1 Peter 5:8
“Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.”
Ever wonder why you are sitting there, and suddenly, a negative or violent thought comes to mind? It doesn’t seem to matter what we are doing; we have a vicious enemy prowling around constantly looking to devour us.
Satan is a powerful force in this world, and he goes about, through his many workers, corrupting anyone who will listen to or obey him. He puts thoughts into people’s minds and these thoughts are the kind that result in negative consequences of some sort.
We should understand that he is desperate because he made a poor choice and now faces an eternity in utter darkness and torment. He had it all going for him in the Heavenly Realm with God, but he messed up. Satan is the ultimate example of why we should not try to steal God’s glory.
When Satan was in God’s presence as Lucifer, he was glorious and God’s masterpiece. But out of him came sin, the first sin; pride. Lucifer wanted to be praised, so, God made an example out of him for all of us to follow. As God cast Lucifer out of Heaven, and permanently out of the fellowship of God, Lucifer became known as Satan; God’s greatest rival.
Now, Satan has only one plan; to deceive as many as possible to prevent them from fellowship with God and to further prevent them from eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven. So, he goes about, day and night, working people over. He breaks down their spirit and their self-image. He tells them lies. He tempts them with things that grieve the Holy Spirit. He makes people question God’s existence.
Anything and everything that leads to destruction; he’s there.
Jesus is the light that exposes the darkness of Satan
Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.”
Here, Jesus is relating Satan to darkness. Evil is dark and leads to eternal death in Hell with the devil and Good is light and leads to eternal life in Heaven with God. Of course, Satan won’t have us believe this. He is crafty and will try to trick us. After all, he was a glorious angel, serving directly in the presence of God; think he doesn’t know the Scripture very well?
We must learn how to walk and live in the light because the darkness comes upon us in such a subtle way that we don’t even realize it until we are fully immersed in it. We need to learn to become just as clever as the devil is so that we can remain in front of him. We do this, not on our own power and authority, but on Jesus’ power and His authority.
The enemy knows that we do not have any authority or power on this earth. It doesn’t belong to us. We had that power at first in the Garden of Eden. But the enemy showed up and fooled us. We believed his lies, bought into the temptation, and invited him into our lives when we gave into sin. This is the exact time we gave our power away to the enemy. Since then, his power is greater than ours.
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God’s plans are greater than Satan’s plans
However, God came up with a plan. He sent His Son, Jesus, to come to earth and live and walk among us. Jesus was pure and without sin or blemish. But we were full of sin and darkness. Jesus’ mission was to come as the Savior of the world. He accomplished this when He was crucified and was raised back to life three days later.
In doing this, He took our sins from us and laid them upon Himself. Instead of us needing to sacrifice animals and offer them up to God to atone for our sins, Jesus became the ultimate atonement. Through Him, our sins – all sins, have been washed away. We have been freed from the bondage of sin and the snare of the enemy.
When He was raised back to life on the third day, Jesus took the full power and authority of this world back from Satan once and for all. The power and authority in this world doesn’t belong to us or the enemy; it belongs to Jesus.
Sin and death, also known as darkness, has absolutely no power over those who walk with Jesus; the Light. This is eternal. There is no stealing this power back from God. It was bought back by the blood of Jesus and will remain with Him eternally.
Satan is in denial
We can be sure that this kind of talk enrages the enemy. He hates truth. For him, the truth really hurts. But he knows that if we don’t know the truth, he can deceive us with lies and half truths. It’s almost like he’s in denial and thinks he still has power over us. But this is just another lie. Let’s face it; Satan isn’t really in denial.
He knows his days are numbered. But the perfect salesman doesn’t win clients by exposing the nasty truths, right?
As Satan is working to build his army up, those who worship him and are following him into eternal darkness, he is never satisfied. He is greedy and works endlessly to corrupt and cause division between us and God. He works his way into our lives and starts twisting our good beliefs and confusing us. He puts thoughts into our minds that we wouldn’t normally think; destructive thoughts.
“Go ahead, no one is looking; take it!” “There is no Heaven or Hell” “There are more ways to Heaven than just Jesus” “You should hit him/her” “You should jump off this bridge.” These are thoughts that people commonly get. These come out of nowhere and happen to people who don’t think like this. But that’s where Satan starts. He plants a little seed of destruction and he waits to see if we water it. We water it when we give attention to it and consider if there is truth behind this.
When we water a seed, we get a plant. The plant will be in the likeness of the seed. We must learn to discern the thoughts that come to our minds. If we are used to having these thoughts, we shouldn’t say, “It’s okay, I always have these thoughts”; instead, realize that this is the enemy working more lies into our mind and creating a belief that this is okay for us.
Jesus has the power to undo Satan’s work
Instead of reasoning with the way we think, saying that it’s just our normal ways, understand that these are the normal ways for someone in bondage; not someone walking in the freedom of Jesus. Understand that if you have these thoughts to any degree, you can be freed from them.
