It’s pretty easy to discount the devil when he’s thought of as an imaginary figure like the Easter bunny or the elf on the shelf. Red skin, horns and a long tail. Exhaling smoke. Eyes on fire.
But what if he’s not imaginary? What if he’s real? What if he’s a pervasive, invisible spirit? Powerful, stealthy, infectious, divisive, confusing, brilliantly deceptive, and bent on destroying everything you have and believe in that’s good?
You can’t read the New Testament without learning there’s a mighty dark power behind death, disease, pain and sin. Christianity believes this dark power was good when created by God, but went wrong.
Other religions also believe there’s a war between good and evil, darkness and light . “We (Christians) think it’s a civil war, a rebellion, and that we’re living in a part of the universe occupied by the rebel.” Enemy-occupied territory – that is what this world is. Christianity is the story of how the rightful king has landed, you might say in disguise, and is calling us all to take part in this great campaign of sabotage. When you go to church, you are ‘listening in’ to the secret wireless from our friends, that is why the enemy is so anxious to prevent us from going. He does it by “playing on our conceit and laziness and intellectual snobbery” says C.S. Lewis.
Terrorists leaders all over the world may not believe in stealth technology built into U.S. drones until they wake up dead and have to face the one true God. Denying something’s existence doesn’t make it go away. Confusion over its presence is actually the reason for its effectiveness…you don’t know it’s there until it has done its damage. So it is with the devil.
It’s more comfortable to push the idea of his existence and his activity into the category of “I’m not sure” and keep on keeping-on.
Satan is ‘old school’ and for Christians, is an example of a true paradox. We say we believe in an invisible spirit-God who created everything, sent His Son into the world to die for our sins, and whose promise of unconditional love and eternal life fuels our hope every day. Yet we struggle to believe in an invisible spirit of evil whose handiwork is plain as day. God’s Word, which we totally depend on for truth about everything, speaks of Satan more than 50 times. Jesus, the reason for all our hope, encountered Satan personally and suffered “all the temptations known to man’. Yet only 57% of us believe Satan is real. Older surveys put the number closer to 35%.
A close friend is going through one of the toughest situations I’ve ever seen. His wife has turned on God and turned on him. As our group prayed and listened for God’s guidance, I heard “She is not the enemy.” The next morning, my Bible reading just happened to include 2 Timothy 2:25-26 which says “Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.”
Forewarned is forearmed. Satan is real and he’s working against you and the God you love and serve.
Question: Do you believe Satan is real? Will you spend some time in the Scriptures and learn how to deal with him? Tell us here.
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