Life is filled with all kinds of unpleasant situations. As Job 14:1 says, “Man who is born of woman is of few days and full of trouble.” But how can you tell the difference between one of life’s inevitable troubles and a genuine work of the devil? How can you know when you simply tripped over a log as opposed to when one of Satan’s demons pushed you down? How can you look at one situation and say, “That’s just life,” and look at another one and say, “That’s spiritual warfare”?
I don’t have a demon detector that goes off every time Satan and his fellow fallen angels are messing with me and my family, but I have walked with the Lord long enough to have identified at least one tell-tale sign of the devil’s handiwork. I’ve never heard anyone else talk about this sign. I’ve never read about it on an internet site. I’ve never even heard one preacher mention it in one sermon. I have, however, lived it on multiple occasions. And what is this tell-tale sign? When some trouble comes your way that is so stupid, so illogical, and so “shouldn’t have happened,” you are more likely than not being hit by a work of the devil.
Mind you now that I’m talking about personal matters, not world affairs. Sure, Satan is out there at this very moment working behind the scenes, orchestrating influential world leaders in expensive suits to do his bidding to accomplish world domination and ultimately bring his Antichrist onto the global stage. I understand that. But this post isn’t about any of that. This post is about you living your daily life and sometimes being brought face to face with the work of Satan’s demons against you. What does that look like? Like I said, it looks bizarre, odd, out of place, and even downright idiotic. It leaves you scratching your head and asking, “Why is this happening? There’s no reason for this. This makes no sense.”
The best Bible story on this subject is the one involving the demon-possessed man in the Gadarene cemetery. You’ll find the story in Matthew 8:28-34, Mark 5:1-20, and Luke 8:26-39. Jesus and His chosen 12 step out of their boat onto the shoreline of the country of the Gadarenes, which is located on the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee. There is a hillside there which serves as the local graveyard, and there are two demon-possessed men who live among those tombs. As soon as they see Jesus, both men (or more specifically the demons inside the men) start crying out and questioning why Jesus is there. That’s when the accounts of Mark and Luke single out one of the men as their focus of attention.
The man has a supernatural strength about him, so much so that various attempts to bind him with shackles and chains have failed when he has pulled the chains apart and broken the shackles into pieces. The man is naked from head to toe and spends his days and nights in that cemetery crying out and cutting himself with sharp stones.
Okay, put yourself in Jesus’ sandals. You get out of your boat and suddenly you find yourself face to face with this guy. The man is nude. His hair and beard are long and mangled. He hasn’t bathed in who knows when. He’s got scars and dried blood all over him where he has been cutting himself with rocks. He lives in that graveyard. And he’s screaming and hollering at you like a wild man. Get the picture?
I won’t delve any further into the story because this physical condition of the man provides me with my proof text. You tell me, is there even one thing that is even remotely logical, reasonable, normal, or understandable about this man’s condition? No, there isn’t. And yet it is all the direct result of a work of the devil (demon possession) in his life. This shows us that the devil’s work isn’t always ingenious, sly, subtle, crafty, and wickedly brilliant. Sometimes it’s just as blindingly stupid as a nut running around naked in a graveyard cutting himself with sharp rocks.
So, the next time you find yourself being afflicted by some moronic circumstance, and you honestly can’t put any reasoning or logic to why it’s happening, don’t overlook the possibility that it’s a work of the devil. I’m telling you, he has hit me and my family with this kind of stuff more than once over the years. As a matter of fact, it’s happened enough that I’m now pretty good at spotting it when I see it. Perhaps your life is so different than mine that you will never have to deal with such a thing, but if you ever do, remember that you read about it here first.