I remember that one time years ago that our area had a garbage strike. I think we've finally gotten rid of the special aroma in our garage after all these years. See, the garage It just piled up while the sanitation folks figured out their deal - and it took a while. Since I know how nasty the garbage can get, I'm sympathetic to the man I heard about recently. There was a garbage strike in his area, and he came up with a creative way to get rid of all that accumulating junk. He simply took some of his garbage each day, put it in a box, and gift wrapped it. Then he left that little gift each day on the bus or the subway as he commented. I'm not sure what happened to any of the lucky recipients of all those packages, but you have to admit - if you've got garbage to move, it's pretty smart to gift wrap it.
Well, I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You about "Gift-Wrapped Garbage."
That man was not the first to think of that idea. Satan thought of it a long time ago. He's got garbage he wants you to pick up. And he knows you won't take it unless it's gift-wrapped. He has no product to give you except pain and disappointment, slavery, death. But he does know how to create a package that will get things into your life you would never let in if you knew what it was. Satan never starts with where he wants to take you - you don't find that out until it's too late.
It's because the devil gift wraps his junk that Paul tells us in our word for today from the Word of God, 2 Corinthians 2:11 to not let Satan "outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes." Like gift-wrapping death. Like the man with pretty garbage, making it look like something it isn't.
What kind of gift-wrapping does he use? Well, your enemy sometimes puts his garbage in an entertaining package. His goal is to get you to just think it - then to want what he got you thinking about - then to do what he got you to want - and finally to pay for it. And the easiest way to plant sin in your heart is when your guard is down - in music you love, a movie you really wanted to see, a clever or popular TV show, a book. But inside what may be a very entertaining package may be images and ideas and values Satan wants to use to ruin you.
Your enemy also puts his garbage in a personal package - he gets it into your life through a person you really like or respect. He sends the garbage through a teacher you really respect - or someone of the opposite sex you're attracted to - or friends you really don't want to lose. Satan knows that if he has his sinful idea delivered to you by the right person, you might fall for his lie.
And the devil sometimes even gift-wraps his lies in a spiritual package - getting you to wander away from Jesus into something that sounds very spiritual but is very wrong. Dead wrong. They may talk about God, about spirituality, about meditation, about the Bible - anything that sounds almost Christian - but is a deadly detour from the truth.
You can just assume that the enemy is trying to wear you down right now in some area - by offering you garbage in a package that really disarms you. That's why God wants you to know who you really are. In 2 Corinthians 6:16, He says, "We are the temple of the living God. As God has said, 'I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be My people...Touch no unclean thing and I will receive you." Don't even touch the package - God lives in you. You are God's blood-bought child - don't pollute yourself with the devil's stinking garbage - no matter how irresistible the wrapping paper. It's trash, no matter how good it looks!