Euphoria in a Rice Field…I Think Not
by Tara Johnson
I was getting a bit bored, driving through soggy rice fields on my way to a prison in Arkansas, preparing to speak to inmates on a drizzly Sunday morning.
Maybe it was the lack of scenery that made me notice it. Maybe it’s because it was the only building around for miles other than a few silos. But when I saw the building perched on the side of the road, I shook my head.
There in big, bold print, a sign advertised: Euphoria.
Now, if this establishment offered chocolate or books, I would have pulled right in. This business, however, offered things along the darker side. Nasty and vile things. From the looks of the sign, if you could imagine it, it was likely offered there.
Yet, it was named Euphoria. So at odds with what it ultimately gave.
The thought suddenly struck me that if it was called what it really offered, nobody would want to step foot inside.
Instead of plastering Euphoria on the outside, how about Shame? Instead of Exhilaration, how about Disappointment? Instead of Ecstasy, how about Broken Lives and Heartache?
I know, I know. It sounds harsh. But it’s true.
I’ve spent much of my adult life analyzing the lies that Satan tells me, lies that I used to believe. Ugly, hateful vicious lies hissed in my ear when my heart was bruised and my soul was achingly vulnerable. The enemy would attack my worth, and like an idiot, I believed him. I would allow his schemes to make me forget my God-worth…who I am in Christ.
But Satan uses another scheme, one that might be, perhaps, more deadly. He either attacks our worth or he goes the other direction—he makes sin look like everything we’ve ever wanted.
He says, “I care about you. No one appreciates you. It’s time to do what you want to do.” Or “Your spouse doesn’t understand you. But that co-worker of yours, he gets you. Let him fill that emotional need you’re craving.” He whispers, “No one will know. After all you’ve been through, you deserve to play by your own rules for a change.”
Lies, lies and more lies.
He makes sin look attractive, irresistible. Satan himself was once the most beautiful angel in heaven before he fell. (Luke 10:18, Isaiah 14:12-15, Ezekiel 28) My youngest daughter recently mentioned something about Satan having horns and a tail.
I shook my head. “No, Honey, the Bible says Satan was God’s most beautiful angel. He’s extremely attractive.”
Flabbergasted, her little mouth dropped open. “What? But he’s evil!”
I nodded. “Exactly. Think about this…would we want anything to do with him if he was hideous and scary-looking? He does the same thing with sin. He makes it look stunning. Wonderful. But it always leads to death. Always.”
“And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.” 2 Corinthians 11:14
In our own culture, we’re manipulated constantly. Those beer commercials show happy people frolicking and having a blast. But it doesn’t show you the broken family, the debt or the life-destroying addiction that comes with overindulgence. Men and women alike are lured into pornography, thinking no one will know, no one will see—whether it’s computer images, books or the popular movies our society so ignorantly soaks up. Yet those websites and movies never show the destroyed marriages that come after sin has had its time to erode and decay. It fails to show the damage absorbing filth will do to you mind and spirit. Not to mention the way embracing it will crumble your testimony to rubble and drag God’s name through the muck and mire, as well.
And all of it breaks my heart.
We were made for so much more. It’s one thing for a lost world to act lost. Without Jesus’ transforming power, they are acting exactly as they are supposed to: blind, empty, dead. But as God’s redeemed children, we are to be different. Set apart for a special purpose. Children of light.
One night as I was teaching my junior class at church, I asked one of the boys to come up front so I could show the class something. Before he even finished walking to me, I reached out and shoved him down. Eyes wide, he gasped. “What did ya do that for?”
I shrugged. “No reason. I just felt like it.”
He got up and smoothed his rumpled shirt, his irritation obvious, as I reached out to shove him once more. Only this time, he was ready. He stiffened his little body and dug his feet into the ground. He was immovable. On alert. I couldn’t push him over, wiry and tight as he was.
I grinned and told the class, “That’s how Satan works. If you’re not on guard, he’ll do everything he can to knock you down. But the second time I tried to shove Noah, he didn’t fall. Why? Because he was braced and ready.”
Be ready. Be on guard. Be wise. Satan will come after you, make no mistake about that. Stay close to God and remember, dabbling with sin never, ever makes things better. It always leads to heartache, affecting not just you, but those you love as well.
Now it’s your turn to help a girl out—What are some other lies Satan tells God’s children?