When it comes to spiritual warfare, believers are sometimes guilty of one or two extremes.  Some are sensationalistic concerning the topic.  Others are silent.  The former party sees the devil lurking around every corner.  Every struggle and each mishap can be blamed on the pitch-fork wielding bandit.  American comedian Flip Wilson popularized this sentiment with his famous line — “The Devil made me do it!”  Other folks aren’t so keen on the supernatural.  They dismiss doctrines related to demonology as folklore from a far-off era.  In favor of an astute and overly-rationalistic spirituality, they don’t give much credence to such fantasies.  As it often does, Scripture doesn’t support either one of these extremes. The Bible gives balance by providing simple truth concerning the true nature of Lucifer and his fallen comrades.  It is silent on many matters related to the topic, and in regard to those we must likewise be silent.  However, there is some truth to be known about Satan.  When we read the Bible, we learn that He is constantly engaged in three schemes.

Deceive

First, Satan works to deceive people.  Jesus called him “the father of liars” (John 8:44).  Satan desires to blind folks from seeing the glory of God and he wants to thwart people from experiencing the goodness of God.  This aim is seen in the initial pages of Scripture.  The Garden of Eden was the scene in which Lucifer first sought to deceive the prize of God’s creation.  He confronted Eve, slyly asking, “Did God really say?” Those initial seeds of doubt have reverberated throughout the epoch of human history.  Satan wants to keep people from seeing the truth of God (2 Corinthians 4:4).  Don’t let him deceive you!  Be wise in the ways of the Lord!

Discredit

Satan also works to discredit people before God.  One of his names — Devil — points to this function.  It simply means “accuser.”  In the book of Revelation Satan is called “the accuser of our brothers” (Revelation 12:10).  As a part of his scheme against God, Satan strives to discredit God’s prized people.  He knows it hurts the heart of the Lord when people spurn His Lordship, so he hurls continual accusations towards the Lord’s throne.  The book of Job contains an account of such activity (Job 1:9-11). Don’t give the Devil an opportunity to discredit God.  Be faithful to Christ!

Defame

Overall, Satan’s main aim is to defame God.  He doesn’t want the Lord to get the praise and worship He deserves.  As the master egotist of all egotists, he desires to rob God of glory.  This was his motive in rebelling against the Lord before creation.  Isaiah recorded Lucifer’s rebellious proclamation: “I will ascend above the highest clouds: will make myself like the Most High” (Isaiah 14:13-14).  From before time began, the Devil’s main motive has been to usurp God, and it continues to this day.  He’s jealous of the Lord’s power and grandeur.  He doesn’t want Him getting the recognition and renown He deserves, so He tries to distract people with worldly values (1 John 2:15-17).  Don’t fall prey to Satan’s schemes.  Give God glory!  Worship Him and follow in His ways.  Don’t let Satan defame Him!

Dr. Patrick Latham
Pastor

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