Can Satan Trouble Believers?
I don’t know you. You probably have a grasp on how the Bible portrays the end of the story of God’s creation. You probably know that Satan is a defeated foe. Maybe you know that Jesus’ cry “It is finished!” spelled Satan’s ultimate doom. Or you might even recognize that the resurrection of Jesus was the theoretical last nail in his coffin. You know that the one who wars against God is doomed in his efforts. Well then, what’s the big deal? Who cares who Satan is and what he is trying to do?
Is Satan a lion without teeth? Is he a snake without venom? Does it matter that he is seeking to destroy all who align themselves with God?
The Bible warns the followers of Jesus about the “devices” of Satan. Consider the following passages:
Ephesians 6:10-12 “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”
1 Peter 5:8 “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”
2 Corinthians 2:11 “so that we would not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs.”
These passages seem to indicate that we may have something on the line. Yes, we believe that Satan is a defeated foe. Yes, we know that God is sovereign over all things. Yes, we know the end of the story. While all of these truths are very encouraging, they do not take the stinger out of God’s enemy.
We don’t always comprehend the mind of God. Paul has testified of our lack of clarity when it comes to God’s ways: “Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!” (Romans 11:33). Why does the One who controls heaven and earth (Matt. 28:18; Eph. 1:19-23) allow Satan to trouble His people? While we may not always understand why He allows it, we know that it is so.
With all of this said, in the coming posts we'll be considering what Satan is trying to do to us, and what remedies God has graciously provided.