April 24, 2020
Have you ever watched a baseball game? I am sure most of you have.
One year when I was in elementary school, I asked my dad to take me to watch a Little League game where one of my buddies played. We went to that game. While I don’t remember if my friend’s team won, I do remember realizing one of the responsibilities of a pitcher was to throw a ball in such a skillful way that a batter would swing at it and miss.
Various types of pitches are used in any baseball game. There is the “fastball,” the “knuckleball,” the “screwball,” the “curveball,” and others. Face it, each pitch is intended to make the opposing team miss the ball, and strikeout!
One of our former blind and shutter installers played baseball in the minor leagues years ago with the Toronto Blue Jays. He eventually had to quit baseball after an injury. As a minor league player, he could tell you about some of the difficult pitches he faced! Pitches often exceed 100 miles per hour. A Pitcher will also use various TYPES of pitches (like those listed above), along with the exceedingly high speeds. Here is an on-line definition of the well-known “curveball” pitch.
“Curveball—Most often a strikeout pitch, dives down as it gets to home plate. Many times the velocity is as effective as the movement…”
A few years ago, I read a note posted by someone my wife and I know. This person wrote, “Prayers would be appreciated… a big trial is going on right now.” I sent a response back, letting them know we would be praying. Obviously, we all experience trials (I Peter 4:12-13). However, we must remember, God hears the prayers of His saints. Our prayers are not wasted praying for someone who is experiencing a trial. “… The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much” (James 5:16).
Satan the Devil is far more concerned with the AFTERMATH of a trial than he is with the trial itself. He would love to see us become discouraged, angry or even despondent. He hopes to throw such a SPIRITUAL “curveball” (like a pitcher would), that it could ultimately affect our futures. He would love to see you “STRIKEOUT,” spiritually. But, unlike a baseball player who might strikeout in a particular inning of a game, a spiritual “strikeout” could have a harmful and lasting outcome, if we allow it.
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (I Peter 5:8).
Brethren, we must know our enemy and how he works.
Here are some comments from Lesson 30 of the Ambassador College Correspondence Course on this subject of our spiritual enemy…
Know HOW Your Enemy Works
But HOW can Satan, who is a SPIRIT being, influence people? Just because we cannot see him and his demons does not mean that they are NOT around and working actively against us.
Since Satan is a spirit and invisible to the human eye, he must be REVEALED to us. God reveals that Satan is a REAL and VERY ACTIVE BEING — make no mistake about that!
Satan is diabolically wise — and wily — and is our ARCHENEMY!
You need to KNOW YOUR ENEMY and AVOID HIS DEADLY TRAP!
Yes, Satan is a VERY REAL being! And his demons — vast in number — are also very real and EXTREMELY DANGEROUS!
Hopefully, you can see the analogy between what I have written about baseball in tonight’s letter and the unexpected “curveball” spiritually thrown by Satan. Satan’s usual “pitches” (trials), can seem almost predictable. Then, the unexpected (spiritual) “fastball,” “knuckleball,” “screwball,” or “curveball” comes. How will you react? We’re admonished in the book of Ephesians to put on the whole ARMOR of God to fight Satan. It is GOD’S ARMOR – not ours! Remember, Satan is real, but God has not left us defenseless. “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil” (Ephesians 6:10-11).
Please have a good Sabbath!
Your Brother in Christ,