Last night, I pulled out my roster sheet and started to write.
With No. 1 UConn coming to town on Thursday, I needed to get a jumpstart on my prep for the plethora of stories I have planned leading up to the 8 p.m. tipoff.
On my scout sheet, there are blanks for the starters’ names, heights, positions and averages. Below those boxes are spaces to write down their strengths, weaknesses and various notes about each player.
From the starters I focused on the role players and then moved on to their strategies, if you will. What offense do they run? How about the defense?
Now, back up for a second. Why do people do scouting reports?
For coaches, it’s a necessary step to doing everything they can beforehand in preparation for victory. Like, if Kim Mulkey didn’t do any ahead research on the Huskies and therefore didn’t have a defender in the face of Katie Lou Samuelson at all times because that girl can dang shoot the basketball.
While I was sitting in an empty newsroom (I put the paper to bed on New Year’s Day), I started wondering about scouting reports and why we didn’t take the time to make one for our own lives.
Not because we ourselves are tasked with defending the 11-time national champion UConn team. But because there’s an enemy out there who wants us to think he isn’t a factor, that because we can’t see him that he doesn’t exist. He wants us focused on everything that goes wrong instead of the source (which is him).
Why not have a scouting report on Satan? Because if we have one, we’ll be better prepared for his antics.
As Priscilla Shirer puts it, Satan’s games are like whack-a-mole. You can hit all the animals that pop up out of the holes that you want to. But the source of their action comes from underneath. Who is controlling those puppets?
For when your fears pop up, when doubt creeps into your mind, when hatred fills your heart, all of those things and more – who is controlling those things?
Motivation: “The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” – John 10:10
Yes, this dude wants to DESTROY you. There’s no lighthearted, oh you’re the guy we see in movies with horns and a tail and you’re all red situations with this guy. He wants your destruction. Total and complete destruction.
He wanted to be like God and was thrown out of heaven for thinking that was a possibility.
“You were an anointed guardian cherub. I placed you; you were on the holy mountain of God; in the midst of the stones of fire you walked. You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created, till unrighteousness was found in you. In the abundance of your trade you were filled with violence in your midst, and you sinned; so I cast you as a profane thing from the mountain of God, and I destroyed you, O guardian cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. Your heart was proud because of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor. I cast you to the ground; I exposed you before kings, to feast their eyes on you.”
– Ezekiel 28:14-17
OK, so for someone who was thrown out of heaven for thinking he could be like God, think how MAD this dude was when God went out and created people in His own image.
He haaaaaates you. It’s a bitter jealousy that fuels that hatred. As Alex Seeley writes in Tailor Made, “You remind him of everything he lost, and as a result, he has a strategic plan to destroy you.”
Now, how does he go about this plan of destruction?
He makes us think that God isn’t as good as he says he is. Satan’s been doing this since Eden.
“But the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.'”
– Genesis 3:5
Well, why wouldn’t God want me to be like Him? Is it because He’s ashamed of me, doesn’t want someone like me to be like Him. I guess His “unconditional” love is more of a charade, then. Like an act of a politician during campaign season. Says what’s needed to get the job done with no follow through.
There is when a distorted view of God negatively impacts how we view ourselves. And that affects our callings which is what Satan is after.
At that point, we either dive into a depression of sorts, not feeling worthy of anything and majorly less than. Or, we start striving to be good enough. And neither is what God intended.
Now that we know Satan’s game plan, what are the plays that Satan runs to try to destroy you?
For me, it can be comparison. While I’m looking to how other people around me live, I’m not focused on who God called me to be at all. Instead, I’m more focused on myself and living up to some worldly standard.
Then if I put myself as better than someone, here comes the pride and an inflated ego.
If I think I’m worse than someone else, then I feel unworthy and start to prefer invisibility to anything else.
But y’all, what’s so important is understanding that Satan is fighting from the place of a total loser. Sorry, I couldn’t think of another way to word it.
But this guy loses. He has no chance at victory. HE WILL LOSE IN THE END.
“And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison and will come out to deceive the nations that are at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea. And they marched up over the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, but fire came down from heaven and consumed them, and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.”
– Rev. 20:7-10