- Desiree Nicholson
Let the Devil Know Not Today
Earlier this summer, I was sent a YouTube lyric video from Justine Falcone of the song, “Not Today,” by Hillsong United. I was maybe a minute into the song and goosebumps came all over. Yes, the music itself was super catchy, had a little early 90s vibe to it (totally up my alley), and of course, had an amazing vocalist attached to it. But, as this was a lyric video, I was thrown back by what it had so boldly to say, “Let the devil know not today.” Whoa. My first reaction was “Oh my goodness, we HAVE to do this song,” followed immediately by, “Nope, I don’t think our church is ready for it.” So, I put it on the back burner. Here’s why: Growing up going to a Christian school since Pre-K, and being in church every time the doors were open, I was taught about how Satan does exist and is constantly on the prowl to create destruction daily. But that was old school teaching. Now in 2017, in so many modern churches I’ve visited or Christian artists I’ve followed on social media, rarely is he even mentioned by name. As if mentioning the existence of Satan is taboo and will scare new and non-Christians away from the church. I was afraid of doing the same thing to our church family if I introduced this song. We’d sing that line, and people left and right would be shifting uncomfortably and we’d be getting the side eye from every direction!
Then 2 things happened later this summer, at Splash, Pastor Chris’ Sunday message was from the book of Job and my daily devotional, First 5, started a book study on Job as well. I don’t know about y’all, but typically, when the same thing Biblically gets shown to me more than once in a span of a day, I figured God was trying to get me to pay attention a little further than I had been. I was taken aback by the beginning of the story: Satan is in front of God and calls out Job by NAME and says (I’m paraphrasing), “Let me have your servant Job, I bet I can get him to curse you if I take away his money, his family, his health, etc.” Satan did do all of those things to Job, and yet as much as Job questioned God, never did he curse him or turn away. When I took Growth Catalyst years ago, Marilou Dennis taught me that when I had a hard time wrapping my head around a verse in the Bible, to add my name into that verse to make it personal. I did just that with the Job passage, and my skin went cold. Think about it, Satan being in front of God daily saying, “Let me have Desi, I’m going to attack her from any angle I can, watch her curse you and be done.” Family, yes, that is terrifying, for nothing else, because it is TRUE. It’s in plain text in the Bible: 1 Peter 5:8 “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” Insert your name there; the fact is, Satan is calling us out by name to God, he is prowling right behind you trying to get you to fall and curse God and turn away from Him through any means possible. He tried to do it with me with something as simple as a song! Dave Falcone and I decided to introduce the song 2 weeks ago despite my many reservations, and even up until minutes before that first service, I was TERRIFIED. Best believe that enemy was in my head spouting, “This is going to be bad. You’re going to fail miserably. Your church family isn’t going to know what to do with this.” The time came for us to introduce it, and something incredible happened. We taught you all the chorus once, by the time we sang it a third time, people’s fists and hands were in the air like they were chanting an anthem. Some were even jumping and dancing with enthusiasm or tears as that specific line was sung, “Let the devil know not today!” Church, I was floored with an amazing truth that God had plainly been smacking me in the face with: Yes, the devil is calling us out by name. Yes, he is attacking us. But God, Creator of the universe, the Being who has my hair follicles numbered, has equipped us with weapons to fight. And this particular weapon was one I never thought to use: worship. I watched how you, my church family, used this song to combat whatever they came with that day. Instead of letting themselves be defeated by whatever Satan was trying to use to destroy them, they were singing their fears into praise (which, also happens to be a line in the song!). As scary as it is to admit out loud, Satan analyzes every move we make to attack us from any weak point; he tries to cut us off at the ankles as our shoulders are burdened with the weight of whatever plagues us. But even we find ourselves falling, the truth is, we can catch ourselves on our knees and cry out to God, “I need to sing this night into morning. I need to sing this fear into Your praise. I sing my soul into Your presence whenever I say Your Name, Jesus!” Let Satan know point blank, you are NOT his to take! You have a God who is fighting, not alongside you, but in FRONT of you because His blood has covered you and made you separate and His. Don’t hesitate when the attacks continue coming, and sing out without fear, “Let the devil know NOT TODAY!” Thanks for letting me ramble, Fam! Desi