This may catch some by surprise, but Satan is alive and well and is quite busy at work in the world these days.  I know we don’t talk too much of Satan in our churches these days, but the Bible has plenty to say about him, and you can rest assured, it is not your imagination, there are times when really bad things happen such as the various human accidents that can result in harm that Satan had a hand in.  Or he is also busy at work trying to deceive us and get us into negative, warped thinking about ourselves, God, the world, or people around us. 

From Ephesians 6:12:  “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

Also, we are warned in 1 Peter 5:8:  "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour."

You can rest assured that Satan despises those of us who belong to God's family, saved by Jesus, and that he will stop at nothing to make our lives miserable, to trap us in sin, or to take all power and spiritual effectiveness out of our lives by deceiving us into various lies, to lead us down paths of error through our own sin or through our negative, distorted thinking, to break up our relationships, to stop us from doing things God's way, and to stop us from experiencing the fullness of joy in the "abundant life" that God has planned for us. 

From the Spiritual Warfare article on GreatBibleStudy.com:

#1 Deception: To deceive somebody means to make another person believe a lie or something that is not true. When the enemy sends deception your way, it is an attempt to deceive you into believing something that is not true, so you will fall into error. Strongholds are built through deception. A stronghold is formed when deception takes hold in a person's mind. A stronghold is an incorrect thinking pattern that stems from believing something that is not true.

From the very beginning, Satan deceived Eve into believing that God's Word was not true. In Genesis 3:4, the devil told her that she will not surely die as God said she would in Genesis 2:17.

#2 Temptation: Temptation often follows deception. First the enemy tells us, "You won't surely die!", then he makes the fruit on the forbidden tree look good to us. Since Eve accepted Satan's deception (his lie), now the tree that she was not supposed to touch looked good to her. She was tempted (enticed) to sin, because she allowed herself to first be deceived. Temptation is when we are enticed or encouraged to sin in one way or another.

Often people will be so drawn…[into sin]…when the enemy tries to convince them that it is all harmless and fun, when it's not harmless at all, but an open door to the devil.

When the enemy tempts you, he's showing you the worm [i.e. as in a worm enticing a fish]... but behind that worm is a hook. The Word of God helps you see the hook behind the worm.

#3 Accusations: The devil is known as the accuser of the brethren (Rev 12:10). He is known to take a believer who has done an embarrassing or gross sin in their past, and continue to rub it in their faces and beat them down with guilt and condemnation over their past.

I have seen Satan at work in my family and in the lives of people around me.  Many times, he will use deception to embellish our struggles and our emotional issues to make things seem much worse than they really are.  This is how he works through deception, placing negative thoughts in our minds, mixing fact with fiction, to make us believe that things are insurmountable or hopeless.  He wants to sap away our courage, our joy, our love for one another, and he wants to destroy our work for God (bearing spiritual fruit as our developing spiritual character turns into works on God’s behalf and works in His name done for other people).  Just as I can see the hand of God in certain “coincidences” that line up with my prayers or the prayers of others or what I know to be the work of God, I can also see the hand of Satan in many of our trials or difficulties in life.  And it is at the moments that we are most effective for God that Satan starts throwing everything at us to stop our spiritual work, stop our spiritual development, or to break up our relationships.     

I have seen his work in my own family as he has embellished many of our obstacles making them seem much larger than they really are trying to make us lose hope, and his lies have even caused us to doubt our own self-worth.  I know that he used that last tool of self-worth or self-confidence against me during my bouts with PTSD as I began to doubt the value of my own life on this earth.   When we think that way, you can rest assured that Satan or his demon followers have had a hand in deceiving us.  But they can only gain victory if we succumb to or believe in their lies.  If we resist, they can have no power over us.  And when we are weak in our flesh, unable to generate the courage or wisdom to resist and fight back, we need only to ask God for spiritual strength, courage, wisdom, and power, and He will answer, giving us the victory against all odds, giving us that little extra boost, that little extra infusion of His Spirit within us, that puts us beyond the reach of Satan.  God is infinitely more powerful than Satan, and He is boundlessly wise, so if we look up to Him for our answers and for our power, we cannot fail. If we keep our eyes on the Savior and do things His way, we will “walk on the water,” but if we start believing Satan’s lies, deception, and negativity, then we will start to sink into the waves just as Peter did

We should never let Satan attack us in the belief that we have no value or that we are of less value than others.  Every single one of us has tremendous value to God, the world, and to people around us who love us.  Moreover, God loves us with an infinite love and has made us infinitely unique.  Each of us is a walking miracle of God’s own creative mind and hand.  Each of us is “fearfully and wonderfully made,” in our unique talents, perspective, and personality.   And each of us has a unique mission on this earth to fulfill, a mission that no one else can fulfill, all a part of His grand plans for our individual lives and for humanity.  Never forget that you have infinite worth in God’s eyes and that He cherishes you very much. 

 


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    I'm a retired soldier, having spent 23 years of my life serving our country, actually 30 years when you count the reserve and National Guard time as well.  I believe in servant leaders, following the example of our Lord, and I believe in giving back to the troops once one has attained a certain status or level of success in life.  But I also believe in fighting back against corruption and incompetence wherever you find it if it hurts people.  Our national values were worth dying for.  They are also worth living for.  A man or woman can actually live a life by these principles of humility, service, love, duty, and honor, and have a significant impact on the world around them...if you have the dedication to see it through. 

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