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An Enemy Named Satan

Help! I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!

Edith Fore in Life Alert Commercial

Years ago, there was a commercial for senior adults about a medical alert system. In the commercial, an old lady (Edith Fore) has fallen and hit her head. She presses the button on her medical alert system and says, “Help! I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” Emergency responders are then dispatched to her home. Do you ever feel as a Christian that you’ve fallen and you can’t get up? Do you ever feel that our enemy named Satan has attacked one time to many and we’ve no strength left to get up again? Wouldn’t it be great if we had a button we could push and get God on the other end and say “Help! I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!”?

We have something even better – we have prayer!

Who exactly is Satan?

Satan is often pictured as a man in a red suit with a pitchfork and tail, but that’s not who he is. If you do a google search for a png of Satan, you’ll see everything from dark, scary images to cute little cartoon images. But that isn’t who he is either. Although, he is something very dark, scary and even terrifying. The transliteration of the Hebrew word “Satan” means “adversary” or “accuser.” He is also known as the Devil. But he wasn’t always the devil. In fact, when first created, he was an angel in heaven, whose name was Lucifer. But Lucifer started a rebellion in Heaven and one-third of the angels sided with him. He was then cast out of heaven along with all of his followers who we call demons.

A Shining Star Fallen from Heaven

In Isaiah 14:12-15, Satan is described as a shining star that has fallen from the heavens and a destroyer of nations. Out of pride he decided that being an angel wasn’t good enough. He was so enamored with his own beauty, intelligence, power, and position that decided the honor and glory that belonged to God alone should be his. We often say that Adam and Even were the first sinners, but Satan’s pride was the actual beginning of sin.

A Very Tempting Serpent

In the Bible, Satan’s first appearance is at the Garden of Eden where he takes on the form of a talking serpent and tempts Eve to eat the fruit God commanded her not to eat. From that moment until the resurrection of Christ, Satan has worked and continues to work to thwart God’s plan of redemption. From the resurrection to today, Satan knows he is doomed to Hell that God created for him and his demons, but he plans on taking as many people with him as he can. For this reason, Satan is a real enemy, our adversary, and he roams the earth looking for whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8). In the book of Job, we find him doing just that.

A Cast-out, rebellious angel visits Heaven’s Throne Room

In the opening of the book of Job, we are given a glimpse into Heaven. We find that the “Sons of God” come to present themselves to God. These “Sons of God” are angels surrounding the throne who serve as God’s messengers. But we also see that Satan tagged along with them, most likely as an uninvited guest. 

The Lord asks him where he came from and he replied, “from going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.” From this we know that Satan has the ability to not only move back and forth across the earth, but he can also travel between earth and heaven. It wasn’t that God didn’t already know why Satan was there. God is omniscient and therefore it is impossible to do anything without God knowing about it. Just as in the Garden of Eden after Adam and Eve sinned, God called out to them and asked where they were, but He already knew exactly where they were.

Satan – Job’s Accuser

So why would Satan crash in on the scene in heaven? Revelation 12:10 tells us that Satan is our accuser and he accuses us before God day and night, relentlessly. And this is what we find him doing in the book of Job. Satan roamed the earth, looking for his next target to accuse before God and he found him in a righteous man named Job. So as the angels come to God, Satan arrives and stands before God accusing Job and saying that the only reason Job is so faithful is because God had blessed him abundantly. He tells God that if God allows Satan to test Job, that Job would eventually turn his back on God and curse Him. But God already knows that Job will remain faithful and God allows Satan to test Job.

Satan – Our Accuser

Satan still goes before the throne of God and brings every accusation he can against us. For every sin, he proudly stands before God, wagging his finger and saying, “Did you see what she (or he) did? Did you hear what they said?” Then Jesus steps in and says, “Father, she’s your child. I paid the price for her sin and she has believed in me. I’ve washed her sins away with my own blood.”

Our accuser wants us to remember every sin and he wants us to know just how unworthy we are and that we do not deserve a place in God’s family. He wants to sow doubts in our minds and make us forget Christ’s love for us. Satan wants us to focus on our sin. God wants us to focus on Jesus who is the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2).

Satan wants us to focus on our sin. God wants us to focus on Jesus who is the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2)

Satan’s coming fate

Satan already knows his fate. Revelation 20:10 tell us that he will be thrown into the lake of burning sulfur and tormented day and night for all eternity. The one-third of the angels that rebelled with him will face the same fate. But in the mean time, while he still roams the earth, he will do all he can to make us live defeated lives.

His goal is to get us to live in the midst of doubt, insecurity, and fear. He would have us live in anxiety, caught up in the problems of this world. Anything he can do to divide families and churches, he will do. Anything he can do to keep us from telling others about God, he will do. Whatever he can do to make us feel shamed and guilty, he will do. If he can stir up racial division, he will. Because the more Christians live defeated, doubtful, insecure, fearful, shamed, guilty, and divided, the less the witness of Christ is spread and the more of God’s created people Satan will take to hell with him.

The more Christians live defeated, doubtful, insecure, fearful, shamed, guilty, and divided, the less of a witness of Christ is spread and the more of God’s created people Satan will take to hell with him.

A very real enemy

Yes, Satan is real and he is a very real enemy. And you can count on the fact that the more of a witness you are for Christ, the more he will attack you. This is why Paul tells us about our spiritual armor in Ephesians 6:10-18.

Don’t leave home without your spiritual armor!

Finally, be strengthened by the Lord and by His vast strength. Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the tactics of the Devil. For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world power of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens. This is why you must take up the full armor of God, so that you may be able to resist the evil day, and having prepared everything, to take your stand.

Stand therefore, with truth like a belt around your waist, righteousness like armor on your chest, and your feet sandaled with readiness for the gospel of peace. In every situation take the shield of faith, and with it you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is God’s word. Pray at all times in the Spirit with every prayer and request, and stay alert in this with all perseverance and intercession for all the saints.

Prayer: Our Spiritual Life Alert System

We do have a spiritual life alert system to which we can get God directly – it’s called prayer. The good thing is we don’t even have to wait until we’ve fallen to use it. Jesus taught us in the Lord’s prayer that we can pray for us to not be led into temptation. We can pray when we feel the temptation and ask God to strengthen us to withstand it.

However, when we do fall, we can pray and say, “Help! I’ve fallen and I can’t get up! Please forgive me.” God stands ready to forgive. Ready to strengthen. Ready to empower us to withstand all the wiles of the devil. Of Job, God said, “there is none like him on the earth a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil” (Job 1:8). Even after he was tested the Bible tells us in Job 2:10, “In all this Job did not sin with his lips.” If we were tested like Job was, would we be found as faithful?

We have an alert system to which we can get God directly – it’s called prayer and we don’t have to wait until we’ve fallen to use it. God stands ready to forgive. Ready to strengthen. Ready to empower us to withstand all the wiles of the devil.

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