I don’t know about the “greatest trick” part, but it does bring up an interesting topic. As we continue to ignore the evil forces out there, does that give them more power? If we completely forgot about Satan’s existence, would that make it harder for us to stay pure and righteous? I think so. In my opinion, you can’t defend yourself against what you don’t see. So the quote makes perfect sense if you believe that we have convinced ourselves that he isn’t out there.
However, if Christians read the same Bible that I do, it is pretty impossible to ignore the existence of an enemy that is working to pull us away from God. So if that isn’t the devil’s greatest trick, what is? I’m not sure what the greatest is, but I do struggle with one that seems to be pretty effective.
You see, people are made to be in relationships…with God, and with each other. Just as the early church did, Christians are called to share their lives with one another. But as we creep further and further away from the establishment of Christianity, it seems that the community piece is one that we tend to have a hard time hanging onto.
You can give the devil credit if you like, but ultimately it seems that we have allowed a little too much pride to creep into our lives. When we are struggling with a sin, we often do all that we can to bury it so that nobody will ever know. We convince ourselves that we are the only person struggling with this issue and that it would do nothing but damage to let anyone else in on our dirty little secret. We keep telling ourselves that we are alone, and that we can’t ask for help.
Even though we are responsible for making the decision to not ask for help, the devil delights in seeing us isolate ourselves away from other believers. He wants us to feel alone so that our sin can eat away at us and do serious damage to our relationship with God. I’m sure that even Kevin Spacey would agree that this is a pretty good trick.
If you are struggling with a sin or a conviction that you are afraid to act on, please ask for help. If you are feeling alone and don’t think anybody else could possibly understand, find a spiritual mentor that you trust and seek their counsel. If you are letting your pride build a barrier between you and God, pray that He will break it down and give you the courage to speak up. You are not alone. Ever. And don’t let anyone, including yourself, convince you that you are.