The famous British author, C.S. Lewis, says Satan tries to push us into one of two opposite errors about himself. He wants us to believe we don’t need to take him seriously at all – many believers don’t think there really is a personal devil – or he tries to cause us to take him far more seriously than we should, becoming obsessed by our fear of demons. However he does it, he doesn’t want men to know the truth about himself. He knows when you do, there is little he can do to thwart God’s purposes in you.
The apostles and early Christians knew their enemy well, but through the years, much of the church has lost that knowledge and our ignorance of Satan‘s schemes has given him frequent opportunities to take serious advantage of God’s people and do them much harm.
We don’t need to stay ignorant of how the devil works to harm Christ’s kingdom. God has revealed Satan’s strategy in the Bible. By paying attention to this teaching and applying it to our daily life, we will see him flee from us over and over again. We will become part of the triumphant army of Christ.
Again, Satan’s fight is not with you, it is with Jesus, God’s Son. Isaiah 14 is the story of primeval spiritual history. Lucifer was the prime minister of heaven. He was second only to God. He was an astonishingly beautiful angelic being who, being covered with light, governed under God’s authority alone. Somehow through the mystery of iniquity, pride crept in to Lucifer’s heart. He began to covet God’s place of preeminence. As a result, he eventually led a rebellion against Him, and was cast out of heaven with one-third of the angels. It was then his name became “Satan,” the Adversary (that is the meaning of the Hebrew word). From that time until now, Satan’s obsession has been to destroy whatever of God’s works he can.
SATAN HAS NO POWER – BUT LOTS OF INFLUENCE
But Jesus defeated Satan at Calvary and “plundered his house” (Mat. 12:29). He took away all of Satan’s power and authority (Heb. 2:14,15). Although Satan has lost real power, he still has influence! Once you are in Christ, Satan is powerless to stop the flow of life God wants to come from you . . . unless you let him.
In the beginning, God had given to Adam dominion over the whole earth. But by cunning and deception, Satan enticed him and the woman to surrender that dominion to himself. Likewise, in Jesus we have all authority over Satan and the demonic realm, but we can fail to exercise that authority and thus give him the opportunity to usurp our authority and hurt us.
SATAN SEEKS TO INFLUENCE US FOUR WAYS
God has given Satan four names in the Bible which picture the four ways he seeks to influence God’s people. God’s word calls Satan the tempter (Matt. 4:3; 1 Thess. 3:5), the accuser of the brethren (Rev. 12:10), the deceiver of the whole world (Rev. 12:9), and the devourer (1 Pet. 5:8).