30 Nov Does Satan Have Access to Our Lives?
Does Satan have any access to our lives and/or power over us? You hear people say, “Satan is attacking me…” or “The Enemy knows my weakness…” But are these concepts biblical? Does Christ’s death and resurrection nullify Satan’s power over believers?
War is a reality. Rivalries are inevitable. Whether it’s in the trenches or on the football field, the element of surprise is paramount in a battle. But what if the enemy knows us too well—where we hide and when we’re coming? What hope do we have to protect ourselves? Spiritual warfare is a severe reality, but one we are prone to ignore.
Peter gives a famous warning that Satan, the fallen enemy of God and His people, is on the move. In 1 Peter 5:8 Christians are cautioned to watch out for a lion hunter on the prowl. The following verse says that these attacks are happening across the scope of Christianity as the devil (Satan) seeks to overwhelm and ruin Jesus’ followers. Jesus describes the character of Satan while reprimanding some local authorities in John 8. He identifies Satan as a murderous liar who is opposed to truth. Satan is a genuine threat Christians must come to grips with. A linked concept we must wrestle with is Satan’s minions. One of the scariest truths in our Bible comes out of Ephesians 6:18. Paul is about to list the famous armor of God, saying that we must withstand the devil. We don’t face simply men of this earth, but higher powers of the air, spiritual forces in the form of demons. These authorities are beyond us in many ways and opposed to us in every way. The language in this verse speaks of an active struggle, one that is guaranteed and pending. This is a battle the Christian suits up for whether he likes it or not. So how do mere mortals contend with these forces?
“We don’t face simply men of this earth, but higher powers of the air, spiritual forces in the form of demons. These authorities are beyond us in many ways and opposed to us in every way.”
Thankfully, God has told us the end of the story.
The book of Revelation boils down to one concept: the good guys win. God is glorified. Satan is defeated. Revelation 20:10 says that Satan will be thrown into a literal lake of fire to spend eternity in punishment. Along with Satan’s reign, the reign of sin has been lifted from those who believe in Jesus for salvation. Without Jesus’ sacrifice we are all sinful, hopeless beings dominated by a standard we can’t hold and destined for that same eternal punishment we can’t escape. Christians are free from the death penalty mandated by God’s righteous standards. Paul proclaims that our record of debt was nailed to the cross, and our self was crucified with Christ, bringing sin’s dominion to nothing. We are no longer under a law code but under the grace of God. Satan’s accusations of our sinful past are meaningless. Jesus’ sacrifice dismantles the grip of sin and offers liberation.
“While the enemy is fully aware of their own defeat, that won’t stop them from trying their best to devastate the human race.”
While the enemy is fully aware of their own defeat, that won’t stop them from trying their best to devastate the human race. We certainly know that these evil forces are on the move, but they are certainly not given free reign, especially over the Christian. Job is a great example of this. Satan approaches God and asks if He has given any thought to Job. Satan said Job was so well-off, almost as if a God-placed hedge had been positioned around him, and it was no wonder He praised God. God allowed Satan to afflict Job. The essential factor is God’s permission. Satan has no ultimate authority. He operates purely under God’s will. In Luke 12, Jesus tells His disciples that the real person to fear is the one who can kill the soul, the one who controls our eternal standing; that would be God, not Satan. This is great news for those under attack.
We have resources to fight. We have a line of defense. James 4:7 simply states that we can resist the devil, through submission to God, and he will flee from us. Temptations will certainly provide difficulties in our Christian journey, but not so much that we cannot overcome the adversity. Endurance and escape are confirmed for us in 1 Corinthians 10:12-13. Reloading from Ephesians 6, we possess an arsenal of defenses called the armor of God, which includes foundational weapons like the gospel, salvation, truth, the Word of God, and righteousness. Jesus Himself faced temptation from Satan, attacked while fasting and susceptible to His own human weaknesses. But Jesus resisted, and Jesus had victory. Hebrews 2 tells us that Jesus knows exactly the difficulties we encounter on a daily basis. He became a human like us to destroy death’s power, to serve as our arbiter before God, and to aid those under duress.
“Satan has no ultimate authority. He operates purely under God’s will.”
So why do we have to undergo trials and temptations in the first place? If everyone knows God will be the conqueror, why are there still attacks? God’s Word tells us that temptation ultimately exists for our good and that Jesus disciplines those He loves, just like a father would discipline his children. Trials may seem painful for the moment, but they exist for our training in right living (Hebrews 12). We are constantly being refined towards our goal of being just like Jesus. James says that when our faith is under fire we develop steadfastness. This process is designed to render us perfect and comprehensive.
Believers have a secured eternity, but Satan is still at large in our world. He is under God’s control, but His powers are still a great threat we must recognize and respond to. Satan and his forces are not mind readers, but they can observe our weaknesses and seek to exploit them. He is not the ultimate authority, but the dangers and effects of his deeds are very real. It is our duty, under the shade of God’s protection, to arm ourselves against the prince of darkness. God will win the war, but we have to fight the good fight.