We cannot become successful followers of Jesus until we understand that we have an enemy who works tirelessly to turn us back to our sinful nature.
Scripture has quite a bit to say about Satan, yet most Christians are ignorant about him. God has written some adamant warnings about our enemy, and we need to heed them carefully. Many Christians are under constant attack by him but have no idea of the battle they’re in. They think their lack of joy, broken relationships, and failures in life originate with them, when in reality their troubles are because they are following the voice of the enemy of their souls but are completely unaware of it.
Satan is a liar and murderer. This part of him comes from his true nature, which, according to the Bible, consists of arrogance, vanity, envy, and selfish ambition. When we act in such a manner, we align ourselves with Satan as enemies of God. This is why the mark of a child of God is humility and absolute surrender to our Lord.
Paul got to the essence of this idea in Philippians 2:3, where he wrote, “Do nothing out of rivalry or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves.”
What Does Satan Want?
Satan hates God with all of his being. God is perfect and untouchable…but we aren’t. So Satan goes after God’s children – you and me. He gets us to hurt one another and turn our backs on our Father.
Why do we let this happen? Satan is crafty. He disguises his hatred and pretends to be our Father’s friend at first. Once we let him into our lives, we start to hear subtle whispers that appeal to our egos:
■ Why did your Father give your sister that gift instead of you?
■ Look at your brother. He always has to get all the attention. Your brother likes art, and everyone tells him he’s so good at it! I think art is disgusting and offends God, don’t you?
■ Look at your sister studying science. Everyone knows that your God disagrees with science…You should say something about this to your brothers and sisters. She shouldn’t be allowed to come around.
The lies start to get more specific as Satan becomes entrenched in our lives, because hatred can’t really take root without self-loathing.
■You’re so ugly. Look at how your sister looks down on you.
■Your brother is smart, and you’re stupid. He thinks he’s better than you.
■You’ll feel better if you drink this or snort that.
And finally: Why do you go on living? No one likes you anyway. At least if you were dead, they’d appreciate you. They’d feel bad for how they’d treated you.
The Good News
God has already defeated Satan! Sometimes we get this idea, probably from other religions, of an equal duel between good and evil happening in the heavens. This is not the case. Satan was defeated and cast out! The only duel now is for your heart and mine. Satan can’t touch God, so he attacks His children. And he does this by exploiting our sinful nature. He does it by appealing to the pride in each of us.
With the Fall, sin became our nature and four great separations occurred, according to Genesis 3:
- People became hostile to one another. Adam blamed Eve.
- People became hostile to nature. Nature became cursed and became a source of labor for him.
- People became hostile to themselves. Adam felt shame and hid from God.
- People became hostile to God. When God asked him what had happened, Adam blamed God, saying, “The woman You gave me did it.”
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Ken Harrison