Satan

<<our spiritual enemy>>

He is also variously called Lucifer, the devil, the enemy, the Prince of this world, the evil one, an angel of light, the Prince of the power of the air, the deceiver, the adversary, and the accuser of the saints (Isa 14:12; Mt 4:5, 13:39; Jn 14:30, 17:15; 2 Cor 11:14; 2 Thes 3:3; 1 Pet 5:8; Rev 12:9,10).

He is not God’s equal (or opposite as he is a created being) and is ultimately under His authority but has temporarily usurped God’s rule on earth, and the surrounding airspace, exerting the power that he has been divinely permitted (Job 1:12, 2:6). He has created a Kingdom of darkness working through those who submit to his divisive, evil schemes (Mt 16:23; Lk 22:31,32; Jn 13:2; Eph 2:2, 6:12; Col 1:13; 1 Tim 1:19,20; 2 Tim 2:23-26). Evil men only did what God’s will and power had decided beforehand should happen with the crucifixion of Jesus, and had Satan comprehended its impact he would have tried to prevent it (Act 4:28; 1 Cor 2:8).

Satan was at one time an angelic being (probably one of the top three archangels), being created full of wisdom, beauty and righteousness, yet through pride he rebelled. In a doomed mission he stated, “I

    Don’t follow a loser   

will make myself like God” and so was banished from heaven along with other angels who supported his selfish, corrupt goal (Isa 14:12-15; Ezek 28:12-19).

God created the world and put human beings in charge. However, through deception and temptation, Adam and Eve turned it over to Satan by submitting to him for it is a principle we are servants to the one we obey (Gen 1:3-20, 3:1-6; Rom 6:16). Although Christ defeated Satan, at the cross, regaining the authority that humanity had surrendered, it is our responsibility to live in His victory, enforcing the defeat of anything originating with Satan. He still relentlessly employs the same tactics to turn people away from God even though his efforts are ultimately doomed to failure, and he will be tormented for ever in hell, the place of eternal damnation (Mt 25:41; Rev 20:10). 

Scripture describes the Kingdom of Darkness in terms of people, places and forces
(Eph 6:12). Along with evil spirits who afflict individuals, Satan’s Kingdom encompasses rulers – exerting evil opinions over the will of men, principalities – broad areas of influence or specific powers over certain areas and peoples, and strongholds

  Stay away from the Kingdom of                      darkness in all its forms

concentrated effort or buildup of certain evil practices as collectively people in an area give themselves to a particular sin. Although unseen, these spiritual forces are opposed to God’s activities, exploiting human passions and misleading them through counterfeit religions (Lk 7:21; Jn 13:2; Gal 4:1-3; Eph 2:1-3; Col 2:8,14,18,20; Tit 3:3). However, God’s good plans will ultimately be outworked, often using what was designed by Satan to harm, discourage and destroy us (Gen 50:20).

Satan’s tactics

All his activity can be listed as deception, division, diversion and discouragement. These are are directed against humanity when:

1/. He blinds the minds of people so they can’t see the light of the gospel besides exploiting their weaknesses through the world’s external pressures and influences, coupled with attacking through inner, evil desires, the lust of the eyes and pride of life (2 Cor 4:4-6; 1 Jn 2:15-17).  

2/. He tempts us to satisfy our carnal nature through instant gratification regardless of the long-term ramifications. God’s directive is to deny the impulsive desires of the flesh and consider the final result of our actions – for which we are accountable (Jn 5:28,29; Tit 2:12; Rev 20:13). 

3/. The battlefield is in our mind, and we choose whether we yield to Satan, or resist him (with the Lord’s help), understanding that although temptation is too powerful for us alone we can team up with Christ, who through the cross, was victorious over Satan (1 Cor 10:13; 1 Jn 3:8). ‘Satan made me do it’ is not a valid excuse, as the final decision is always ours (Gen 4:7; Jas 1:14,15).

