Here to Make a Difference

by Greg Laurie on May 4, 2024
But terror will come on the earth and the sea, for the devil has come down to you in great anger, knowing that he has little time.
—Revelation 12:12

Even if some liberal theologians don’t believe it, the devil believes that we are living in the end times. So, he is stepping up his efforts.

Revelation 12:12 reminds us, “The devil has come down to you in great anger, knowing that he has little time” (NLT). The Message puts it this way: “For the Devil’s come down on you with both feet; he’s had a great fall; he’s wild and raging with anger; he hasn’t much time and he knows it.”

The devil is cunning. He sizes up his opponents and varies his attacks, deceptions, and ploys accordingly. Sometimes, he comes like a roaring lion in all his depravity and wickedness. At other times, he comes more subtly, disguising himself as an angel of light.

And because he attacks in various ways, it’s good for us to be familiar with his tactics. Writing to the believers in Corinth, the apostle Paul said, “And when I forgive whatever needs to be forgiven, I do so with Christ’s authority for your benefit, so that Satan will not outsmart us. For we are familiar with his evil schemes” (2 Corinthians 2:10–11 NLT).

Jesus told a parable in which He exposed one of the ways that Satan works, which is through imitation. Specifically, it’s one of the ways he will work in the end times.

In this story, which we call the parable of the wheat and the weeds, we see two plantings. First, a farmer goes out and sows seed in his field, hoping for a good crop. But then something quite unexpected, even dastardly, happens. The farmer’s enemy plants bad seed right next to the good seed the farmer just sowed. And the purpose is to uproot the good seed.

The word Jesus used for “weed” was also known as the darnel seed. It initially looks like wheat. But it is not until the plant is fully grown that you realize it isn’t wheat at all. This was a common crime back in those days. A competitor would sow weeds so that someone else’s crop would be worth less and theirs would be worth more.

In fact, it was such a problem that a specific law against it was on the books. This illustration was something that Jesus’ listeners would have understood immediately.

But what does it have to do with us today? Jesus went on to explain, “The Son of Man is the farmer who plants the good seed. The field is the world, and the good seed represents the people of the Kingdom. The weeds are the people who belong to the evil one. The enemy who planted the weeds among the wheat is the devil” (Matthew 13:37–39 NLT).

God is calling us believers not to isolate but to infiltrate, to influence. Of course, we don’t want to be influenced in a bad way. But how about influencing the world around us in a good way? God has put His people in the culture to influence it and make a difference.

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