Devil Among Us
The field is the world, and the good seed is the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, and the enemy who sowed them is the devil. Matthew 13:38-39
In Christian circles, it’s not uncommon to hear someone tell of events that are just too amazing to be called coincidences. This is usually attributed to God and offered as evidence of his involvement in our lives. What we don’t often talk about, are those evil temptations that are just a little too convenient to be called accidents. When some guy just happens to offer me the exact pills I’ve struggled with, that’s a little weird.
We don’t often talk about it, maybe because we don’t believe it, or maybe we just prefer not to think about it. In today’s passage though, Jesus insists there is evil among us. In the parable, he tells of a sower (Jesus) who planted seed (his message) in a field (the world). During the night, his enemy (the devil) came in and planted his own seed (evil) which sprang up among the crop.
This is a problem. The temptation for evil is not on the other side of some obvious boundary. The devil is among us and he will use whatever weaknesses we have against us. Evil always comes to us in the form of something attractive.
If I’m a workaholic, the devil is perhaps in money or the next promotion. If I’m an addict, it’s that guy offering me my favorite pill. For the food addict, maybe the devil is in the donut. Satan can be in anything appealing to our appetite that leads us down the path of following self instead of God: pornography, inappropriate relationships, gossip, resentments, the need for affirmation, or just plain, horrible pride.
The devil doesn’t announce he’s evil. He comes in the form of something we want, but that always turns us from who we’re supposed to be. To stay on the narrow path of life, we must remain vigilant, putting in the continual, conscious effort it takes. Daily, we must look at ourselves asking, What must I work on today? What needs to go? What do I need to give to God? How do I pursue him? There is evil among us. Our job is to daily turn from it, following God, so that we may live in faith, joy, hope, and recovery.