4/. Actively engaging sin in our lives gives Satan an incentive to harass and tempt us though he cannot attack without God’s permission or go beyond our ability to resist (through Jesus). Live in obedience to Christ then you will not give him any valid invitation to strike (Job 1:10-12, 2:4-8; Jn 14:30; Rom 1:18-27; 2 Cor 2:11; Eph 4:27). We need to guard against Satan’s blatant as well as subtle

Satan is no joke – be very                            wary of Him

attacks, relying on the Lord’s protection in the spiritual battle, resisting the powers of darkness and denying them access to our life for he will flee as we stand firm in the faith (Prov 4:23; 1 Cor 16:13; 2 Thes 3:3; Jas 4:7,8; 1 Pet 5:8,9).

5/. Satan holds people in bondage through sin, circumstances, destructive habits, disease, pressure, poverty and all that is negative, thus preventing God’s purposes being fulfilled, tempting, accusing and hindering the work of the gospel, besides accusing and sowing division amongst God’s people (Dan 10:12; Mk 4:15; Act 5:3; 1 Cor 7:5; Col 1:12-14; 1 Thes 2:18).

6/. Further he tries to make people ineffective by moral failure, mental or physical deterioration, sickness, relationship breakdown, and through offence, poor self-esteem, discouragement or distractions so they will pour their energy into ‘dead ends’ and false religions that do not lead to heaven.

7/. As in the Garden of Eden, deception continues to be one of his main weapons – promising much but delivering little; hence Jesus called him, “The father of lies” (Jn 8:44). He continues to promote the humanistic belief, 'I don’t need God, or anyone else to run my life’ attitude.

How to respond

1/. The key to being victorious over Satan is to have a close walk with God, relying on and obeying Him, utilising the spiritual weapons, praying consistently, knowing and obeying Scripture, with our praise and worship directed to Him. Godly values, accountability and self-discipline frustrate his attacks.

2/. When on earth Jesus resisted Satan’s attacks with the truth of God’s Word (Mt 4:4,7,10). We too should use His Word, both as an encouragement for ourselves, and a challenge to Satan.

3/. Living a godly life, exercising self-discipline, and using the name of Jesus, is a positive acknowledgement of who we are ‘in Christ’; stating an emphatic ‘no’ to temptation is the means to overcome Satan and his wiles (2 Cor 10:4,5; Eph 6:11-18; Rev 12:11). By living in correct alignment, we are ‘covered’ by the blood of Christ.

3/. Don’t propagate Satan’s destructive suggestions by negative, critical talk, glamorizing sin, reciting the evils of the world, or telling your problems and pain to anyone who will listen. Rather, live with a thankful, positive spirit and your faith firmly anchored in God, ready to refute, and drive back his schemes. “Satan came to steal [our resources and time], kill [our bodies] and destroy [our relationships]” while Jesus came to bring life and destroy Satan’s work, resulting in us being ‘more than conquerors’ and nothing being able to separate us from the love of God when we are submitted to His ways (Jn 10:10; Rom 8:37-39; 1 Jn 3:8).

4/. While Satan endeavours to condemn and make us feel incapable because of our past mistakes, our confidence should be in God’s enabling to do all the things He has called us to do through Christ. He strengthens and

Walk with Jesus

empowers us to fulfill His purposes as we confess our sin and need for Him (Jn 5:30; Phil 4:13; 1 Jn 1:9). As Jesus was sinless He could say, Satan has no power or legal right over me (Jn 14:30). The more you obey God and align yourself with His Kingdom the less power Satan will have over you, because he exploits the weak areas in a person's life and character and claims  a ‘legal right’ to attack when sin is present.  We are more vulnerable when tired, stressed, overworked, when there is unconfessed sin or we give in to self-pity.  He has no influence over me if I am living ‘in the light’ with a clear conscience before God and man (1 Jn 1:6-10).

5/. Jesus addressed the enemy directly, demanding evil spirits to leave people, and commissioned His followers to use His name for, “I have given you authority…to overcome all the power of the enemy” to obtain the same results (Mt 8:16; Mk 16:17; Lk 10:19; Act 10:38). It is our right and responsibility to exercise that authority and, through Christ, live victoriously, turning people from the power of Satan (Act 26:18).

See also: armour (spiritual), covering, deception, eternal damnation, evil, evil spirits, false religions, Kingdom of Satan, principalities, resist, self-discipline, spirit realm, spiritual warfare, strongholds, temptation, thinking/thoughts, victory.

 


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