Summary: Third in the series "Meet the Cast." So often when we think of Satan we think of scary movies or evil atrocities in society. Though these may be evidence of Satan’s work, he does his best work looking good.
I had the privilege of attending a screening of “The Passion of the Christ for Pastors only and was audience to an interview with Mel Gibson regarding his movie. He stated one of the most profound insights I have ever heard from any theologian, let alone a movie star. Mel was asked “Why was the devil portrayed by a person that you could not clearly identify as a beautiful woman or a hideous man. Sometimes this character looked good, other times this character looked ugly.” Mel Gibson said “I wanted it this way because that is how the enemy is. Evil looks good until you turn it around a little and see the whole spectrum, then you see the ugliness.” What a statement.
So often when we think of Satan we think of scary movies or evil atrocities in society. Though these may be evidence of Satan’s work, he does his best work looking good. He counterfeits God. He uses something so close to the truth that it is almost unrecognizable as evil. This clever approach makes all believers as vulnerable as unbelievers when we are not aware of his schemes. The lost man has no clue how to identify evil, but believers have the clear gospel of grace to help us see through the evil one’s schemes.
As in any sport you must know your opponent. As a basketball coach for the past 18 years, (from young children to varsity), I realize that the best team is the most well prepared team, the team whose coach scouts the opponents. The well prepared coach profiles every player, watches game film, understands the environment of the game site and guides his athletes with a balance of confidence and humility. The same is true of every Christian; before we can be victorious here on earth we must be aware. We must know the enemy and this will allow us to prepare our lives for battle. We always want to tell people to put on the full armor of God, which is biblical. But friend, a soldier in battle garb without knowledge of the enemy is as worthless as an anchor without a ship. He is weighted down and sinking fast. Let’s learn how to resist Satan in times of trouble.
To resist Satan in times of trouble…
1 Peter 5:8 (NIV)
Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
The first key to resisting is…
1. Know who He is.
We live in a society that believes in evil but writes off Satan as a character in cartoons with a pitch fork and horns. This image has reduced the truth about the enemy to a mere fairy tale. Let’s get something straight, Satan is a real created being, and the Bible tells us that his first job was that of an angel. He did not believe God’s word and was obsessed with self and pride; so he rose up against God and was cast out of heaven and condemned to a future in hell. Since that time he has been trying to rob God’s glory from him by deceiving mankind. He is dragging others down with him. Let’s look at his profile. Be familiar with the enemy so you can see him in a crowd.
• A fallen angel. (Isaiah 14)
He is a one time messenger of God. He is a beautiful creation. This heavenly musician became full of self and desired God’s praise. He wanted to rule his life.
This struggle is the same one that all people battle. We want control. We want to rule our lives. We want the final say; when actually all the power, glory, honor and praise belong to God. As Christians we must realize no matter how much we feel in control, we are not. Satan was so full of pride he thought he could be God. Only when we realize God is in control can we sense God’s power in our lives.
• A constant accuser of God’s people.
Job 1:6 (NLT)
One day the angels came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan the Accuser came with them.
Circle “accuser”. This is Satan’s best job. He accuses the saints before God. He continues to try to find fault. But when he comes with his accusations, Jesus our advocate keeps saying “It’s under the blood.” So when Satan realizes that there is no way God will hear these accusations; he whispers in our ears. “You’re not worthy.” “You’re no good.” “You’re a liar.” He gets us to doubt ourselves and it works in many instances. We feel guilty. Yet Jesus died not only for our sin but the guilt of our sin.
Psalm 32:1, 5 (NIV)