Ever had a “friend” who wasn’t really a friend? The kind of friend who has fallen into, or maybe remains in “the darkness” and as your “friend” wants you to be their right hand woman? Maybe your friend is an addict and wants you to go to parties with her and indulge. Maybe your friend likes to spend money and is constantly inviting you along knowing that you don’t have any money. Maybe she just keeps asking you to do the very thing you know you shouldn’t, whatever that thing is. I am here to tell you that Satan, himself, presents himself as that kind of friend.
You see, Satan wasn’t always the King of the Underworld. Satan began as a beautiful angel named Lucifer. As Lucifer, he was “the Day Star or son of the Dawn.” As an angel, he was created for one purpose and that was to reflect God’s glory back to God. But, Lucifer struggled with a sin we all struggle with…pride. Lucifer decided that he wanted more…he wanted a throne high above God’s throne. Can you imagine the nerve?
I’m sure you and I have never struggled with such pride. Never felt like we were smarter than a boss. Never felt like we were the only sane person on earth. Never felt like we were the only one “getting it”, whatever “it” is. Lucifer, now known as Satan, must be the only being who has ever felt that way, right?
Wrong…we all struggle with it and always will this side of Heaven. This was a common theme throughout the Bible. Eve, with a little coaxing from you know who, decides she wants to be like God. The children of God at the tower of Babel decide to build a tower so they can be as high as God. And there are many more stories. My point in this though, is that these people were not alone and neither are we.
Satan, as he is now known, fell from God’s grace because he chose himself over God. What happened to Satan, happens to us, too. He forgot his purpose in life. His purpose was to reflect God’s glory. Obviously, it didn’t matter to him that by reflecting God’s glory he was the most beautiful of all angels or that He had a special place in angel life. He wanted more. And, now that he has fallen, he wants to take the rest of us out with him. Just like those so-called friends that want to lead us astray, Satan plays that same game. Maybe he finds comfort like so many of the rest of us, by causing someone else to stumble and thinking, “see, I am not so bad…she fell too.” Maybe like those “friends”, Satan doesn’t want to be alone in his misery.
You and I, though not angels, are created to have a relationship with the Lord and to reflect His glory on the earth through our broken and cracked vessels. When we take our eyes off of the Son, we are no longer reflecting Him. We don’t really shine.
How many of you like to look at the moon at night? I know I do. I especially like crescent moons…I don’t know why, I just do. I love to look at the glowing sliver hanging in the sky and try desperately to see the shadow of the remainder. Did you know though, that the moon has no light of its own? The moon is only visible…crescent, half, or full…when it reflects the light of the sun. Without the sun, it is just a cold, dark stone. It cannot shine on its own. You cannot shine on your own. Got a cool picture in your head yet? Give me a minute and it will all make sense.
Sara Groves sings about it in the song below. She sings, “I am the moon with no light of my own, Still you have made me to shine, And as I glow in this cold dark night, I know I cannot be a light unless I turn my face to you.”
Think about Moses on the mountain. He sees just the backside of God, and he glows so bright that he has to cover his entire head just so he can go back with his people and not blind them. If God’s backside, a fully clothed backside at that, is that bright, can you even imagine His face?
However, we possess this precious treasure [the divine Light of the Gospel] in [frail, human] vessels of earth, that the grandeur and exceeding greatness of the power may be shown to be from God and not from ourselves. 2 Corinthians 4:7
These words are my prayer today…that the divine Light of the Gospel would shine through my frail, human vessel and that it would be shown to be from none other than the Holy Spirit alive in me! May I never forget that without Him I am no more than the moon…a cold, hard stone.
Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls! Hebrews 12: 1-3 MSG