Back in the day there was a gospel tract called The Four Spiritual Laws. It was used often to help us share our faith with people who knew little to nothing about God.
Law No. 1 stated,
“God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life.”
Now, let’s look at the flip-side of that Law.
“Satan hates you and has a horrible plan for your life.”
His plan for mankind has always been, according to the Bible, “to seek someone to devour.” He doesn’t want to maim us. He wants to torture us. He doesn’t want to hurt us. He wants to kill us.
The Bible says Satan is a defeated foe destined for eternal torment in hell. And he’d like to take as many with him as he possibly can.
It’s all part of Satan’s plan.
Paul encouraged the Corinthians by telling them they didn’t have “be ignorant of the devil’s plans.”
But, most of us have to learn the hard way.
It took the serpent relatively no effort in Eden. Adam & Eve played right into it. And takes him relatively no effort now.
He is a master strategist. His expertise in deception is drawn from millennia of experience.
In his book, The Three Battlegrounds, Francis Frangipane, wrote,
“There is an old European proverb worth heeding. It reads: ‘Age and treachery will always defeat youth and zeal.”
“Satan undermines our relationships, and our love grows cautious. He resists us in prayer, and our faith turns weak. Disillusionment and discouragement sets in. Why? Because we rush into every day forgetting that Satan is an ancient and treacherous foe.”
Some choose to disregard any belief in a devil. Do you blame them? After all, are we really supposed to be afraid of a red, impish figure with horns, a long tail and carrying a pitchfork?
While Christ was always the central topic of all of his sermons, the late Billy Graham pulled no punches in Peace with God in regarding our ancient adversary, writing,
“The truth is the devil is a creature of vastly superior intelligence, a mighty and gifted spirit of countless resources. His reasoning is brilliant, his plans ingenious. He is no bungling creature with horns and a tail – he is a prince of lofty stature, of craft and cunning, able to take advantage of every opportunity that presents itself.”
A believer’s soul is eternally secure through the shed blood of Christ (“you’ve been bought with a price,” Paul wrote). But our daily pattern of living is still fair game.
Satan hides in the shadows, attempting to appear harmless, laying on the charm. The consummate con artist.
Deception is his specialty.
He lulls us to sleep so we will drop out guard, compromise our convictions, and finally being tolerating sin altogether.
He knows the long term effect of ingrained habits of sin. We begin the journey into a slow, methodical darkening and dulling of our awareness of God’s power and presence in our lives.
The devil’s “horrible plan for your life” doesn’t normally happen quickly. It’s a process. Satan will take years, if necessary, to set us up for a fall. His plans to harm us rarely involve a full-on frontal attack .
The Bible says that Satan is an opportunist. He just sits back and waits for a weak moment.
Luke records that, after Jesus resisted Satan’s onslaught of temptations in the wilderness,
“The devil left Jesus until an opportune time.”
If Satan was arrogant enough to not leave Christ alone, why would we even begin to think we’re any different?
This is precisely why Peter warned,
“Be sober and alert, your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”
But victory is on our side.
James, the half-brother of Jesus, encouraged his readers regarding Satan’s wiles, writing,
“Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.”
We don’t set out to “beat” the devil. He’s already been soundly beaten by Christ on the Cross.
Because of the Cross and the Empty Tomb, our enemy is a soundly defeated (past tense) foe, having no hold on, or authority over, us. Paul wrote Satan was humiliated in his crushing loss to King Jesus. (cf. Colossians 2:13-15)
Satan is a forever defeated foe. But, he has yet to meet his ultimate fate. So, live in confident and bold victory based on the Cross and the Empty Tomb, but just don’t forget we have an enemy who hates our very existence and will do anything he can to destroy our faith.
“For we overwhelmingly conquer through him who loved us.” – the Apostle Paul
Solus Christus, nw