1687 Lilac Road
Dennis Tucker & James McClenny
Unleash the power of “I don’t know.” A few years ago I was being bombarded by questions about things outside my experience and learning (a fancy way to say I was clueless). I jokingly stated that I was going to stamp I DON’T KNOW (IDK) on my forehead.
We really need to do that when it comes to detailed information about Satan, because what we do know is very limited. Plus, there is a lot we think we know that is simply not true. The world hates a vacuum and has rushed in to fill the void with all kinds of information that shapes how we think about the devil.
The ISBE has a great definition, so let’s start there and see what we do know and what we think we know that simply isn’t so. “A created, but superhuman, personal, evil world–power, represented in Scripture as the adversary of both God and man.”
Everyone knows he’s omniscient, right? Wrong! He does not know everything because only God, the great I AM (Exodus 3:14), is all knowing (Isaiah 42:9). That is a characteristic of the Creator, not the Created and Satan is Created. There is only one Creator, one Divine Being who is self-existent and has all the “omni” natures in and of Himself – God. As a created being Satan does not have an “omni” nature. He is limited by his created nature and the power of the Creator.
We all know he’s red, with horns and a tail and a pitchfork, right? Wrong! We know he does not have a physical form because angels are spiritual beings (Hebrews 1:14) and spiritual beings do not have physical bodies (Luke 24:39). Do a google search and find that there is no picture of Satan on line anywhere, not even a selfie.
Since he is a spirit being then we all know he can be everywhere at once, right? Wrong! Again, he is created and only God is omnipresent (Jeremiah 23:24). As created beings angels are limited in location (Daniel 10:10-14). That’s why we can stand strong and drive him away.
“Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” James 4:7
We all know he can get inside us in some mystical, magical way and make us sin, right? Wrong! He certainly is an evil tempter (Matthew 13:38-39), but he works through lies and deceit (Genesis 3:1-5; Matthew 4:1-11). When we sin it is by our own personal choice. We can’t even use the old joke by Flip Wilson, because no matter what we want to believe, “The devil did not make me do it.”
Some may ask; “How did the devil enter Judas?” (Luke 22:3). The best answer is ‘I don’t know” with respect to the specifics, but it was more likely through his own lust (James 1:14). Judas was a thief (John 12:6) having believed the lie that life is made up of the things he possessed (Luke 12:15) and was open to the idea that the money he would get for selling Jesus was more valuable than holding on to Jesus.
James, in a passage showing God does not make us sin, lays the blame squarely at our own feet.
“But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.” James 1:14-15
We know Satan’s a liar and a murderer (John 8:44), Paul tells us to put on the whole armor of God to fight his lies, because we’re in a life and death spiritual battle, not a physical one (Ephesians 6:10-18).
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:10-12
We can win this battle because we can tear down the enemy’s arguments through the gospel (2 Cor. 10:3-5).
We don’t know when the devil was created, when he rebelled, what he looks like, or even why he hates God and by extension us. We need to stop asking those questions and unleash the power of IDK when it comes to the secret things God has not revealed. Instead, let’s focus on learning the word of God and getting to know Jesus so we can stand strong against the devil’s schemes by examining everything in the light of the truth of God’s word. Learn the things we can know and don’t worry about the things we can’t.
" And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD,
choose you this day whom ye will serve; . . .
but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD."
Joshua 24:15 (KJV)
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