The Bible reveals that Satan, not satisfied with his station, pridefully rebelled against God (1 Tim. 3:6, 2 Peter 2:4, Jude 6). Other angels joined his heavenly struggle. But Satan and his forces were quickly defeated, and cast out of heaven (Rev. 12:7–9). Satan is doomed and he knows it (James 2:19, Rev. 20:10).
For now, Satan roams the earth, seeking to rob from God as many souls as he possibly can (1 Peter 5:8). He is still “the god of this world” (2 Cor. 4:4, 1 John 5:19), and has many weapons at his disposal. He uses false teaching, temptation, and suffering. We are locked in a daily spiritual struggle against him (Eph. 6:11).
Yet, we rarely behave as if we are mindful of this fight. Satan seems to take the fight way more seriously than we do. And, he seems to appreciate certain truths of Scripture more deeply than we do.
Satan Understands the Value of Study.
Satan believes Romans 1:16, that the Bible is the “power of God for salvation.” It frustrates Satan when he pours problems into someone’s life, and yet the person stands firm because of the strength he draws from an education in God’s word.
Satan tries to keep the Bible out of people’s hands and minds. In the parable of the sower, Jesus explained that those represented by the hard-packed road “are those who have heard; then the Devil comes and takes away the word from their heart, so that they will not believe and be saved” (Luke 8:12).
He does all he can to “hinder” people from hearing the gospel (1 Thess. 2:17-18). When people do get around to reading the Bible, Satan does all that he can to keep them from accepting it.
Strike a blow to Satan. Get out your Bible and read it! Better yet, follow a plan to read the whole thing cover to cover.
Satan Understands the Value of Worship.
Satan believes Hebrews 10:24-25, that assembling together for worship provides strength and encouragement to the saints. A Christian surrounded by the fellowship of his brethren, lifting up praises with them, is a hardened target. Anything that keeps you out of church—sleepiness, sickness, complacency, poor preaching—makes Satan smile.
Satan Understands that Works Don’t Save.
Satan believes Ephesians 2:9, that no one is saved by works. Many people comfort themselves, saying, “I’m a basically good person. I’ve never stolen, murdered, cheated. I’m better than most; better even than many Christians. I deserve heaven.”
This logic sounds good, but all have sinned and deserve spiritual death (Rom. 3:23, 6:23). Even one sin is enough to condemn us. Cornelius was a very good man, and yet he needed to be saved (Acts 10:4). I think it’s fair to say that there will be many more “good men” lost on the judgment day than “bad men,” for they trust in themselves and therefore do not seek the salvation found only in Christ (Acts 4:12).
Satan Understands that Salvation Without Works is Empty.
Satan believes James 2:17, that faith without works is dead. When a person puts on Christ, it is a cause of great concern for Satan—but not panic. He has that person’s whole lifetime to convince him that that faith is a one-time state of mind, rather than a new way of living. Until the last breath is taken, Satan still has opportunity to drive that person back into the world (Rev. 2:10), or simply make him bored and complacent.
Satan Understands the Consequences of Sin.
Satan believes James 1:13-15, that temptation leads to sin, and sin leads to spiritual death. Pollsters often report that a great majority of Americans believes in Heaven, while a great minority of Americans believes in Hell. That means most Americans think they are going to Heaven, and do not feel the danger of Hell. Satan is happy to let people tell themselves they are Heaven-bound, so long as they are involved in sin. He knows that fornicators, adulterers, immoral men, liars, drunkards, revilers, and thieves will find the gates shut (Rev. 21:8, 1 Cor. 6:9–11, Eph. 5:6, Gal. 5:21). While the world is deceived, he is not.
Satan Understands that the Time is Short.
Satan believes 1 Thessalonians 5:1-3, that the Lord may return today. Thus, Satan is busy! “Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, knowing that he has only a short time” (Rev. 12:12). He doesn’t waste a lot of time watching TV and pruning his garden. He’s got spiritual work to do.
We should take this to heart. “Be careful how you walk, not as unwise men, but wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil” (Eph. 5:15–16). When we devote all our lives and energies to things that are doomed to fade, we show that Satan has a better grasp on reality than God’s children. Store up treasures in heaven, instead (Matt. 6:19–21).
“Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). —John Guzzetta