Well, it’s no secret, actually. But, since most people are unaware of what The Bible says about Satan, they usually shrug him off and think of him as a little red, pointy-eared guy on your shoulder, or perhaps whatever you can imagine out of some horror flick.
But, just since it’s fun to give some insider information on our mortal enemy, let’s take a stab at this. Looking at some of his attributes will reveal his plan is pretty clear. Let’s start with an abbreviated list, shall we?
1. He is a deceiver, twister of the truth and a tempter. Genesis 2.
2. He is an inciter and encourages leaders to do things that otherwise may seem harmless, but are rooted in sin. [ David Counts the Fighting Men ] 1 Chron. 21:1 Satan rose up against Israel and incited David to take a census of Israel.
3. He is not above God. In fact he has to answer to God. Job says, “One day the angels came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came with them.”
4. Satan puts down God’s people and tries to belittle them in God’s eyes and other’s eyes.
Job 1:9 “Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied.
5. Satan accuses God’s people, and accuses the Messiah. Zechariah 3:1 [ Clean Garments for the High Priest ] Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right side to accuse him.
6. Satan will not oppose himself and cannot attack himself. Matthew 12:26 “If Satan drives out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then can his kingdom stand?”
7. Satan binds people physically. In this case, a woman had female issues, which Jesus attributes to Satan’s grip on her life. Luke 13:16 “Then should not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen long years, be set free on the Sabbath day from what bound her?”
8. Satan fills a person’s heart with a desire to be selfish and lie.
Acts 5:3 “Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land?”
9. He is scheming. 2 Corinthians 2:11 “in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.”
10. He afflicts us physically. “Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.” 2 Corinth 12:7
11. He can block a believer’s path to do God’s work.1 Thess 2:18 “For we wanted to come to you—certainly I, Paul, did, again and again—but Satan blocked our way.”
12. He is THE accuser of the brethren.
Revelation 12:8-10New International Version (NIV)
8 But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. 9 The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.
10 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say:
“Now have come the salvation and the power
and the kingdom of our God,
and the authority of his Messiah.
For the accuser of our brothers and sisters,
who accuses them before our God day and night,
has been hurled down.
Our mortal enemy is at war with our Lord. In fact, when many times people are angry with God, they should be angry with Satan. Taking a brief look at the list above, I see that he truly brings many griefs into our lives. Lots of people I have talked to, who have rejected God, are actually following in the path that the enemy of their souls wants them to follow- the path of destruction. However, Jesus said, “I have come to destroy the work of the devil.” AND “I come to bring life abundantly.”
While Jesus’s character is to heal families, relationships and lives, Satan is dead set against that very plan. He’s like the bully that keeps trying to knock down your sand castle at the beach and then makes you think it was all your fault. Honestly, not wanting to give him credit for everything here, but I am wanting to expose him, so that more people can fight against his plots.
He loves to divide and conquer. He loves putting wedges between you and your spouse or you and your friends. He may do this with things that seem harmless (like when King David took the census), but it may look like the pursuit of wealth and power at the expense of your family. Or it may look like a belittling thought towards someone. You may find yourself angry with someone who is getting in the way of your success. In fact, the very lie of abortion is that a woman should be able to choose to kill her child for the sake of a career. This is straight from hell itself. The destruction of the family for the sake of convenience and personal growth.
Satan loves to divide up friends who love him. Suspicions, jealousies, coveting and the like can pillage any friendship over time. He delights in friendships that do not lead on a righteous path, though. He will often times not oppose any friendship that is not causing a stir of the spiritual pot, so to speak.
Lack of communication is one of his favorite things, because then he can isolate people and use fear and the imagination wanders. After the initial lie or fearful, anxious thought about a relationship is planted, he can walk away and let it grow it’s roots.
If your weakness is gossip, he may very well use you the most, to spread his lies and to put suspicions into people’s minds about other people. Once suspicions are rooted, it is very difficult for one to regain ground in relationship. He only has to instigate fear, jealousy or pride in someone to get them gabbing and spreading his gangrene.
He loves it when people bad mouth churches. It makes most people, including Christians, want to slink away from the Body of Christ instead of support it and engage in spiritual relationships in it. He happily will cause division in the church over something as super silly as the seat color, carpet color, or building plan. He does not want Christians busy attacking his kingdom, helping the poor, sharing the gospel or helping those who are in distress. If he can keep people fixated on the petty, then he can keep their eyes off of uniting to attack him and bring down his kingdom.
Uniting in the Body of Christ is one of God’s biggest weapons against the enemy. Jesus prayed for this in the garden, before he died. He prayed that we would be one, as he and the father are one. Jesus must have known Satan’s strategy, so that he took extra time to focus on this in prayer before going to the cross.
The enemy wants us to see the glass half empty. He wants us to focus on the negative. He delights in death and destruction. He wants people to be at odds and wants our perceived hurts to control our hearts and lives.
The Apostle Paul reminds us that our battle is not against flesh and blood. This should change our perspective. When we have haughty thoughts against a friend, or anger that we just cannot get rid of, the problem is more than skin deep. Take those thoughts captive, in Jesus name. The other day, I seemed to be bombarded with negative thoughts about someone I love dearly. They wouldn’t leave and finally, instead of just feeling bad that they were there, I took them captive, in the name of Jesus Christ and prayer. They left and the silence was eerie.
We cannot blame Satan for our sin, but ignore his real strategy to tempt us and to divide our relationships. We must stand against him in the name of Jesus and proactively do the opposite of what he wants us to do. And remember, his suggestions are not stupid. He is not stupid. He knows how to tempt us by what seems right to us. He knows how to justify the thoughts, behaviors and lies he suggests for us to participate in. They will frequently seem very spiritual. I cannot emphasize this enough. In fact, many people who go to church are deceived by Satan that if they sin in love, it is not a sin, but actually spiritual. I am sure he thinks this is a great time with everyone feeling super spiritual in their sin, but feeling justified, because they are doing it in a feeling of “love”.
The remedy? Prayer in Jesus name and reading God’s Word by the power of The Holy Spirit. If we are living a repentant life before The Lord, it will be more difficult to be deceived, but it will also give us more strength when we face the opposition from others who are not so aware that they are being deceived. We all will be hurt and we all will have our turn hurting others, whether we mean to or not. God wants us to walk in love so we can overcome, in these situations.
So, remember, then next time your mind is full of thoughts against someone, take time to pray about it, to forgive and to do warfare against Satan’s lies, in Jesus name. If Satan wants you to gossip about someone, pray for them. If Satan is tempting you to dwell on negative thoughts about someone, pray for them. Instead of triangulating in a relationship, go straight to the source. It is very helpful in putting out fires. Ask God to give you a correct view of a situation, if you are struggling with it.
And remember, Satan is trying very hard to destroy you, your family, your relationships and your church. Spend just as much time praying for those things and building them up, in Jesus name, as he is spending trying to tear them down! If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, and are cleansed from your sin, Jesus’s power in your life is astronomical in comparison to Satan’s influence. There is no need for fear, just be on guard, be ready for his lies, his attacks and his temptations. Be ready to take him to the cross of Jesus Christ. Jesus will deal with him for you.