Thursday, September 21, 2017

Satan and the Christian

"Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour" (1 Peter 5:8).

While many modern people will readily admit that they believe in God, very few will admit to believing in the Devil. It is true, of course, that for most people, the “God” they believe in is a figment of their imagination, and not the Holy Creator and Judge. All the same, it is noteworthy that despite the presence of so much horror and wickedness in the world, most people reject the idea of a powerful personal spirit being called Satan.

This is not the perspective of the Bible and of the Christian faith. The Bible tells us that there is indeed a realm of fallen angels, and that their chief is Satan, the Devil. The first thing the Bible shows us about the Devil is that he is clever. He is able to present himself as an “angel of light” and to deceive us (2 Corinthians 11:14). It was as a clever deceiver that he approached Adam and Eve in the garden and persuaded them to sin.

Secondly, the Bible presents Satan as formidable. For the most part it is Christ who is compared to a mighty lion in the Bible, the Lion of the tribe of Judah. In 1 Peter 5:8, however, Satan is also compared to a powerful lion. He is not as powerful as Christ, but he is a lot stronger than you and I are.

Paul states that we are called to make war on the Devil. If we are “strong in the Lord and in His mighty power,” then we can take our stand “against the Devil’s schemes” (Ephesians 6:10–11). He tells us that though we must contend against the world and the flesh, our battle goes beyond “against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:12).

The fact that we face unseen enemies who attempt to seduce us to sin forces us to realize that this is a struggle we cannot fight in our own power. How do you fight against a demon? By prayer we can wage this war, as we ask God to send His Spirit to protect us and to set His angelic hosts around us. Today ask Him to make you more aware of the reality of this struggle and to prepare you for the temptations, defeats, and victories of the Christian life. Satan tempts from without, and the flesh lusts from within. Being surrounded as we are, many refuse to join the battle and simply surrender. May it not be so with you!