Over the past 6 months, I’ve gone through a lot and been in some serious spiritual warfare. I’ll be the first to admit that much of it was self-induced. My stubborn nature tends to allow my carnal to win often and i end up “fighting” with God about who is right. Obviously, that’s a boring fight because I’ll never be the victor in that. That being said. through the last year, the Lord has revealed some really big, really amazing things to me….some of which i prayed for, and some of which the Lord chose to reveal to me purely out of love for me. For that I am thankful because those have been the biggest revelations in my life.

Maybe the biggest thing the Lord has revealed to me up to date is the character of Satan. And don’t laugh because I was the first to say I knew all about Satan a year ago, I could tell you about him up, down and sideways. I knew his games and I could call him out in you, you, and you….but I usually didn’t see him working in myself. That would bring me to lesson # 1. …

I am too defensive. Taking offense gets you into trouble. When you can dish it out to people but can’t take it, you WILL NOT GROW.

I am pretty much a know-it-all. I tend to get on my high horse and think I know more about everything than anyone. And that’s usually about the time God literally snorts with laughter at me and watches as I tumble right off my high horse into the uncomfortable but loving arms of God as He humbles me into obedience. But that’s the thing, God doesn’t force us. He doesn’t MAKE us do anything. But he KNOWS OUR HEARTS.

I’m so arrogant at times that I don’t even know what I need to be asking God’s forgiveness from because I think I’ve got it all down. Sometimes, its hard to pray for God to change how you think, how you view things.

I grew up in church, around it my whole life. I know every Bible story and parable and miracle. I thought I knew it all. But I didn’t and I don’t. I was so full of teachings and preachings, but I had knowledge without understanding.

I Cor 13:12 ” Now we see but a poor reflection as in the mirror; but then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.”

Knowledge is incomplete without understanding. And understanding comes through humbleness.

I had all this knowledge but I just KNEW things that weren’t even truth. And this is what i want to talk about. I knew from an early age that Satan was sneaky, devious, underhanded, cut throat, scary, and invisible. I knew i couldn’t see or hear him coming. I knew i just found myself in sin all the sudden at times because he worked in me without my knowing it. I knew how Satan was. I knew how he worked. We all know that -right?

wrong.

Satan isn’t like that. Yeah he may be devious, always plotting against God’s kingdom. But let me tell you some things Satan is not.

He isn’t sneaky.

He isn’t subtle.

He isn’t a whisper.

He isn’t a criminal mastermind.

And I can promise you Satan is no one to be afraid of. He is still subject to God’s authority. And thinking back, its ridiculous that up untill 21 years old I was far more scared of what Satan might do to me than what God might do to my enemy.

In Luke 22: 31, the Bible talks about how Satan wanted to devour Peter, but Jesus encouraged Peter telling him that his faith would not fail. Peter was so carnal, but he had enough faith that when it faltered, it did not fail. God KNEW that about Peter.

If you don’t read any of this, or you already know this, hear this: God does not set us up for failure, he sets us up for victory over darkness.

Satan is described as “the bearer of light” He isn’t some shadow we can’t see, in Isaiah 14: 12 he is referred to as the “morning star” –Satan is NOT invisible. He is bright and loud.

In I Peter 5:8, Satan is referred to as our enemy who “prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” If he is anything like a roaring lion, he definitely isn’t sneaky..pretty sure I’d see that coming.

All my life I had this false perception of Satan. But I was so so so misled.

And don’t get me wrong, he is the master of confusion. But through scripture it is impossible for him to “fool” us. God gives us every opportunity to prepare ourselves and be ready. He tells us that “trouble is coming” but tells us to take heart because Jesus has already overcome the world. God reminds us in Ephesians 11: 6 to put on the full armor of God and ready ourselves for battle. He means the Word.

God has shown me now more than ever just how important scripture is. There is no better defense against Satan than scripture. And let me tell you i FULLY believe Satan cannot stay in your presence when you’re rebuking him aloud with scripture, telling him that he cannot walk where the Holy Spirit dwells and the Holy Spirit dwells in us!

Jesus himself was tempted by the devil and if you look at Jesus defense,( and yes i do say defense because when Jesus walked the earth he was not only all God but all man and just as susceptible to temptation as us)  Jesus combatted Satan with scripture!!

Jesus fasted 40 days and nights. and he was in the desert. no food. no water. And Satan “the tempter” came to him and told him to turn the stones into bread, tempted Jesus to prove himself by jumping off a cliff, and even offered him all the splendor of the world if only he bowed down to Satan. Jesus replies: “It is written: ‘ Man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'” “It is also written, ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'” “Away from me Satan! For it is written, ‘ Worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.'”

Even Jesus himself used scripture to rebuke Satan and force him to flee from Him. So we must do that too.

I had this notion for some reason that when i was the weakest, Satan would attack me most. Sounded pretty sensible at the time but God revealed this to me┬árecently…. Satan doesn’t attack us when we are weak, we are weak because we have been attacked. But here’s the thing, our “emotions and feelings” are what Satan attacks. Feelings of guilt, sadness, shame, confusion, hurt….do those sound like feelings God would put on us?? No. Because they aren’t.

