The blindness of the world, both Christian and non-Christian, comes from within ourselves. Out of our desire to be ‘righteous’ through our own efforts we create blackness. It is through the desire of the self to see itself as moral and upright that we are led into the deepest deception.
In this regard those people who elect to follow Satan openly are possessed of a clearer vision of what they are about than most of humanity. Witches and Satan worshipers at least openly acknowledge and understand who it is they serve. They are deceived only in the understanding of the true nature of the one they serve.
Most of humanity serves Satan without knowing or admitting it. The unsaved world serves Satan while they think they are “looking out for number one.” Even Christians unwittingly serve the evil one when they insist on abiding in a physical orientation (practicing carnal Christianity). In all these cases the prop that Satan uses for his disguise is “self.”
When we allow the independent self to operate unchecked, we are allowing the leading of Satan to provide our moral direction. The self that is directed toward the flesh and primarily concerned with the physical world is influenced by the evil one. This is what Paul refers to as the “sinful nature”: “For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want.” (Galatians 5:17).
Remember that Paul is addressing these comments to Christians and not to unbelievers. The only creature that desires what is contrary to the Spirit is Satan (John 8:44). The term “sinful nature” in the NIV rendering of this verse is translated more literally in the King James as “the flesh.” It is a hard truth but when we stop abiding in the Christ in our spirit we must seek elsewhere for our moral guidance. Once we turn our attention to the world we are open to the direction of Satan in our flesh.
Before we despair, we should remember that Christians have an advantage over the rest of the world in this matter. As Christian’s, we are advantaged over the world in this struggle in two key areas. First, we have the leading of God available to us. We have the life of Christ and the leading of the Holy Spirit resident in our spirit. This is the only cure the Father provides for this situation. The cure is provided but we must avail ourselves of it. Second, through the teaching of the Holy Spirit, we have the knowledge of the truth of this spiritual situation available to us. Again, however, we must avail ourselves of that truth.
Some of these thoughts are mine, but most are from my friend Bill Landon, from his book: The Rise and Fall of Self