By Barrett Vanlandingham
Thank goodness Satan is not omnipresent, like God. In other words, the devil cannot be in two places at once, as our heavenly Father can. However, Satan has a definite plan for causing God’s people to sin. It started long ago, and it has been highly effective.
In the New Testament book of Revelation 12:4-9, John uses a seven-headed red dragon to symbolize the devil. John says, “His tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth.” John then describes a war of angels. The good side is led by Michael. The evil side is led by Satan. The good side wins. The devil is hurled to earth along with his angels.
The defeated Satan knew he didn’t stand a chance in beating Jesus. So he became the great deceiver. He still wants to be the one “who leads the whole world astray (v.9).” Jesus referred to him as “a liar and the father of lies (John 8:44).”
One of his strategies is to isolate people so they will accept the lies of the devil as normal, sort of like the blind leading the blind (Matthew 15:14). We see it all the time in various forms of media and in many other walks of life. It is troubling, to say the least, to hear morality discussed by two people who have not read what the Bible has to say. It is both frustrating and even scary when one or both of those people are in positions of influence in public policy.
Another trick the “accuser” uses is to convince people that they are not good enough to be Christians. Guilt can not only stop a Christian from participating in worship, but also from telling someone else about Jesus, or even from holding a Christian brother or sister accountable for their decisions. It is a good thing that Jesus did not wait until He found perfect people to choose as apostles. He might still be waiting! We must remember Paul’s words, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1).” You see, forgiveness of sin is possible because of the perfect sacrifice of God’s only Son.
And finally, if Satan cannot convince Christians that we are unworthy of salvation and that we should just quietly back down, he tries persecution. Verbal or even physical attacks are common in spiritual warfare. If you ever want to feel alone, just try taking a Biblical stance on any of today’s moral or doctrinal issues, especially in any public forum such as the Internet, where there is such a diverse spectrum of opinions on everything!
Yes, cultural norms are subject to change. But God’s truth never changes no matter how hard Satan tries to deceive us into thinking otherwise. The devil has a plan for us, but God’s plan definitely has the better outcome. God bless you, and have a great week!
Reach Barrett Vanlandingham at the Fort Gibson Church of Christ at (918) 478-2222 or firstname.lastname@example.org.