Many people tend to fall into two camps on the topic of Satan and his demons. Either they obsess about Satan’s power and influence, like a conspiracy theorist, or they dismiss the devil’s power altogether, treating him like a caricature.
The truth is in the middle—Satan isn’t as powerful as the conspiracy theorists think, but he is dangerous and needs to be accounted for. And when we understand his strategy to bring down believers, the more easily we can combat him.
- Where do the devil and his demons come from? God did not create Satan or his demons, as some people believe. God did create an angel named Lucifer, who rebelled against God’s authority and was cast out of heaven (Isaiah 14:12), along with a third of the angels (Revelation 12:4). When that happened, Lucifier—the “Star of the Morning”—became Satan—“the accuser”—and the fallen angels became demons.
- What are the devil’s strengths? Satan’s titles give us a good picture of what his powers are. He is the prince of this world, the mastermind and controller of this fleshly realm. He is behind the downfall and the degradation of our culture over the years. He is also the father of lies (John 8:44), using outright lies and half-truths to deceive mankind. As Beelzebub (prince of demons), he commands an army of fallen angels who work on his behalf to attack believers and keep nonbelievers in the dark.
The story of the serpent tempting Eve says much about how Satan works to bring people down. First, Eve put herself in position to be tempted by hanging out at one tree God had forbidden her and Adam to eat from. Satan questioned God’s word (Genesis 3:1), then questioned God’s love for Eve (Genesis 3:4). With the suggestion already placed in her head, Eve was enticed by the fruit and gave in.
Satan works the same way in our lives. He finds our areas of weaknesses and entices and tempts us in those areas. And when we give in, he becomes the accuser, using our guilt to keep us from calling out to God for forgiveness. It’s the same strategy Satan has used for years and it keeps working.
Feeling guilty is not necessarily a bad thing, as long as it comes from the Holy Spirit. When the Holy Spirit convicts you, He uses the Word of God in love and seeks to bring you back into fellowship with your heavenly Father. When Satan accuses you, he uses your sins in a hateful way and seeks to make you feel helpless and hopeless. If you have sinned, God wants you to come back to Him. What better time than now?