When you find yourself admiring grandiose glaciers such as those found in Iceland, the inevitable is bound to happen: The temptation to climb these giants will slip into your veins.
There are many luring dangers hiding out in these beauties, however, far more than we are aware of. What deters many from giving in to the temptation are the many memorial plaques posted around these glaciers. At Svinafellsjokull for example, three plaques can be found. One is dedicated to Mathias Hinz, who was has not been seen since he set out to climb the glacier on December 19, 1978. Another memorializes Thomas Grundt, lost since September 1, 1982. We weren’t able to locate the third plaque. Maybe it gave in to the alluring call to climb the glacier and never came back . . .
There is one who is an expert in temptation. His specialty is enticement for the forbidden, temptation that leads that “expert” to be completely in control of those who give in.
In the last devotional, [The Southern Menace], we saw Satan in heaven aspiring to surpass God. His ambition led to dire circumstances: “Then war broke out in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down-that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.” (Revelation 12:7-9, NIV2)
His demise led him to earth, as confirmed in the following text: “How you have fallen from heaven, morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations!” (Isaiah 14:12, NIV2)
Ambition and pride lead to conflict, as well as to deception, attracting followers to an unholy cause. The only thing is, it doesn’t lead to inner peace and love from above!
The evil one’s first objective on planet earth was this: To start a rebellion amongst its few inhabitants. To be effective, deception was his weapon of choice: “Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, ‘Did God really say, “You must not eat from any tree in the garden”?'” (Genesis 3:1, NIV2)
We now know that the serpent refers directly to the evil one (See Rev 12:7), and his ambitions are quite clear here: deception! Creating doubt is his hobby, as doubt leads to temptation and temptation leads to sin, a radical rupture in trusting in the Most High. A sin leads eventually to addiction and death. Just like those who give in to the urge to climb glaciers in Iceland are lost to perils, once under the devil’s power we too become completely lost. We become his pawns. Hope, which becomes literally non-existent, is nothing but an illusion from the past. Because we are under his power, we are, unawaringly, worshiping him. We have no choice but to give him total control over our lives. His ultimate goal behind all of his ploy!
Once Eve listened to him, the evil one had it made. He could now lay a firm foundation that could lead Eve to complete submission to him. “‘You will not certainly die,’ the serpent said to the woman. ‘For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.'” (Genesis 3:4-5, NIV2)
Did you notice that the evil one is tempting us to be just like him? Prideful, rebellious, thinking only of ourselves! We can be like “God” or in simpler words, we can be like the one whose sole ambition is to be like God! Pride filled the souls of our forefathers, and we ended up with similar consequences as our tempter: Alienated from God, facing unknowns such as sickness, pain and anxiety. The rest they were enjoying in Eden became a fleeting souvenir from the past.
Still this ruthless temptation reigns over our civilization even in our day and age. After all, many of us are hungering for control, power and money. Aren’t these the main items on the news?
We have a choice my friends. Thanks to what Jesus did for us on the cross, we can say “no” to the evil one, and “yes” to our Creator and Saviour. He has redeemed us for eternity. He wants us to once again experience Him fully.
Want rest? Jesus can give this (See Matthew 11:28).
Want inner peace? He can give that to us as well (See John 14:27).
Want to be worry-free? That, too, we can fully experience.
If doubt appears seemingly out of nowhere, remember where it comes from. True freedom can only be obtained by breaking our allegiance with the evil one and beginning to follow in the tracks of our Liberator: “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:36, NIV2)
The choice is ours.
Those glaciers sure are appealing!
Is it worth losing our lives over them?
(To access the entire “Hell’s Tactics” devotional series, please click here.)