I am reading an interesting book called “We Shall Judge Angels: Understanding the Mysteries of Creation and Eternity” by Rev. Harold J. Chadwick (1994). With respect to Satan, Chadwick emphasizes that our culture perpetuates a false understanding of Satan. He laments that people often attribute more power and authority to Satan than is justified by Scripture. In some cases, people’s fear of Satan results in them spending more time worrying about Satan than trusting God.
Lucifer was created by God. Lucifer’s name apparently was translated from Hebrew to mean “shining one” and from Latin to mean “morning star.” Lucifer apparently aspired to be God’s co-equal, which is an impossibility because God is Lucifer’s creator. Lucifer was cast out of heaven by God for disobedience and rebellion, along with the angels who followed him in rebellion against God. After Lucifer’s fall, Lucifer became known as Satan. In Hebrew, Satan apparently translates into “adversary,” encompassing a force which prevents people from doing God’s will. In Christianity, Satan is a fallen angel with supernatural powers who is known for his disobedience to God, his lies and his deceptions. In Christianity, Satan does not possess “God-like” powers or equal power to God, Christ, or the Holy Spirit. Though an adversary, Satan is not equated with God as an equal adversary. Satan is a lesser, defeated adversary of God.
Contrary to cultural myth and some confusion among Christians, God is not battling Satan in the sense that the outcome of their adversarial relationship is unknown (because the outcome is known). Although Satan is described as God’s adversary in the spiritual realm, the outcome between God and Satan is certain. God prevails. As creator, God remains absolute in His sovereignty over all spiritual beings. The spiritual battle raging — of which we play a part — is not whether God will prevail over Satan. No, it is a spiritual battle between our faith (in God, Christ and the Holy Spirit) versus our disbelief, distrust, and disobedience (in and to God, Christ and the Holy Spirit). The stakes are high — with eternal consequences.
In the battle for our faith, Satan lies and deceives us to prevent us from having faith in God, Christ and the Holy Spirit — and to weaken or lose that faith once we have it. Why? Because lack of faith results in sin (see, Hebrews 3:12 and Hebrews 3:18-19). And sin constitutes disobedience to God and rebellion against Him, which is what Satan does.
Be wary about spending too much time thinking about Satan, but be aware that Satan will try to deceive us — test our faith. Don’t underestimate Satan. Satan is a spiritual being operating on a spiritual plane that we do not understand, and we are no match for Satan alone. Only our faith in God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit stands between us and spiritual destruction.
Nurture and guard your faith in God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit — but don’t worry about Satan’s ability to separate you from Christ. When believers worry that Satan can separate us from God, we are actually evidencing doubt or lack of trust in the truth that God loves us, that we belong to Christ, and that we are watched over, nurtured, and protected by God’s love, mercy and grace. Not only did God cast Satan out of heaven, but Christ defeated Satan at Cavalry for us. “Since we, God’s children, are human beings – made of flesh and blood – he became flash and blood too by being born in human form; for only as a human being could he die and in doing break the power of the devil who had the power of death. Only in that way could he deliver those who through fear of death have been living all their lives as slaves to constant dread.” Hebrews 2:14-15
As long as we have faith in God and Christ, we remain strong against Satan. Faith allows us to look past seemingly impossible challenges and keep our focus on Christ. And yes, we will have trials in life and challenges to our faith. Untested faith is really little or no faith at all. But for every trial that we face with trust in Christ, we can emerge stronger to the glory of God. God insures that we are never given spiritual challenges that are too much for us to handle, provided we trust in God and we turn to Christ for help. If we have faith in the everlasting nature of God’s mercy and love, and if we trust Christ to love, protect, and save us spiritually, then we need not worry about whatever “life challenges” we face. God is in control and His will be done.
We simply need to believe and trust in God, in Christ, and the Holy Spirit. If we remain focused on Christ, Christ stresses that we needn’t worry about the problems we face or the problems of the world that can so easily overwhelm us. Of course, when Christ tells us not to worry, Christ isn’t dismissing as challenging the reasons why we might worry, nor does He ever suggest we become indifferent or apathetic to suffering or ignore our responsibility to do what we can to help ourselves and others — consistent with Christ’s teachings. (see, Luke 12:22-32) Christ simply is reassuring us that — through it all — Christ is with us, God is in control, and His will be done. Most times, what seems to be “life’s challenges” are really tests of our faith by Satan.
Above all, trust in God. There will always be things we do not understand — things God will not share with us for reasons known only to Him. That’s all right. It’s the way things are meant to be. “It is God’s privilege to conceal things… .” (Proverbs 25:2) Trusting in God when we don’t understand “why things happen the way they do” or “when bad things happen to good people” is extremely important. They also constitute a test of our faith. Rather than doubt or turn against God during those times, draw closer to Him and call on Christ to comfort you.
“Last of all I want to remind you that your strength and power must come from the Lord’s mighty power within you. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand safe against all strategies of Satan. For we are not fighting against people made of false and blood, but against persons without bodies — the evil rulers of the unseen world, those mighty satanic beings and great evil princes of darkness who rule this world; and against huge numbers of wicked spirits in the spirit world. So use every piece of God’s armor to resist the enemy whenever he attacks, and you will still be standing up. But to do this you will need the breastplate of God’s approval. Wear shoes that are able to speed you on as you preach the Good News of peace with God. In every battle you will need faith as your shield to stop the fiery arrows aimed at you by Satan. You will need the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit — which is the Word of God.” Ephesians 6:10-17
Image “War in Heaven: Revelation”, May Be Subject to Copyright