God doesn’t pull at our emotions, mess with our feelings, plant thoughts in our head. There’s a big difference. Anything good and right is of God. He has no evil in him. Anything negative or impure can only be from Satan, he has no good in him.

Sometimes I am so hard on myself. I don’t want to be a doubter. And when I feel confused, I start doubting. What if this is wrong? What if this isn’t what God has for me? What if this is what God has for me but I just don’t have enough faith? What if im only doing this because it’s what I want and ive tricked myself into thinking it’s what God wants for me? What if im missing out on what God has for me by committing to this thing because I think it’s what God has for me but it might not be….etc. You get the point. I know all that sounds ridiculous but if you’re a Christian and love the Lord you can’t tell me you don’t do the same thing. It’s hard to know the difference between the Lord telling you something and Satan convincing you.

That’s what I’ve always thought. But I’ve realized that it doesn’t have to be that hard. If you’re confused, that is not of God. I know for a fact that I do not serve a God of confusion.

Here’s the thing about Satan…he’s impatient. He isn’t waiting to seduce. He isn’t scheming about how to destroy you. He just attacks you until you don’t allow it anymore. He will only stay as long as he is permitted. And if you keep being victor over him, he will not stay.

Satan’s character isn’t deep. He isn’t profound. He isn’t even in authority. God gave Satan dominion over the earth but Satan has no authority of what is God’s. If I belong to God, and I do, Satan has to gain permission to tempt me, to test me and put me through fire. And the Lord WILL NOT ALLOW SATAN TO TEMPT YOU BEYOND WHAT YOU CAN ENDURE.

“No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.”

I absolutely love that scripture because it tells me 3 things:

1. I’m not the only person being tempted, and it’s not some kind of special temptation that’s harder or worse than anyone else is being tempted. Its common. I can handle common.

2. If I believe God is faithful, and I do because He declares it, then I can also be sure that I can handle any and all temptation by the devil, and bear it until it passes. And if you say but it’s so hard, then good because God obviously trusts you with a lot- be flattered.

3. Temptation is just a season, it won’t go on forever. So be relieved. God declares to us that he will give us a way out. Temptation, Satan, will come but only for a time, it won’t last, and when it comes, God does not let Satan crush us, he gives us a way out from under it. We don’t have to succumb to temptation at all.

Satan had to ask permission to crush Peter, (sift him like wheat)….he wanted to devour him, but Jesus said no. Jesus prayed for Peter, that his faith may not fall.” Now that is powerful. And encouraging to me!! If Satan had to ask that then, he still must ask now. God doesn’t allow Satan to crush us. He allows Satan to ask things of us, and when he asks, we can choose not to succumb. That just shows me again the love of God. He never pushes, or coerces or forces. He doesn’t give anyone else authority over us. No matter how much i do not deserve it, God gives me every opportunity to choose him. In fact, when in temptation, i think about how much pride God must have in children when we don’t fall to temptation but rise above it and keep our hand out to God, even if we stumble. If God allowed Satan to crush us, God would have no victory…If God forced us to choose him, he would still have no victory. So it’s an even greater defeat of Satan when we have the choice and still choose God’s will for us over Satan’s schemes.

It is so clear to me now that Satan pulls at my emotions, tweaks my feelings. That isn’t God. It’s Satan who plant’s confusion in us, but the good news is, its only whats “common to man” and we don’t have to be burdened by it.

Be encouraged, Jesus tells us in Luke 10: 18-19 “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.”

I cling to that knowing that through all the wiles of the devil, I’m not naive to it, I’m not without understanding that I’m being attacked by Satan. God gives us understanding of Satan’s character through our understanding of who is in us. I know that the Holy Spirit lives with me. And if I’m in constant communion with God, then anything outside of purity, goodness, and righteousness is not of God, but Satan.

This may not be easy to understand and it’s definitely not easy to write about. But I know that the Lord chose to reveal Satan’s character to me because the Holy Spirit interceded for me on my behalf. I had no idea just how much fear of Satan I carried in my heart until God so graciously led me to the truth. And now that I see it with new perspective I can say this.

Satan is not to be feared. His schemes are futile. God’s wrath upon the evil of this world far exceeds any fear I have of Satan. Because the Holy Spirit lives in me, Satan cannot dwell here. And because Satan cannot dwell here, he cannot stay. It’s that simple. His temptations are short-lived because he cannot stand to be on Holy ground, and if my temple is kept Holy by my obedience, then Satan will gain no victory by me, and the Lord will trust me as his good servant.

Through Jesus victory over death, we have victory in life. Through Jesus sacrifice on the cross, we have been given grace.

When we rebuke Satan with scripture, and use the Word of God to make him flee from us, Satan cannot take victory. He cannot deceive us. He cannot veil our eyes to the Truth of our Lord Jesus Christ.

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