“There is one thing the power of God and the power of Satan have in common: neither can influence us unless we allow them to.”

art by Caitlin Connolly

Have you heard of the zombie ant fungus called the Ophiocordyceps unilateralis?

The fungus infects carpenter ants and slowly takes over an ant’s nervous system, eating the ant from the inside out.

When the fungi has control over the ant’s muscles, it compels the ant to leave its nest and climb a leaf almost exactly 10 inches from the ground—the perfect condition for the fungi’s growth.

The ant then stays there until it dies. Spores form in its brain and spread on the ground under the ant husk to infect other ants.

I remembered this real-life horror story as I read about Cain this week.

Satan was manipulative and tricky.

His plans and subtle temptations were well-thought-out and appealing.

He commanded Cain to “make a sacrifice to the Lord,” (Moses 4:18) good right? But he led to Cain sacrifice fruit from his field.

When Cain’s offering wasn’t accepted, he “was wroth, and listened not more to the voice of the Lord,” (Moses 4:26).

And Satan’s hold tightened.

Cain believed Satan, saying “I am master of this great secret, that I may murder and get gain.”

He killed his brother, relying on Satan’s promise of secrecy and gain.

And Satan’s hold tightened.

Cain said, “I am free; surely the flocks of my brother falleth into my hands.”

But Satan’s promise was nothing but false assurances and illusory protection.

God knew.

All Cain sought to gain, was lost to him.

And what he had—his livelihood, the ability to till the earth—was lost to him as well (Moses 5:37).

We can juxtapose Cain’s story with Adam and Eve’s. When they were beguiled by Satan (Moses 4:19) they hearkened to the voice of the Lord.

And when they did, they were truly free.

Hope is not lost, no matter how lost you feel.

It doesn’t matter how tight you are bound up in Satan’s cords, Jesus can free you when you turn to Him.

Yes, Satan has tricks up his sleeves.

But God knows every trick in Satan’s book.

And while Satan would love nothing more than to debilitatingly spread his influence over us,

When we look to God, we will not be fooled.

Remember, Satan may have power to bruise our heel, but we have the power to crush his head (Gen 3:15).

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