Ann Spangler

Ann Spangler is an award-winning writer and speaker.

The Devil, You Say!

Lightning in a dark, stormy sky.

A few years ago I was in the midst of negotiating a deal for a client regarding a children’s book she wanted to write. We made the deal, and she began writing. Once the contract was signed, the publisher began looking for an illustrator. The trouble was, the illustrator they picked would have ruined the project, at least in our judgment. His drawings were dark and depressing, not the thing for communicating God’s love to children. But the publisher wasn’t willing to budge. I won’t bore you with the details of how we resolved the issue, but I will tell you the way to a solution was long and difficult and at one point, things got a bit acrimonious.

As the process unfolded, I noticed a lot of distrust seeping into the relationships of those involved. It happened so regularly and with such force that I began to wonder if something more was afoot. Sensing that this particular book had the potential to transform the lives of countless children, I began to wonder whether Satan might be trying to derail it.

I shared my suspicions with the people I was working with, and we began to pray that God would protect the discussions that were going on in order to resolve the issue. Eventually another artist was assigned to the project, and the publication moved forward. There were more disruptions along the way. But when the book finally came out, it was an instant bestseller, adopted by churches across the country and around the world, making its way into the hearts of children and the parents who read it to them.

Though I don’t believe demons are squatting behind every bush, I do think they are more active than some of us might imagine, intent on subverting God’s work in the world. Let’s not be naive to their influence. Instead, let us seek God for his wisdom, power, and discernment to do the things he’s asked us to do.

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