How Powerful is Satan in This World?
As I started studying the Old Testament more I found that just like many scholars had said, there are great seed-plots of God’s plan of redemption for the human race. I always wondered how it all tied in and why on earth are there so many weird and crazy stories? And yet, if you really take the time to study them, you’ll see they actually have some truth that can be applied to our hearts every day. Kinda cool. I suppose it was man who through the years made it so difficult to see the connection.
I want to take a few moments in I Samuel. This book was very significant to me in early April of this year (2011) because it tells the story of David. There is Goliath. Wow, what a name and the way he’s described in chapter 17:4-6 he seemed absolutely beyond defeat. Arrogantly he strutted his big self for 40 days challenging the people of God. On the other side of the valley, well, you know the story – a pathetic looking bunch of scaredy cats (v 24) who were in a covenant relationship with God. Funny, Goliath and his Philistines were camped out on land that belonged to the tribe of Judah!
I can’t help but see the significance of this picture. Here’s the impressive Goliath; I can’t think of a more striking picture of Satan and his power. Maybe he doesn’t strut around in armor, but he is impressive and far too powerful for any human to stand against. He’s irresistible, fascinating, attractive in his many ways he defies the people of God in ways so alluring and powerful.
And you can say you don’t believe in him, but that is only another proof of his power. I see in 2 Corinthians 4:4 that the god of this world (the devil) “has blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.” And there are many who – well – accept the fact that he does exist and are cognisant of his power, and recognize that their combat with Satan is far too strong for them.
Many forget that this former angel of light was sly enough to convince a third of the angels of heaven to side with him and take over heaven. How slick is that? Imagine today a politician in the USA or your country convincing a third of the nation to join him in a take-over of the government, and try to pull it off! This is who you are wrestling against.
In my own case, as I look back, and with the help of the Holy Spirit, I can now see how Satan spots weaknesses (we all have them – none of us are perfect, yet) and slowly exploits them. And I would venture to guess that you, just as I was – and still am to a large extent – are not sufficiently organized to launch a counter-attack. We simply let it happen in our lives and come up with a dozen excuses as to why it isn’t the end of the world and we’ll take care of it soon. And how long does Satan have? As long as it takes.
Again, from my own experience, it took years. And it took a long time once the rebellion in my heart manifested for my wife to give up. But that’s simply because he outlasted both of us. When he sees a fight, just like any snake, the coils wrap tighter…until the fight is over.
Paul says in Ephesians 6:12, “Hey guys… we’re not at war here with real soldiers or warriors that you can beat up with normal weapons. We’re in a battle with a demonic kingdom, powers… spiritual wickedness.”
There is hope. I found it. We’re in this world – Goliath, representative of the Philistines, kept calling for one man to represent Israel. His issue wasn’t with the whole tribe. The whole issue is not the devil against all Christians – it’s the devil against God! And when you read further in Samuel and see David sent out, you will see as he is a picture of Christ, (who overcame Satan at Calvary), that it’s a picture of every child of God who is being made one with Him through faith and obedience. Christ is the Head and we are His body, and hey… if He’s won the victory over Satan, then so have we.
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