Beware of the Fine Print

Two weeks ago, my laptop started running slow with delayed startup and freezing. After running daily scans, I realized that malware was not the problem. So, I did the Internet search chose a couple of tech Einstein’s who detailed the top three reasons for computer slowdown. I took care of a couple of the possible issues, but it did not help. After several freezes, I decided enough was enough. It was time to purchase a new laptop. 

This morning, I said a prayer to be anointed with the Holy Spirit before writing the devotional. Included in my prayer, “God, please fix my laptop.” The answer was, “Go to your settings.” What I saw came as a shock. There were 19 programs installed that I knew nothing about. Yes, I receive notifications for the updates that need to be installed for my Epson All-in-One printer. But there were 15 apps, including one that automatically gathered data from my activity. The other culprit was Microsoft who installed four apps for X-box. After deleting 19 apps, my almost trashed laptop has regained vigor and is dancing to the beat.

Do I feel as if I was taken advantage of? Yes! It is the consumer’s lack of knowledge that many companies count on to increase their profit margins. Knowing that I wasn’t the only person who does not pay attention to the “What” in automatic updates, I decided to do some research.

Fine print advertising. Those tiny words and sentences at the bottom of advertisements containing the details of an offer. The kind that requires a magnifying glass or extreme prescription glasses to actually see what is in an offer. Consumers have gotten so used to the fine print many do not even read further into the details. However, more people should pay attention to those tiny words because the devil is always in those details.

“The devil is always in those details.” The analogy of the devil’s deceptiveness in the things we ignore piqued my interest. We are impatient from the overwhelming busyness of life. And Satan, our greatest enemy, relies on our weariness to create skillful and diabolical schemes to blindside us every day. 

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12

Satan develops personalized schemes to bring us down. Like the beautiful talking serpent, he mesmerizes us by using subtle and familiar strategies to  present the temptations to make us fall. It is his daily plan to bring chaos into the life of those who serve the Most-High God. Many New-Age Christians feel as if they have the power to fight evil alone. We are not comic-book heroes. The power of evil is greater than our abilities. In fact, without God, we are facing a lose-lose situation. 

What is man that You are mindful of him, or the son of man that You care for him? You made him a little lower than the angels; You crowned him with glory and honor. Psalm 8:4-5

Before we become prideful about our crowns, the prophet Isaiah tells us:

It is He who sits above the circle of the earth, And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers, Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain. And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in. Isaiah 40:22

God is fully aware of the weaknesses of humanity. Our power lies in the ability to make choices. But if you refuse to serve the LORD, then choose today whom you will serve. … Joshua 24:15. Alone we are no match for the deceptive plans of Satan, a fallen angel. Pray for help!  It is through prayer, the Holy Spirit teaches, guides, and gives us discernment to recognize schemes. When we serve God, Jesus intervenes and says, “Get behind me, Satan.” We are under Divine protection. For He shall give His angels charge over you, To keep you in all your ways. Psalm 91:11. Because of God’s love, grace, and mercies we are covered 24/7. 

The Good-Great News is that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, loves and died for humanity. His sacrificial death and glorious resurrection gave us redemption and the opportunity to have eternal life. Jesus, our Heavenly Intercessor, is victorious and holds the keys to hell and death. If Satan had his way, He would wipe out every believer. Refer to the story of Job, chapter 1, in which we read that Satan cannot do what he wants.

What happens when we fall into temptation? We did not take the time to use our eyes to look at the fine print and our ears to listen to the sugar-coated words. Nor did we step back and say, “You know what, I am going to pray about this, and I will get back to you.” When we include God in every decision that we make, the devil knows that he is defeated. 

We may think that it is of no consequence to having unwanted programs downloaded on our devices. But Satan, who cannot read our minds, has the astute skills of observing our behaviors. People who do not pay attention frequently suffer from unexpected consequences. Most of us have one friend or family member that is always involved in mishaps, bad deals, or some type of trouble. And most of us have gotten ourselves into a predicament once or twice.

For a 30 day free trial period at the gym, I ended up on a one-year contract because I didn’t read the fine print. My mind focused on the entrapment of the salesperson’s words, 30 free days, and great perks. I was told to let them know if I wanted to continue the membership, but the fine print stated that the cancellation had to be within the trial period. They didn’t have my credit card information, but I signed the temporary membership contract with the fine print that contained the contractual obligations. Gotcha!

We live, and we learn. As stated in the article, people do not take the time to read the fine print. Yes, we make mistakes when God is not included in every aspect of our lives. The Omniscient God already knows every deceitful plan and temptation we will face from birth until death. It takes the human effort of humility, prayer, and patience to ask and allow God’s divine intervention to protect us from harm’s way. There is confidence and peace from the safety of abiding in the presence of God.

The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure. 1 Corinthians 10:13 

Prayer: God, we thank you for the protection of your spiritual team. We pray for discernment and the guidance of the Holy Spirit when faced with temptation. We commit our lives to you and will fully trust in your plan. In Jesus’ Name, we pray. Amen. © 2021 Sonya Johnson, Faithful Fishers Ministry

Author: steps2successwithspiritualsolutions

It takes courage, perseverance, faith, and trust to serve God in today's unstable world. Yet, we are never alone. Pray daily and pray often. Study the Bible. The Scriptures are a Love Letter from God to those who accept Jesus as their personal Savior. You will receive comfort, knowledge, and wisdom. God says, "I have loved you with an everlasting love." Jeremiah 31:3. Be blessed in Jesus' name. Amen.

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