A few weeks ago I was using a visual of this power-point slide from Good Soil Evangelism describing how Satan was cast out of Heaven after rebelling against God.
A girl looked at the picture and said, “that can’t be Satan!”
I asked her why and she said, “Satan is red with pointy horns and a long tail!”
Thankfully I was able to explain that while people may THINK Satan looks that way, he was actually a very beautiful angel.
That conversation reminded me how often we expect Satan to work in huge, or massive ways. When something like persecution, false doctrine, or Believers falling away from the Gospel take place that’s obviously Satan!
Yet Satan doesn’t usually work that way….
Instead he prefers to work in subtle ways so that we don’t actually realize he’s at work till it’s too late.
Satan knows that a direct attack would lead us straight to God since we cannot face him alone. So instead he prefers to take the “back door” so to speak, sneaking slowly but surely into our lives.
It’s helpful then that we understand ways Satan is at work around us without our even knowing it.
- Satan opposes our message by blinding the eyes of the unsaved (2 Corinthians 4:4): The unsaved have countless excuses why they cannot accept the Gospel. This is because Satan is continually whispering in their ear “you have plenty of time!”
- Satan opposes our witness by making the unsaved believe they are saved when they aren’t (Mark 4:15): Countless unbelievers rely upon works (baptism, church attendance, a prayer they prayed) instead of Christ’s death on the cross
- Satan opposes our ministry through Discouragement (1 Thessalonians 2:17): We become so focused on results or activity that a daily walk with the Lord is ignored
- Satan opposes our growth through Shame (Revelation 12:10): As the “accuser of the brethren” Satan brings shame and guilt into our hearts when we fail the Lord, and tells us to just give up
These are just a few ways that we are daily surrounded by the work of Satan and his demons.
There are two responses to this
- Understand we are fighting a spiritual battle
- And recognize the work of Satan
First we understand just how much of life is a spiritual battle. Many of the challenges that we are face come from Satan himself who is trying to discourage, or distract us from the work of God. So Believers have to wear the armor of God so that during those attacks they can stand firm (Ephesians 6:11-14).
The second is actually more important to me…..
Satan is continually trying to gain a small foothold in my life. Not enough to bring complete rebellion, just a subtle compromise. But that small part will slowly begin to grow bigger and bigger until it consumes my life. So the encouragement of Ephesians 4:27 is needed, “neither give place to the devil.”
Satan wants us looking for someone with big horns and a tail! Because as long as we are doing that, we won’t see him quietly infecting our lives.