19 - Obstacle 8: Poor Understanding of Satan

Satan’s Main Strategies:

·          Make some people think he doesn’t exist
·          Make others think he’s behind everything bad
·          Perverts the truth or blinds us from seeing it
·          Uses false teachers to preach 99% of the truth which creates the biggest undetected lie
·          Makes things that are evil seem good, and things that are good to seem evil (perversion)
·          Uses fear to ensnare people and to prevent them from living a life of faith to please God
·          Creating offense between people which easily leads to a stronghold of          unforgiveness/bitterness
·          Elevates our pride which is detestable to God
·          Attacks in our weak spots and at weak moments

Those who don’t believe he’s real have already been defeated.  But there’s also a group who think he’s behind every bad thing including all sickness.  They “bind and loose” every difficult circumstance not to their liking.  Never mind the fact that God is often disciplining them with circumstances or illness, and instead of getting the picture and receiving the correction, they rebuke it as if it’s just another dirty attack from the devil.  They fail to see that God brings calamity/sickness too.  (Gen 12:17, Num 11:33, Deu 32:39, 1 Sam 5:6, 2 Sam 12:15, 2 Kings 15:5, 2 Chro 21:18, 26:20, Job 5:18, Ps 88:15, 90:15, 106:15, 119:75, Amos 3:6, Jn 9:3, Gal 4:13)

Incidentally, many of these folks have some of the most frustrated and dysfunctional emotional and spiritual lives and hearts you can find among Christians.  The only thing they have really bound is their joy in the Lord, and the devil is well pleased that he gets the victory and all the glory. Regardless of what we may be taught, we can’t bind the devil and his demons by saying, “I bind you in Jesus name, etc.”  Think about it, if anyone could truly bind the devil in someone’s life, we could wrap this whole devil business up pretty quickly and everyone would live godly lives.  No, the way we defeat the devil is by standing firm, living godly, and resisting his lies through faith and the word of God. A pure heart is the devils worst nightmare.

Having been through more than my fair share of calamity, my perspective is now that the devil is actually a blessing to the maturing Spirit filled child of God.  You may say, “WHAT did you just say silly cakes?” Think about this.  God made the angel who has become Satan, and God is in complete control of Him.  I used to believe we were all just stuck down here in a cage with the big bad Lion and our only hope was that maybe he would devour someone else first.  Now, I know the truth; that lion can only eat whatever God tells Him to, or what a Christian with poor discernment offers him to eat.

If we truly believe Scriptures like (Ps 103:19, 135:6, 138:8, Pro 16:4, 19:21, Isa 46:8-11, Rom 8:28) then you understand that the Lord is completely in control of everything (including Satan Rom 16:20) and especially of the lives of those who love Him.  Then, with Scriptures like (Lk 4:6, Eph 2:2, 1 Jn 5:19, Rev 12:9) you see that the devil is in control of the world system and unbelievers, but only because God is allowing him and for His good reasons.

Examples of how God controls and uses the devil and his demons in the life of his people:

·          God gives an evil spirit to Saul to punish him, and primarily to discipline David (1 Sam 16:14)
·          God used Satan to incite David to take a censusfor punishment of Israel (2 Sam 24:1 / 1 Chro 21:1)
·          God puts an evil lying spirit in King Ahab’s prophets for his punishment (2 Chro 18:22)
·          God uses Satan to prompt Judas to betray Jesus (John 13:2-3)
·          God allows Satan to sift Peter as wheat to humble him and strengthen his faith (Lk 22:31)
·          God torments Paul with an evil spirit to keep him from becoming conceited (2 Cor 12:7)

So, when you truly understand that God is completely sovereign and in control, and when you understand that God is compassionate and loving towards those who fear Him, then you see that the devil is a blessing because however God allows him to touch our lives, it is for our good.  This does not dismiss our need to respect him as a formidable foe or our need to diligently live godly lives, depending on God for good discernment (1 Peter 5:8).

Sometimes, in our ignorance, God controls our ability to choose good or evil, but it is the exception not the rule (Gen 20:6).  But often God uses the devil and his demons to chastise, discipline, and motivate us to live godly lives and to fully depend on Him.  What a beautiful picture of redemption.  God wins, and we win.  The devil chose rebellion and evil.  But God turned it all around and now uses his malevolence toward believers, as a carefully controlled instrument in his hands to shape us, refine us, and make us more like Jesus.

This benefit only applies to those that truly fear the Lord.  If you don’t truly fear the Lord, you should definitely fear the devil.