I think there is a reason that the Bible dedicates very little text to describing Satan and his works. Other than to clearly define Him as the enemy, we know very little for certain about Satan, and for good reason. I believe that people would have a greater tendency to fixate on Satan if more details were revealed about him.
While it is important to know our enemy, we must not idolize him. Many have, even unknowingly. For example, there are bands that intentionally glorify Satan as if it is fun, when in reality, they are attracting a culture that is far from God.
So in keeping with the Biblical tradition, I intend to dedicate very little space on this web site to describing Satan and his works. And what little space that will be spent on him, it will be for the purpose of us getting to know our enemy well enough to defeat him. When we understand how Satan works, we are better able to identify his attacks for what they are instead of what he disguises them as.
From the day that you received Jesus Christ as your Lord, you chose sides in a spiritual war. Your enemy is the devil, and he will do everything he can to make you feel discouraged, doubt, and feel defeated. Be aware of his tricks and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ for victory.
So let’s see what the Bible has to say about it.
Luke 4:1-2 – Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit Into the wilderness, 2 where for forty days he was tempted by the devil…….
If even Jesus is subject to temptation, then of course we should be doubly concerned for ourselves. You may remember this story, but if you do not, please read the rest of the scriptures in Luke 4. Jesus was tempted by Satan, and in each case, Jesus defended Himself using knowledge of scripture. The devil promised Jesus the world, which funny enough was already Jesus’s, so the devil was selling real estate that wasn’t even his!
Then at one point, because Satan saw Jesus’s defense tactic of using scripture, Satan himself tries to quote scripture in order to twist it’s meaning to accomplish an evil goal, but because Jesus knew scripture well enough, Jesus was not deceived.
The devil will use every means, even our own scriptures against us, and if we are not familiar enough ourselves, then we may be deceived. If the devil was on earth today, I would not be surprised if he had a large and popular church, where the Bible is often quoted, though it would be in a deceitful and destructive context.
Luke 22: 31-32 – “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”
In the context of this part of the story, much is happening in the invisible realms around the apostles. Jesus is preparing them for his death while at the “Last Supper”. Satan is using his willing participant Judas for the great betrayal. Meanwhile Peter tells Jesus that he would rather die than see Jesus be taken away. But Jesus knows Peters weakness better then Peter did. Jesus tells Peter that instead of dying with the Christ tonight, Peter would instead pretend he does not even know Jesus three separate times before that very night is over.
Both Peter and Judas betrayed the Christ that night. It was only Peter who turned back to our Lord in repentance. Jesus was no more disappointed with either Judas or Peter, because Jesus knew their hearts when He chose them to be part of His ministry. But Peter was the one who would turn back to Jesus and commit his life to Christ, for as imperfect as it was. And Jesus happily accepted.
The moral of this story, if the Devil causes you to stumble, Christ will always be there to help you back up again. No matter how far you fall.
Matthew 26:41 – “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
Jesus knew this about us. While sometimes we wish to do well, we do not do the good we want to do. Instead, we do the bad that we do not want to do. How does Jesus recommend we deal with this? Watch and pray. One without the other is half as effective. We must be watchful for the things in our lives that often trip us up and run from those temptations before we let them overcome us. And pray for wisdom with God’s strength to overcome, because we are simply too weak on our own.
1 Peter 5:8 – Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
The thing about lions is that they do not tend to attack the strongest of the pack, but the weakest. The lion often looks for that straggling, hurting, vulnerable, easy kill. Have I made myself vulnerable by refusing to purge some sin from my life?
James 4:7 – Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
The lie the devil tells us is that he has power over us. When in fact, he has no power other than what we give him. Although it is true that many give him more power than they realize.
Ephesians 6:11 – Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.
While the devil may have been around a while, scheming and plotting against us, God has been around longer, and loves us enough to protect us. We can defend ourselves in God’s strength, but we can also turn away from the Lord’s provision.
When we are convicted of our sin, will we reject the sin, or will we reject God’s holiness?
The more we get to know how our enemy works, the easier it is to spot his attacks when they come.
If you are not experiencing spiritual attack, then I would be concerned that you are making the devils job easy.