I had been in full-time, vocational ministry for just over 30 years when, for the first time in my life, I gained new insight into the depth of the evil Satan possesses.
After my son, Jordan, took his life I was crippled in every way, en route to being hospitalized for suicidal thoughts myself.
As you can imagine, during that first year, I, numerous times, broke down into screaming madness on the floor.
Later, as I reflected back on those moments of unspeakable pain, I recalled how intense the battle was for my mind. I remember distinctly a voice in my head telling me to “finish the job. Go see your son. Your family will be much better off without your broken mind. Finish the job.”
Logic says that, at that point in my life, being 100% useless to the kingdom of heaven here on planet earth, Satan would’ve moved on to someone else.
But he didn’t.
Satan didn’t care that I was beat down.
His goal? Finish the job. Take me out. Hurt my family deeper.
I learned from a counselor once, “You can’t fight an enemy you don’t know exists.”
According to the Bible, the devil exists. And he hates everything about you.
If you’ve placed your faith in Christ, you are an active threat to his plans.
If you’ve never placed your faith in Christ, you potentially could do that one day. That makes you a potential threat.
He. Hates. You. And won’t stop attempting to take you out.
Marriage in shambles? Just lost a loved one? Just diagnosed with cancer? Suffering from crippling depression? Facing unanticipated financial crisis? Been recently betrayed. Wrestling with addiction? Lost your job? (Insert here your most recent crushing life event.) The list goes on…
Satan doesn’t care how hard life is for you. He’s coming after you to finish the job.
Two gospel writers, Matthew & Luke, record the temptation narratives (the “showdown in the desert” between Christ and Satan), recorded in chapter 4 of each gospel.
There are a dozen sermons in those passages. Mine here is just one:
After failing to get Jesus to sin the first time, Matthew records, “Then the devil..” (4:5)
Satan wasn’t going to give up.
After failing yet a second time, Matthew records in verse 8, “Again, the devil…”
He still wasn’t going to give up.
**While the Cross offers us mercy, the devils offers us none.**
Finally, Jesus ordered Satan, “Away from me, Satan!” And Satan had no choice but to leave.
But Luke adds this ominous warning: the devil “departed from [Jesus] until an opportune time.” (4:13)
Paul reminds believers that, because of Christ, “we overwhelmingly conquer through him who loved us.” (Romans 8:37) The disciple, John, put it this way: “Greater is he who is in us, than he who is in the world.” (1 Jn. 4:4)
This biblical truth is catastrophic to the work of Satan. So, naturally, he works tirelessly to get us to forget it.
This way he can continue his relentless, systematic, and methodical strategy to take out families and individuals. Once and for all.
You can’t fight an enemy you don’t know exists.
My objective here is to remind you we have an enemy.
But, he is no match for the risen King, Jesus Christ, at whose presence the devil cowers in terror.
“Put on the whole armor of God,” an imprisoned Paul wrote, “that you may be able to take your stand against the schemes of the devil.”
Soli Deo Gloria.
For Narnia, Nick