2 Lessons About Satan (He’s Just a Phony)
I didn’t plan on doing a series of posts on spiritual warfare, but it’s been what God has been teaching me lately. The posts “The 12-Step Plan” and “The Devil Likes the Letter D” have gotten a lot of attention and feedback. Better yet, it’s brought encouragement to those under attack. Many have replied to tell me, “I am under attack, too.” The truth is, most believers will be under attack. If you are not, then you need to amp up your fighting. Satan attacks when you are a threat to him, which is when you are being used by God for HIS glory.
Writing this blog has brought about the most wonderful thing that I never imagined or could have predicted: meeting believers around the world who are fighting the fight and whom I get the blessing of praying for. God will often bring readers’ names to mind to pray for, and I often pray a hedge of protection around them so that the enemy cannot penetrate.
As God has pressed upon me the urgency to know about spiritual warfare and be engaged in battle, I have learned two things.
1. Satan is like a lion, but he’s just an imposter.
First Peter 5:8 says, “Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” This is where my grammar geekiness enters into Bible reading—oh, how I love the English language! Do you notice one little four-letter word in that verse? LIKE. The devil is LIKE a roaring lion prowling around. It’s a simile: a comparison of two different things using the words “like” or “as.” Is Satan a lion? No! He’s just pretending; he’s an imposter, a poser, a phony! Jesus is the only lion who is victorious and will come back for His people.
- “See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed.” (Revelation 5:5)
- “The LORD will roar from Zion and thunder from Jerusalem; the earth and the sky will tremble. But the LORD will be a refuge for his people, a stronghold for the people of Israel.” (Joel 3:16)
In reality, Satan is like a little pouty toddler who didn’t get his way and has been throwing a tantrum for several centuries. In my imagination, Satan’s fall went something like this:
Satan: “Why are they worshiping Him? I should be worshiped and adored! I’ve had enough of this! (He turns to God.) God, I want to be ruler! Bow down before me!”
God: “Away from Me.”
Satan: “Well, then … just You wait and see! I’m going to take my friends and rise higher and greater than You can ever imagine! You’ll forever regret this! Come on, guys!”
Satan motions for his friends, his followers. Some of them back away, knowing their punishment would be eternal damnation. Some of them look to the Lord and then back to their new leader, following him and making the transformation from angel to demon.
Stomp. Stomp. Stomp. Satan and his crew walk away from the Lord God. Satan makes every stomp of his feet louder and more defined so God knows He is really in for it. He grumbles under his breath … Just wait. I’ll get Him. I’ll get ALL of them!
And then they fall from heaven.
So is he a lion? No. Is his roar fierce? Yes, at times most definitely. He is real; he is an enemy; he ready to destroy God’s people, and he can be fearsome. But remember, he’s an imposter. He’s not the lion. The true lion, the Lion of Judah, has already triumphed. He’s already victorious! If you have a Bible, you can read the ending—it’s already been written! The winning basket has already been shot! The score is in the play book! We should already be celebrating because the temper-tantrum-throwing-toddler (a.k.a. Satan) and his pouty friends (demons) have lost! We already know this!
2. Satan is not equal to God.
This is a truth that I learned from Dr. David Jeremiah in his book, I Never Thought I’d See the Day: Culture at the Crossroads (Faith Words, 2011). People often assume that Satan is the equal equivalent of God. God is good; Satan is evil. So they must be opposites. The truth, however, is that Satan is not the opposite of God, for God created Satan. God is infinite. So if Satan was created by God and is finite, he cannot be equal to God. A creation of the creator cannot have equal power.
Colossians 1:16-17 describes that God created all things:
“For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”
So the enemy is not as powerful as God. His only power comes from God allowing him to have such power. Satan is only permitted to do what God allows; Satan is on a leash held by God. Sometimes God chooses a short leash; sometimes God allows that leash to extend a little bit longer (think of Job). It depends on what God desires for His people to learn and how He wants them to grow in their faith.
So if God isn’t Satan’s opposite, then who is? Randy Alcorn says this: “Michael, the righteous archangel, is Satan’s opposite” (If God Is Good: Faith in the Midst of Suffering and Evil, Multnomah, 2009).
When I read this, it made sense to me. And it made me feel better. Satan is not the opposite of God. Yes, he is real, he does have power, and he is seeking to devour us. But he’s not as powerful as most people believe him to be.
So what do we do?
Pray, pray, pray. Pray protection over you, your family, and your household. Pray to know God’s voice so when you are under attack, you can seek Him who holds the future. Pray in the name of Jesus, which causes demons to shudder and fall (James 2:19). Ephesians 6:18 says, “Pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.”
Read the Word. Beth Moore says, “Nothing is of greater threat to the enemy than a believer with the Word of God living and active upon her tongue, readily applied to any situation.” God Word is your sword for battle (Ephesians 6:17). When Satan attacks, speak the Word (out loud). A weapon is no good if it’s not used. And the truth in the Bible can’t be used unless you read it and know it and live it.
Tell Satan to shut up! Remember that Satan is an imposter. He’s the father of lies and wants to feed lies to you. I’m susceptible to hearing and believing his lies. Then I remember—I don’t have to take it! So sometimes I say out loud, “Satan, shut up!” Proclaim that you are a child of God and that Satan has no authority over you. Sometimes I even imagine myself kicking him (I know, real mature, right?). But it gives me the boost I need to stand up to his schemes and tell him to shut up and go away.
Fellow warriors, comrades, soldiers, fighters of the good fight, here is my prayer for you today:
“Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.” (Ephesians 6:10-13, NIV)
Copyright 2012, Christi McGuire. All rights reserved.