by Faith Reboot’s Tanisha Henderson
Look, weirdness happens.
It just does.
We can write it off. We can chalk it up to coincidence. We can ignore it. Blame it on paranoia. Or we can accept that indeed God was giving us a weird feeling for a purposeful reason.
I was a naive senior in college. Just awakened to the World Wide Web and in particular, Yahoo Messenger. There I was chatting away with boys galore in innocent entertainment. Sweet, clueless, virgin girl I was. That particular night, a boy offered to come pick me up and take me out to eat.
I agreed. Why not?
We’d been chatting for all of 20 minutes, I was hungry and he was paying. No biggie.
I opened the car door, got in, and proceeded to close it. But just before he could pull off, I felt a darkness I could not ignore rise in that car. It was sudden. It was strange. It was real.
I couldn’t deny it. I questioned it, but just for a second.
I got this overwhelming sense that screamed out to me, “You need to get out of this car, now!!” I looked at him. He looked at me. He saw my uneasiness. He asked, “Are you okay?” I immediately said, “No, I have to go.”
I can’t say conclusively what would’ve happened to me if I had stayed in the car, but I can say conclusively that I felt a stern warning come over my spirit. A warning that I am ever grateful for and one that I believe wholeheartedly came from my Father in Heaven.
Who Do You Say That He Is?
This is a question every person will have to answer in regards to Jesus. But often, the answer to this question comes out of the answer to who do we say that Satan is. Right off the heels of Halloween and in light of all the tragedies that have happened worldwide as of late, I think it is fitting to discuss a Christian’s view of the Devil.
Sadly in many churches across America, people think they can tell the Devil what to do and he will obey. Not biblical, not true, not possible. We are never given dominion over Satan. Jesus conquered him, we did not. The Bible refers to Satan as the “god of this world” (2 Corinthians 3:4) and the “ruler who has authority over air,” (Eph 2:2) and the “ruler of this world (John 12:31).
The Bible does not mince words with the power that the Devil has and neither should we. No Christian can bind Satan, but Christ can. These Bible verses remind us of how seriously God describes Satan’s power, and how seriously we should see it.
True, Satan’s power is limited by God. False, we can limit his power through what we say.
True, we are to see Satan correctly. False, we are to fear him.
We fear God only. Concerning the evil one, we are commanded to be sober-minded and watchful (1 Peter 5:8), to resist the devil (James 2:7), to stand against his schemes (Eph 6:11), and to ask God to open our eyes, so that we may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God (Acts 26:18).
When we have a balanced and righteous way of viewing the Devil, God uses what we know to shape us spiritually.
Here are 7 ways understanding who the Devil is has influenced the way I see tragedies, the way I respond to hardship and my overall walk with Christ:
1. “Satan loses” has become my first thought when something horrible happens. I become more grateful for Jesus and His triumph over the Devil when I am tempted to despair. God has the last word. Satan’s rule is merely temporary. These truths refocus me back to the matter that is always at hand, lost souls living on borrowed time.
2. Realizing that Satan has a small amount of power reminds me to learn more about God’s supersized power. Satan is limited, God is limitless. I never have to worry that Satan will overstep his bounds, he can’t, God won’t allow it.
3. God’s light shines brighter in comparison to the darkness. Because I am aware of the evil of this world, the light of Jesus is all the more alluring and attracting to me. I can now recognize the darkness quicker because of knowing what it is like to be in the light.
4. I become more sensitive to the Devil’s schemes. I don’t fear him but I don’t underestimate him either. His strategies still work on me due to the continued presence of sin , but the longevity of its effect is shorter due to the fact that I don’t waste time wondering, “where did that evil reaction come from?”
5. He keeps me homesick for heaven. The presence of the devil reminds me not to cling to this life. I don’t want to stay here any longer than I have to. Satan’s work in this world keeps me uncomfortable here and makes me long for my new home.
6. Satan’s antics lead me to pray more. When I see the evil in my children, or I watch the news, or I see the blindness of my unsaved friends and family, I become discouraged and weak and thus reminded of my deep need for help and strength to journey on. My hope comes from the Lord through prayer.
7. The shenanigans of the evil one force me to develop a deeper trust that God will work for good those things He allows the Devil to do. Everything that happens passes through the fingertips of my Lord. Everything.
Let us always be on alert, ”So that we would not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs.” (2 Corinthians 2:11)