Devil in the Donut
The prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days, but Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me . . . Daniel 10:13
Today’s is an unusual passage about the conflict that exists in the spiritual realm. In the story, Daniel prayed but the angel sent to answer him was delayed 21 days, by a demon. The messenger was saved only when the archangel Michael came to his aid.
It’s a story I don’t quite know what to do with. I can’t see the spiritual realm, so the temptation is to dismiss it. If I believe in God and heaven though, then it’s not such a leap to believe in the devil.
Peter says that the devil, like a lion, seeks to devour us (1 Peter 5:8) and James, brother of Jesus, implores us to flee the devil (James 4:7). In Genesis, Satan temps Eve with the forbidden fruit, and sounds terrifyingly similar to my own appetite. Eat it. You know you want it. Like the devil, my own flesh nature seeks to destroy my spiritual life (1 Peter 2:11).
It’s perhaps possible to over-emphasize the devil’s role in our lives. Some people see the devil everywhere, hiding behind every donut. If though, Satan uses the desires of our flesh to distract us from God, then I doubt that we can overestimate how destructive even our little choices can be. I’m not saying that the devil is in every donut, but I am insisting that surrendering control in the little things leads to failure in the big things.
If Satan wants to destroy my spiritual life and if he uses my appetite to do it, he doesn’t have to get me to become a murderer. He just needs to enslave me to my eating habits. Then, it’s a small leap to do whatever I want with my free time. Soon, I’m following my appetite above God. Satan doesn’t have to put me in jail to paralyze me from doing God’s will. He just has to get me to follow my natural desires.
If we want the life God intends, then we must realize that Satan seduces us with our own destructive appetites, causing us to abandon God. If we want God, and if we want life, then we must follow him daily, even in the little things.