The other day Chloe was trying to snap her fingers. She'd seen me do it before, and she was doing a very good job of mimicking my actions.
She touched the tip of her thumb to the tip of her middle finger, then pulled them across each other. The action made ... no sound at all.
Chloe looked at her fingers and tried again. Still no sound. Undaunted, she resorted to the next best thing: faking it. She repeated her previous actions, but this time she clucked her tongue.
It was such a close approximation to the sound of snapping fingers that for a moment, I thought she'd actually done it. Then she "snapped her fingers" again, and I realized what she was doing. The snap seemed to be the real thing, but on closer examination I found that it was not authentic.
Not that I would ever equate my daughter with Satan, but Scripture tells us that Satan uses the same type of trickery. In 2 Corinthians 11:14, the apostle Paul warns us that Satan masquerades as an angel of light. Satan does not openly reveal his evil intent. If he did, we would recognize what he was doing and avoid it. Instead, Satan goes to great lengths to make sin look enticing; to even make it look good and right.
Remember Eve? She knew she wasn't supposed to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:17). When the serpent came along to tempt her he didn't say, "Yes it's wrong, but do it anyway." Instead, he presented it as if it were a good thing to do - in spite of what God had said. "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 3:4-5).
Notice that Satan never actually lied to Eve. She did not die (physically, at least. Spiritually, that's another matter). Her eyes were opened. She did become like God, knowing good and evil.
Do you see the deception? He acted like he was Eve's friend. He pretended to be doing Eve a favor. He made eating the fruit seem so good, so right. What he was telling her seemed to be the real thing, but if she'd taken the time to examine closer, she would have found that his "friendship" and "help" were not authentic.
Make no mistake about it: Satan is not your friend. He does not have your best interests at heart. What he did to Eve, he will do to you if given the chance.
Don't give in to him. Listen to your heavenly father and to him only.
Parrish Myers is pastor of Pine Crest Baptist Church in Gainesville. His column runs every other week in Sunday Life.