Written by Kimberley Payne. Originally published on Medium.
Can we claim “The devil made me do it”?
Since childhood I believed in God. And I believed in Satan.
Who is Satan?
Satan. Father of lies. Beelzebul. Enemy. Demon. Devil. Deceiver. Lucifer. He is referred to by all these names (and more) throughout the Bible.
Most people are familiar with his actions in the garden of Eden. However, he was a created being before then. He started out as an angel of God, a cherub, named Lucifer. He was exceedingly beautiful. But he became prideful because of this. He wanted the glory and honour that belonged to God. He wanted to be worshipped. He wanted to be God.
His pride caused him to rebel and he was thrown from heaven down to earth. Jesus said, “I saw Satan like lightning from heaven” (Luke 10:18 NIV)
His name changed from Lucifer, which means “morning star” to Satan which means “adversary”. His story is told in Ezekiel 28 and Isaiah 14.
What does Satan want?
As the enemy of God, he is the enemy of all God loves. His goal is to turn us away from God. He is an accuser and a tempter. We see his influences throughout the world and our godless society.
The good news
Satan is not the opposite of God. They are not equal and opposing powers. God is all-powerful, present everywhere, and all-knowing. Satan is not.
He cannot read our thoughts. He is a created being that is limited in what he knows, where he goes, and what he can do. His existence depends upon God. At the end of time he will be thrown into the lake of fire forever.
As a born-again Christian, we cannot be possessed by Satan. When we are born again, the Holy Spirit enters into us. Satan and God cannot share the same space.
However, Satan is evil, crafty, and deceitful. Although he cannot possess us, he can deceive us, tempt us, influence us. There is a real battle that goes on in our hearts and minds and the struggle between good and evil.
The Bible warns us about him:
Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. (Ephesians 6:11 NIV)
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8 NIV)
Although his power is great and shouldn’t be underestimated, be encouraged knowing his power is limited by God. God has placed a fence around each believer protecting us from Satan.
We know that those who are born of God do not sin, but the one who was born of God protects them, and the evil one does not touch them (1 John 5:18 ESV).
Satan has no power over us unless we allow it.