You know him as Satan or just the devil. You know–the one who causes every bit of the sadness, chaos, heartbreak and evil that goes on in this world. He’s the one who makes this world a miserable place. Quite regularly, he makes us thankful that earth is not our permanent address. Despite how potent Satan’s power is, to our profound relief, he is not in control and we are promised divine intervention when we become the focus of his plots and ploys.
Satan was created by God, but don’t misunderstand. He is not the same “guy” today that he was in the beginning:
God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day. Genesis 1:31
Everything God created was good. If every thing was good, then so was Satan. Obviously, something changed. When it changed can only be surmised, but it was sometime between this day, the sixth day, and Genesis Chapter 3 when Satan slithered into the Garden of Eden to tempt Eve. We don’t know how long Adam and Eve lived in the garden before the Deceiver himself tempted Eve and destroyed the Utopia of Eden, so it’s impossible to state a date for Satan’s apostasy. We do know it was very early in mankind’s history because Jesus said Satan was a murderer from the beginning.
You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from hi own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. John 8:44
Since that time, Satan has become an expert in sin. He knows what appeals to humankind. He has innumerable schemes. He is more successful in his “line of work” than John D. Rockefeller, Bill Gates, John Lennon, Nelson Mandela, and even Michael Jordan! Unless, we are well-grounded, his poison arrows will hit just the spot that will weaken us and deprive us of eternity in Heaven.
Not only is Satan extremely successful, he is a workaholic. Twenty-four hours per day, seven days a week, he works, He doesn’t take holidays off, nor does he take vacations. No lolling around on the beach resting for him, causing sins, yes, but not taking a break. He is more dedicated than an addict seeking a fix or a terrorist frantically working to destroy lives and countries. Satan is a fanatic! Don’t underestimate him.
On the other hand, don’t overestimate Satan, either. True, with his expertise and the human propensity to sin, you might think we are at a disadvantage. WE ARE NOT! Our arson of weapons is much more powerful than Satan’s. They were given to us by the One who knows exactly what we need. God created us and as our creator, He knows exactly which weapons we need to win the war against sin.
Satan is not omnipresent. He has to walk the earth searching for victims to devour. (1 Peter 5:8) Our God is omnipresent. He is everywhere at all times for His children. Our God is with us 24/7 no matter where we are and He will protect us every time we need Him. We only have to ask.
Neither is Satan omnipotent or all powerful. Consider Job. Job was a godly man, but with God’s permission, Satan was allowed to test him.
Then the LORD said to Satan, “Behold all that he has is in your power; only do not put forth your hand on him.” So Satan departed from the presence of the LORD” Job 1:12
Notice what happened here. Satan had to have God’s permission to afflict Job! Satan destroyed all that Job held dear and, yet in the midst of Satan’s sifting, Job worshiped and praised God! (Job 1:20) Seeing that his first attempt to separate Job from his God had failed, Satan asked for more power and was allowed to touch Job’s person which he did, covering Job with boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown”, (Job 2:7) We would say, from his head to his feet. The God we worship and trust as our Father is so much more powerful than Satan.
Satan is not omniscient. He does not know everything. Our God does. He knows everything that has happened, is happening, and will happen. He knows His children. Look at Job, again. God knew much more about Job than Satan. God knew Job would be faithful to Him.
Perhaps, the most important event that Satan had no knowledge of was the crucifixion of our Savior. The Bible says:
And Satan entered into Judas who was called Iscariot, belonging to the number of the twelve. Luke 22:3
Satan had a mission and Judas was a weak, willing participant. We know the story of what happened next in this sad story. Judas betrayed Jesus and his betrayal led to the agonizing death of our precious Lord on the cross. Satan must have been ecstatic with joy when he knew his plan had succeeded and that he had caused the death of Jesus. Those three days must have been best days in Satan’s life. Satan did not know that the death of Jesus was part of God’s plan for mankind’s salvation. As He always is, our God was in control and it was Satan who was defeated.
As humans, we are weak. Satan is wily, cunning, a liar, and a master at deceit. Our God is omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient. It is an extremely uneven match. With God’s help, we too can defeat Satan, daily. How do we do that?
Know our owner’s manual. We must know the Truth. Not the truth as in telling the truth about a matter, but the Truth as the Gospel. We must be grounded in the Truth. This is a job that requires digging in, doubling down, and studying. It is not a matter of just skimming. If we know the pitfalls, we can, like Christ, answer Satan with scripture. (Matthew 4:1-11)
Pray. God’s has promised He will never tempt us beyond what we can resist.
No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:13
Do you remember to ask for help? Prayer should be an immediate reaction to any situation that causes us anxiety or dismay.
There are times in every person’s life when they feel alone. Not only does God know all about our ills, He has written the prescription for the cure. He has given us a huge family of fellow Christians–brothers and sisters in Christ. There is a secular saying sums up the importance of having this earthly support:
A sorrow shared is half a sorrow, a joy shared is twice a joy.
Last, there is worship. Worship steals us away from the world. Worship focuses our attention on God. During worship, we are reminded of how magnificent He is. In truth, the bit we are able to comprehend as humans is far smaller than the totality of His power. Worship reminds us that we are God’s children and His desire is that we will fully rely on Him.
Embrace your faith. Embrace The Faith. Know why you have faith through study. Faith is the foundation that all else in a Christian’s life is built upon. Build your faith through study, worship, fellowship, and prayer. Satan is a powerful adversary, but the true power–every tiny bit of it—belongs to God. Lean on Him.
By Jan Book
Jan Book is a retired teacher and librarian. She and her husband have 4 children and 8 grandchildren. Jan teaches the ladies class and works with World Bible School. Some of the things she enjoys doing are reading, writing, planting flowers, painting, watching the birds, traveling, and having her grandchildren with her. Jan worships with the Central Church of Christ in Bastrop, Louisiana.