If we have destructive thoughts in our minds, we are going to live a destructive life. Maybe not a destructive life towards others, but surely towards ourselves. If we have severe addictions to anything, we can be completely delivered from these. Addictions are also a tactic of the enemy. If we give over control of our mind to a substance of some sort, we become weak and vulnerable. Even when we cry out to God, Satan is there instantly to tell us; “God can’t help you.” But, God can and will help you.
I have been delivered from several addictions. Without surrendering to God, yes, God couldn’t help me. But as soon as I cried out to God and submitted to His authority, He was able to deliver me from these addictions immediately; and for me, without any withdrawals or cravings.
We have free will and with this, we have just enough authority over ourselves to give control to who we serve. There are only two options here, though; Good or Evil. We are either serving God or we are serving the devil. If we aren’t sold-out for Jesus, we are serving the devil.
“Oh, but not fully,” we say. “Just because I don’t spend all my time worshipping God and reading His bible and praying and fellowshipping with other believers and sharing the Good News doesn’t mean that I serve the devil – I just don’t have time to do all these things.”
Read Revelation 3:15-16
“I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other! But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth!”
God doesn’t tolerate disloyalty
In the verse we just read, God is telling us that under no circumstances, will He entertain a person with divided loyalty between light and darkness. If we walk with one stride for God and one stride for the things of this world, God is telling us that He will shut us off from Him. He will close the door and we will be separated from Him.
How many people are moving about right now in complete confusion as they stumble about in darkness and still claiming God in their lives? Lots, right? I don’t say this as though I’m sitting high on my horse and better than anyone; instead, I say this because it’s too easy for us to get pulled into the traps of the enemy and still think we are doing right.
Many Christians, me included, are seeking God and still making mistakes and sinning. For this, God extends His grace. We will make mistakes; we will give into temptations periodically. We aren’t perfect, yet. Because God knows this, He is patient and gracious with us. But only if we are at least trying.
Against our best efforts, we can wake up and pray and read and get started in the right way with God only to butt heads with someone by lunch and do or say something that we regret. This is part of the battle. For this, we come humbly to God and confess our wrong and ask forgiveness. He forgives and we are literally free to move on.
On the other hand, some of us wake up and instead of thinking immediately about God or giving Him any praise for the day, we rush out to get our fix, whatever that is, and we go about living our day in a way that is pleasing to us and only benefits us. When it falls apart for us by noon, instead of going to God and humbly submitting and confessing to Him, we find something to indulge in to help make us feel better. Only when times get real tough do we cry out to God for relief.
But the above verse is telling us that God won’t answer. Because we aren’t doing what we can to live to please God, we are divided in loyalty, and He won’t tolerate it.
Full surrender to God means complete abandonment of the devil
I can write articles like this forever and will never make a dent in the damage that the enemy has done. We are each called to live for God and to expose the enemy. There are people like me who are working to expose his lies and help people understand the difference between darkness and light, but the choice to pick a side belongs to the person.
We shouldn’t hear messages like these and say, “Tomorrow I will try again.” No, with God, we can start immediately. We don’t need a new day to have a new beginning. We don’t have to live with the pain of sin and regret overnight while we wait for God to wake up. We can go to Him immediately and seek His Providence.
When we as individuals realize that our life has diminished to a low point, and that we are in ruins, we must turn to God for restoration. Even for believers who were walking with Jesus, but, got busy; that person can turn back immediately, and God will restore them. We must not listen to the lies of the enemy that say that we can’t be helped now. Through faith and trust in the Lord, He can help us.
God is everywhere and is always reaching out to us. It’s up to us to reach out and take His hand. We don’t have to feel bad about who we are or about what we’ve done with our lives up to this point. We can get a new lease on life right now through Jesus. But we have to make that choice for ourselves.
Jesus is calling and Satan is calling. We must choose. Satan is offering up a life of hardships, of lack, of hurt, of regret, of guilt, of hate, of greed, and of complete separation from the Kingdom of God. Jesus is offering up a life of peace, of deep inner joy, of love, of fruitfulness, of rest, of abundance, of excitement, of growth, and complete fellowship with Him in the Kingdom of God.
Following God is still a battle, but in every battle that God has been in, He’s won.
Life is hard. It’s hard because we must make choices. It’s hard because the devil is always attacking us. It’s hard because we walk alone. Although life with God can still be hard, it’s far easier with Him and there is clarity of direction. With God, we make better choices which result in better circumstances; with God, we lift up our problems to Him and He hands us peace in our souls; with God, we have true purpose that fills a void in our hearts like nothing ever can. But we must choose Him.
If you don’t have a relationship with Jesus, you can follow this link (Prayer for Salvation) to find out how. Also, if you need prayer for your life or your family, feel free to fill out a private prayer request in the provided prayer box in this article. My wife and I would love to pray for you.