• Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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  • October 2010
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What’s So Scary About The Devil?

“There is no neutral ground in the universe; every square inch, every split second, is claimed by God and counter-claimed by Satan.” (C.S. Lewis)

Does evil exist? Do you believe in Satan? Many in today’s world believe he is a myth, a boogeyman, a fable, or the product of an ignorant superstitious mind. The Bible has a lot to say about the demonic, but it is largely ignored in our enlightened culture and even in our churches. We have developed a more therapeutic strategy for dealing with the dark side of human nature and sin. We now refer to evil as a sickness rather than acknowledge the power of its autonomous influence.

Satan is a brilliant strategist. He is utterly satisfied when you are unwilling to acknowledge his existence. He is quite capable of setting before you a vision and plan for your ultimate happiness. His goal, however, is to use every means at his disposal to keep men separated from God. His unrelenting malevolence towards mankind is satisfied only by our destruction. “He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him.” (John 8:44)

We are in the middle of a cosmic spiritual battle and mankind is an unwitting bondservant to the master of evil. “You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do.” (John 8:44) Paul wrote, “the god of this world [Satan] has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” (2 Corinthians 4:4)

How is it possible to resist such a formidable foe? We can’t in and of ourselves. We are too weak and flawed by the fall of Adam. How then may we overcome the evil designs of this master puppeteer? James, the brother of our Lord Jesus Christ, writes – “Submit yourselves therefore to God.” (James 4:7) In order to overcome Satan, the first thing you need is a new master. Without the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit of God, you will never defeat the devil’s influence over your life. James then says in the same verse, “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” Once you have submitted to Christ as your Lord, you are then enabled to resist. But Peter reminds us to be “sober-minded” and “watchful” and “firm in your faith.” (1 Peter 5:8-9) The devil will continue to seek to devour you.

I do not subscribe to the theory that there is a demon under every bush. Nor can we excuse our sins by claiming that, “The devil made me do it!” Even without Satan there is quite enough evil residing in our corrupted natures to commit unspeakable acts. However, if we are to truly understand the nature of the universe in which we live, we must take seriously the Bible’s portrayal of Satan and his demons as personal spiritual entities who are actively involved in the lives of people on this planet in the worse possible ways. Therefore, God the Father sent Jesus Christ “to destroy the works of the devil.” (1 John 3:8)

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