences that just happen to lie outside of Biblically revealed truth. I could fill a library with the many varied deceptions our wily enemy uses against us, where he most often distracts us from God’s best for us by offering something good, but with quicker payoff. If you trace the strings attached to even the best things, if they’re not God’s best, you’ll find they come from Satan’s “generous” hand.
While Satan’s disguises are clever, the true master of disguise is Jesus himself. “Then the righteous will answer him saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.'” (Matthew 25:37-40) Please note that those “guilty” of serving the Lord, did so without knowledge; that’s just what Christ-followers do.
Elsewhere in the Bible we find related passages, not that I need to provide further verification of Jesus’ words: Proverbs 19:17 (ESV) Whoever is generous to the Lord lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed.
1 John 3:17 But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?
Jeremiah 22:16 “He judged the cause of the poor and needy; then it was well.
Is not this to know me?” declares the Lord.
James 1:27 Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.
The passage from James isn’t popular with most of God’s church, as it raises a nearly impossible standard for Christ-followers. But I refuse to rip this page out of my bible! Here is where God’s grace applies to our imperfections. Without grace Jesus wouldn’t have died to reconcile us to his Father—now, our Father—and without grace our least shortcoming would condemn us to eternity apart from him. For that, I am eternally thankful to the true Master of Disguise.