A good magician is an expert at sleight of hand. He creates his illusions by misdirection, having us look one way while he performs the crucial moves somewhere else. He makes a large show of what’s unimportant and thereby distracts us from what’s most important.
Isn’t that precisely how our Enemy works? There is no better magician and illusionist than Satan. I’m thinking about how often he gets Christians fighting with each other about superficial and unity-stealing things to distract us from what God has called us to do. Because he doesn’t want us focused on what we have in common, he points out our differences to each other. Once he’s gotten us in conflict with each other, he is free to go about his destructive business. Better yet, because we are so engaged in the fight, Satan doesn’t have to worry about us spending time in prayer and good works that might hinder his progress.
Think about what irritates you, what angers you – particularly in your Christian relationships and in your marriage. Is the anger godly anger? (In other words, does it make God mad, too?) Or is it just a distraction – some sleight of hand on the Enemy’s part? What is it keeping you from? What is it draining your energy into?
Don’t go to the Enemy’s magic show. While admission may be free, you may pay in ruined relationships and lost potential to minister to others by the time it’s over.