Now You See Me, Now You Don’t: Satan’s Oldest Trick In the Book

Isn’t nature fascinating?  Along with millions of others, my wife and I love watching the Planet Earth series.  We feel so moved to worship by the display of God’s creativity, wisdom and power.

A particular phenomenon in nature that has always intrigued me is mimicry.  Simply put, this is when one organism mimics another in appearance or behavior in order to ensure it’s survival.

The classic example of an organism that depends on mimicry for survival is the walking stick.  Another example is the harmless milk snake that mimics the appearance of the venomous coral snake.   Whether the goal is to go unnoticed like the walking stick or appear dangerous like the milk snake, the end goal is protection and survival.  Mimicry is pretty effective.

It’s interesting to me that the phenomenon of mimicry is not isolated to the animal kingdom but can be seen in the “spiritual kingdom” as well.  Matter of fact, you could say that mimicry is Satan’s oldest trick in the book.  Literally.

Satan is first introduced in the human narrative in Genesis 3.  How did he first appear to Eve?  As a force of darkness (Eph. 6:12)?  A devouring lion (1 Pet. 5:8)?  Certainly not.  He appeared to Eve as a concerned citizen.  He disguised himself as one of God creatures and seemed to be truly concerned for Eve’s wellbeing.  Like a contemporary Life Coach, he appeared to really want to help Eve reach her full potential and fulfillment.

Similar to the many animals that depend on mimicry for survival, Satan depended on his ability to appear as something other than he was in order to protect and propagate his agenda of death and destruction.  Unfortunately for the human race, he was successful.

Someone once said that instead of telling Adam and Eve not to eat the apple, God should have told them not to eat the snake.  Think about it.

Not only was mimicry Satan’s strategy that day in the garden, but it seems to be his modus operandi to this day.  In Paul’s attempt to expose the agents of Satan who had infiltrated the Corinthian community by disguising themselves as apostles, he reminds them that Satan often mimics an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14).

This should concern anyone who is serious about following Jesus.  The most dangerous enemy is the one we can’t see.  Like Paul, we want to be fully aware of our enemies schemes (2 Corinthians 2:11).  There is far too much at stake.

Here is a short list of ways I’ve observed in my own life the enemy’s mimicry:

There is a fear that takes on the appearance of sound wisdom, a denial that takes the form of faith, a tolerance of sin that disguises as love and acceptance, an insecurity that disguises as a defender of truth, a self-righteousness that disguises as holiness, a fear of rejection that takes the form of open-mindedness among others who don’t share our beliefs…

The danger is that we will staunchly defend these demons in our lives.

Lest this post incites a navel-gazing “witch hunt” within any of its readers, I leave you with this:  Jesus is more committed to exposing Satan’s mimicry in our lives than we are.  He is super good at it.  Like Paul (1 Corinthians 4:3-5), I’ve realized how horrible I am at judging myself and have decided to leave it up to Jesus.  However, let’s ask him to expose every demonically inspired belief or practice that has disguised itself in us.


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