There are two pivotal facts that I have recognized to be forgotten among most people. These facts make people uncomfortable and certainly are not discussed in everyday conversation. A person’s view on this subject is personal and should be kept to oneself. Whether or not to believe in either of these actualities has become a matter of opinion. Even though, it is not an opinion. It’s not up for discussion. It is fact, an uncomplicated, discernible, unassailable truth. I would argue it is one of the only truths left in this twisted and fallen society.
The first fact is this: Satan is alive. He is not dead and most certainly is not an invention of radical Christianity. If we are not actively fighting against him, Satan is beside us constantly whispering twisted, disparaging lies into our ears. If we leave ourselves unprotected and unaware, we will believe his lies, giving him the opportunity to find shelter in our minds, then in our hearts. Satan is desperate for a weak marriage to crumble beneath the frustration and loneliness he has heaped upon it. He is filled with pride when a young person succumbs to suicide, believing it’s the only answer. Satan is delighted when I lose patience with my son in the dark, lonely hours of the night. He is empowered when I doubt my husband, and Satan has succeeded when I doubt myself. Satan rejoices when a nation that once rested on God’s promises, now hopes in a fleeting, frail, and shallow happiness.
The Bible speaks of Satan countless times, the first being in Genesis 3, just a few pages into the book. It says in the New King James Version (most of my readers are probably more familiar with New International Version) in Genesis 3:1, “Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made.” This story ends with the serpent deceiving Eve, the mother of all living, causing her to eat from the forbidden tree in the garden. Every living creature since Eve’s decision has been dramatically affected by the serpent’s guile, including human beings. Women struggle to give birth, with excruciating pain. This can only happen after conception, which many attempt for years without success, a struggle I am sure we are all familiar with in some way. However, Adam’s consequence is far greater than that of Eve’s in that it affects all of creation. The very ground Adam walks upon is cursed, deleteriously impacting every creature, every living thing. Not only this, God cursed the serpent specifically in Genesis 3:14-15, “…you shall eat dust all the days of your life. And I will put enmity between you and the woman…” I wish I could say that was the end of Satan, but it was only the beginning.
Satan is described as cunning. According to Webster, cunning means, “having or showing skill in achieving one’s ends by deceit or evasion.” In His word, God warns His beloved children of Satan’s presence in a variety of ways. James 4:7-8 explains, “…Submit to God. Resist Satan and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” Peter warns early Christians in his first book, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.” Paul also warns us that Satan transforms himself into an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14). There it is. All we need to know about his wicked schemes: he disguises himself as light, as goodness. That is why we are so easily swayed by his promises.
With all of this evidence and more, humanity is still so vulnerable to Satan’s depravity. We walk in a way that denies his existence, assuming that we are safe from him, assuming that the decisions we make are our own, untouched by evil. However, the devil comes only to steal, to kill, and to destroy (John 10:10). Not only that, he is the epitome of sneaky. Often undetected, he invades our homes, our families, and our careers because we leave the door wide open to him. Have hope, there is One whom Satan runs from, one power that leaves Satan writhing in the dust.
The second reality that many of us tend to deny, whether purposely or ignorantly, is this: God is alive. The Lord of all creation has come to save us. He will crush Satan under our feet (Romans 16:20). God’s mind is bigger; His arms are bigger; His shelter is bigger. He is power. He is strength. He will never die and runs from nothing. The voice of God causes the devil to tremble. We tend to live our lives in a way that demonstrates the notion that we are alone. The evil one plants the idea into our minds that God is against us, and our uncertainty nurtures it. However, God is for us, not against us (Romans 8:31). He loves with a love so immeasurable that we cannot comprehend it. His patience is perpetual and His grace is for everyone. The tallest and most majestic mountains bow down to Him, and the smallest creature knows He is to be feared. One day every created thing will praise and exalt His name. He longs for us to turn to Him and call Him father.
Satan fights for us to make him lord of our life, but Satan has nothing to offer us. He is powered by our weakness and ignorance. Paul warns in Ephesians 4:27, “And give no opportunity to the devil.” He depends upon us and how we choose to respond to him. Satan waits for an opportunity to seize our hope and steal our joy. He is hindered by humanity, and that is the greatest weakness of evil. Apart from us, Satan has nothing; he is nothing. God is not touched by our doubts or fears. He does not depend upon our faith or our knowledge of Him. He does not rely on opportunity, but creates His own circumstances. God is power. God is light. He does not need us. He desires us fiercely and fills us with an inexplicable and ceaseless love; however, if we choose to reject that love, God is still power; He is still unstoppable. May we never forget that both the Lord and the devil live; however, Satan has already lost everything to our father, yet foolishly continues to fight a lost war.
“Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” ~Ephesians 6:11