What makes Satan clap

19 Dec

It is tempting for us to have hard thoughts about God.

It can even feel somewhat holy to think He is angry with us and if not angry, to feel that He only puts up with us and barely at that. I know there are times where I feel like God must look at me with a feeling of deep disappointment.

One reason we might feel like that is because we know ourselves and we are disappointed by ourselves. I can stand in front of the mirror all day long and say I am good enough, I am strong enough, but we all know deep down it’s not true. This is part of why it’s hard for me to understand the appeal of those books with the smiling pastors on the cover who are telling me that I am really awesome. Man, if I want to feel awesome, the one person I am not going to spend much time looking at is me.

Another reason we might feel like that God is disappointed or upset with us is perhaps is because we know people. I don’t know if you have noticed but the more important people get, the less likely they are to care about us. This can be true even with godly people. Generally, the bigger a church grows the less likely you are to be able to spend time with the pastor and when you spend time with the pastor, he’s often got his eye on the clock. Even if that isn’t true with pastors, and let’s hope it isn’t with most, we all know people who are so busy that the moment you come to them for something they are already ready for you to leave.

And because of what we know about ourselves and what we know about people, we might think of God as someone who doesn’t have time for people like us, someone whom we bother by coming into His presence.

After all He has does have things to take care of, like the whole world. And He already enjoys sweet fellowship in the Trinity. It is not like he is hurting for friends. And He already has glorious beings who worship Him. Can you imagine running up to God when an angel comes into the room? You look over and compare yourself to the angel and you are going to be tempted to find a corner and shut up.

I mean, it sort of sounds reasonable to think, who are we to bother God?

Only, that kind of thinking for us as believers is a flat out lie, from the pit of hell, that we must resist with our all might.

John Owen puts it like this, “Now there is not anything more grievous to the Lord, nor subservient to the design of Satan upon the soul, than such thoughts of these.”

Check that, not anything more grievous. Wow. In light of all the bad things we can do, it is really something to say that the thing that grieves the Lord most is not believing that He loves us. Not only is it grievous though, John Owen says it is Satanic. Thinking like this is part of Satan’s great design.

He goes on, “Satan claps his hands…when he can take up the soul with such thoughts of God: he hath enough – all that he doth desire.”

What a picture. Satan clapping his hands with delight. Looking around at all the other demons and saying, this is awesome, I have what I want! And what is it that he wants? That we as believers look to God as angry and disappointed with us instead of loving. These kinds of thoughts grieve God and make Satan happy.

Therefore, there’s hardly anything more important you and I can do today than assure ourselves of God the Father’s love for us through Jesus Christ. Remind yourself, preach to yourself, that God’s love for you is constant, deep, and unchanging. Not because you wish it were like that and definitely not because you deserve for it to be like that, but because it is like that and because it is like that, God is truly amazing.

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