Satan, God, and Fear – More of the Basics

Many times as a young or new believer I read something in the Bible about Satan, the devil, demons, or hell, and it genuinely scared me.  

So first, let’s establish a few things:

Satan is Real and Powerful

It’s true, and demons are also very real and powerful, and hell is a real place.  Satan hates God, and he hates man because we were made in the likeness of God and God loves us.  We know all of that from God’s word.  

    How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, You who weakened the nations!
    For you have said in your heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation On the farthest sides of the north;
    I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’
    Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.
    ~ Isaiah 14:12-15

    Then the seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.”
    And He said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.
    Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
    Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.”
    ~ Luke 10:17-20

Here’s a verse that scares people:
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. ~ 1 Peter 5:8

It’s true.  Satan is looking for ways to trip us up and to cause us to stumble in our faith.  He’d love to destroy our faith if he can.  But take a look at the verses immediately before and after verse 8, they are so encouraging!

    5 Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.”
    6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time,
    7 casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.
    8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
    9 Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.  
    ~ 1 Peter 5:5-9

First, he addresses this to “younger people”. That could mean young in age, or maybe newer in the faith.  If you’ve been a believer for a short time, this verse was written especially for you!

Notice God “gives grace to the humble”.  Stay humble and He will favor you with His grace.  And then verse 6 tells us He will exalt or lift up the humble. 

Verse 7 reminds us to rest on God and give Him all our worries and that God cares for me and He cares for you!

Verse 8 tells us that Satan is looking to destroy our faith and we are called to “be sober, be vigilant”.  He’s saying “watch out!”  Be aware!

God encourages us in verse 9 by reminding us that EVERYONE goes through this stuff.  We all have struggles, not the same struggles, but struggles nonetheless.  We all get attacked by the demonic realm, not in the same ways, but attacked regardless.

We Have a Rescuer in Jesus Christ

    Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father.
    ~  Galatians 1:3-4

In Jesus Christ and in His power and strength, we can resist the evil of this world and we can fight the devil. 

    Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.  Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
    For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
    Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
    ~ Ephesians 6:10-13

No Where in the Bible Does God Tell Us to Be Afraid

It’s true.  We are called to be brave and have courage, and to know that we have a savior and rescuer.

    Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.
    ~ Joshua 1:9

    Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.”
    Then Moses called Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, “Be strong and of good courage, for you must go with this people to the land which the LORD has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you shall cause them to inherit it.
    And the LORD, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.” 
    ~ Deuteronomy 31:6-8

Now look at again at 1 Peter 5:8-
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.

God isn’t telling us to be afraid of Satan.  God is giving us a warning to be aware.  When He says “be sober”, He’s telling us that it’s not a joke, it’s not a matter to scoff at.  Satan and demons are very real, and so we need to be vigilant.  Be on the lookout.

When I was in Houston, TX a few years ago, the office building I was visiting was on a very busy street.  The crosswalk lights were not nearby, and my hotel was right across the street.  I could walk a considerable distance to the crosswalk, or I could risk cutting across traffic where there was no light or crosswalk if I was in a hurry (yes that’s called “jaywalking”. I’m not proud.)

I was given a warning at the beginning of our meetings for those of us new to town.  In Houston (or perhaps all of Texas?) pedestrians do not always have the right of way when crossing the street.  So cars tend to not slow down as much as they would in most other places in America.  You increase your odds of getting hit if you try to run across traffic there.

My friends had kindly gave me a warning.  Advice to me to make me aware.  To be vigilant.  Was I afraid?  No.  Was I more careful than I normally am?  You bet I was!

Satan Tricked the First Man and Woman on Earth

    Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?”
    And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’ ”
    Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die.  For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
    So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.
    ~ Genesis 3:1-6

You see, it seems Adam and Eve forgot to be vigilant.  They didn’t forget that eating the fruit was wrong.  As a matter of fact, Eve even told Satan that God told her not to eat the fruit from that one tree.  What Eve didn’t realize was that Satan was trying to trick her and to fool her into going against God’s word (sin).  She knew it was wrong, but she forgot to be careful and to watch for trickery.  It has continued to happen all throughout the history of mankind, and it happens to all of us today.

Satan is cunning and smart, but we don’t need to fear him.  We just need to be aware.

Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong.
~ 1 Corinthians 16:13

{As a side note, for those of you that DO NOT believe that Satan or hell is real: Let’s say you’re right, and you die tomorrow. Nothing bad happens to you. But imagine if the Bible is 100% true (and I assure you it is), and you die tomorrow. Your risk it eternal. It’s worth considering.}

2 thoughts on “Satan, God, and Fear – More of the Basics

  1. Pingback: Light and darkness | daily meditation

  2. Pingback: Who To Trust? | Sunday School Bible Study

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