Even in a slow job market, there are many occupations of which I would think twice before applying for work. Serving as a blacksmith for a tyrant is one of them. Once a ruthless despot ordered his blacksmith to fashion a cast-iron chain for him, and so the smith set out to work on the project.

The blacksmith had no sooner completed the chain than his master ordered him, “Double it in length.”

A few days later, the blacksmith stood before the tyrant with chain in hand. Once again, the ruler commanded him to double its length. For the third time, the smith went back to his shop, melting down more metal ore and pounding away until he had finally completed his errand.

After the blacksmith had presented the chain to the tyrant, the ruler handed it to a guard and commanded him to bind the poor tradesman. Then he ordered the guard to lead the smith to the dungeon.

The devil binds people in the same manner. Imagining himself to be a king, he summons the best we have at our command — time, talents, health, wealth, and resources — to suit his purposes. Then he immobilizes us in the very irons he had us make for him. He promises abundance, but he never delivers. Those who choose him for their master will always lack security, joy, and peace of mind; for the devil is like a vacuum which sucks these things up, draining his subjects of the very essence of life.

I’m sure you would never want to work for a tyrant like the devil. But did you know each time you resist God’s plan for your life you are unwittingly submitting to him? Every act of disobedience to God or insubordination to His authority, every grudge you carry, every lapse of faith, and every proud aspiration you pursue is an affront to God and a nod of allegiance to the devil. Let this be the day in which you surrender to the real King: He is Justice. He is Humility. He is Salvation.

Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.