When Satan speaks, it never pays to listen. In one of Aesop’s Fables, Aesop told the story of four bulls that were best friends. They would always walk together side-by-side. They faced every adversary as a united force, and no animal could defeat them.

But one day, the bulls were observed by a clever lion who desperately wanted steak for dinner. The lion followed closely behind them as they took their daily stroll. He came just close enough to whisper lies that one bull had been talking about the others. Over a length of time, the bulls started believing the lies and doubting one another’s friendship. One by one, they became angry at each other and separated. And one by one, they were picked off by the lion.

Lions are infamous for the stealth they use to stalk their prey. You would never want a wild lion in your community, much less in your house. It wouldn’t matter how well-groomed its appearance—there is no way you would tolerate having this killer on the loose. But many Christians entertain a far greater enemy when they allow the devil to open his mouth. Rather than fearing Satan for the enemy he is, they engage in candid conversation.

No relationship is safe when the devil opens his mouth. He was not given the title “the father of lies” without earning it. He slanders God to men, men to God, and men to their peers. He even utters slander about us to ourselves. But the lion is lying. We must counter his disparaging words with the truth of God’s Word. If we make this the object of our meditation, our relationships will be spared, and we can experience lasting joy and peace.

The greatest trick the devil ever played was convincing the world he didn’t exist. — Unknown Author

Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.