This past Thursday, a hacker seized my email and falsely sent the following messages in my name to a number of my friends, “So sorry to bother you but I just got a call that I lost a childhood friend of mine, Greg. He suffered from a heart attack. I might not be able to attend the funeral, but I want to help the struggling family with a donation. Tomorrow is the funeral and I’m out of town till Saturday. I need you to help me purchase an Apple gift card at any convenience store near you when you have the time. I’ll refund it to you when I get back. Kindly let me know if you can get this done for me today so I can tell you how to get it to me. Thanks. Rick.” Another message went to others, “Hi, I was wondering if you would have some free time to do me a favor today.” Warm, tear-jerking messages but I didn’t send them! They were sent by an evil, selfish, ego-centric, lying, thieving individual who originated the messages from Nigeria. A number of you sent messages to me asking how you can be of help. Others of you sensed a hacker and notified me. Thank you to both groups!
It was a great lesson to me and reminded me to stay in the moment being on the alert, watchful for the devil, the great deceiver and master of masquerading. Several verses come to my mind immediately:
- Ephesians 6:11-12 emphasizes who our enemy really is, “Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.”
- John 10:10 explains clearly what the devil is up to, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.”
- 2 Corinthians 11:14 is clear about the devil and his deception, “Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.” The perpetrator who violated me and potentially you on Thursday was a perfect example of the master of masquerade. Behind the mask is absolute selfishness, lustfulness, deception, and wickedness. Hopefully, it has reminded each of us to stay on the alert for our diabolical enemy.
- Proverbs 16:25 alarms each of his deception, “There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.”
How do we protect ourselves?
- Psalm 119:110, “The wicked have set a snare for me, but I have not strayed from your precepts.” Stay in His Word and hide it in your heart(Psalm 119:11).
- Daily “put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand” (Ephesians 6:13). This armor is listed in verses 14-16.
We have an enemy that tries to hack us every day. “Stay on the alert, resist him…standing firm in the faith” (1 Peter 5:8).