There is a real way in which Satan is active in our lives even today.
1 Pet. 5:8-9—Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: 9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.
We are required to stedfastly resist him – in the faith. We need to fully know where he is and what he is doing so we are able to resist him.
OLD TESTAMENT WORD – 7854 Satan (saw-tawn’); from 7853; an opponent; especially (with the article prefixed) Satan, the archenemy of good: 7853 Satan (saw-tan’); a primitive root; to attack, (figuratively) accuse:
The Devil, who is called Satan seems to deceive all men on earth (Rev. 12:9). It appears that Satan is deceiving the whole world, and that Satan accuses us to God day and night (Rev. 12:10). Paul knew Satan’s devices, and we should also (2 Cor. 2:11; Zech. 3:1-2; Luke 22:30-32). Did Peter understand that he was involved in a spiritual fight, much less whom he was fighting (Luke 22:33)?
Satan impugns evil motives to God’s children (Job 1:9-11).
Satan accused Job of obeying only for the reward from God and of serving God for what he can get out of Him. If we serve God for the reward in heaven, is that enough? Do we really love God or are we serving strictly to stay out of hell and get to heaven? At first, God allowed Satan to tempt Job, only in “all that he hath” (Job 1:13-19). All of Job’s possessions (except his land and his own house and three servants) were taken. Who besides God decides into which temptations we ‘fall’ (James 1:2)? Notice that man “falls into divers temptations.”
Man does not get to choose which temptations he will enter into.
Each time God and Satan discussed Job’s situation, who was it that directed Satan to consider tempting Job to prove him (Job 1:7-8)? Satan would never plan a temptation to help a man grow stronger in Jesus. God directs Satan to a specific area—Job’s fear of God and turning from evil. It was Satan who decided what kindof test Job would have (Job 1:12). Job passed the test and proved that he was serving God, not for hope of material reward (Job 2:3-4). Satan does not admit defeat—skin for skin. Was Satan’s argument that Job had given a skin to God by serving him and received the same from God? This would indicate that Job had not lost anything by serving God. Humanly speaking it was not fair to take all of Job’s possessions. Job had done nothing to deserve having his children killed. In fact, it was not skin for skin, for Job was faithful to God in spite of the fact that he lost his skin (all of his possessions).
Satan again impugns another evil motive toward Job. He now uses an unfair tactic (Job 2:4-5). Satan accused Job, “If you ‘touch his bone and flesh,’ he will curse you. Make Job suffer in his own body and flesh. Up to this point, many others had been killed, causing Job to suffer mentally. Satan claims that it is physical suffering that will cause Job to turn away from God. God does not agree to let Satan take Job from the earth (Job 2:6). Once more, it was God who decided there would be temptation the second time. Satan was not given the chance to approach God to ask for permission to tempt Job (Job 2:3-6). Was it God’s idea to “touch Job’s bone and flesh?” It was God’s will that Job be tested to see if he would endure suffering to obey (Luke 17:1; Mark 9:49). Job has a marvelous shield of faith. He judged it fair to receive evil from God because God had given him good (Job 2:10). How many today would have this kind of faith in God? Some do not believe God would ever allow Satan to torment them at all, much less judge it fair that God would allow them to be tempted!
The Jewish synagogue was called together by Satan (Rev. 3:9). Paul knew that Satan was involved in what he could or could not do (1 Thess. 2:18). We need to know all the ways in which Satan can hinder our work and us. We know that he is active and seeks to destroy God’s work in every way possible. Paul was not ignorant of the humans that Satan was using to do his work (1 Thess. 2:14-16). Satan used men, but the men had to be qualified before he could use them. These men had closed their eyes and thus could not believe (Matt. 13:13-15). Satan had full control of the Pharisees (Matt. 21:32). King Saul qualified because he rejected God’s work and did his own will (1 Sam. 18:6-9). Satan could use the Pharisees because they had the same weakness (Matt. 27:18). They qualified to be used by Satan because of their hatred for Jesus (John 15:23-25). They hated Christ because Jesus testified their deeds were evil and they had no intention of changing (John 7:6-7). Anyone who has pleasure in unrighteousness qualifies to be used by Satan (2 Thess. 2:12).
The Devil, who is also called Satan, is the chief of the unclean spirits. He is very active today (Eph. 6:11)! Satan was very much involved with tempting Christ throughout his lifetime (Luke 4:13). These are not merely principles of evil that we are called to fight. These are rulers—plural—the evil spirits who rule in high places (Eph. 6:12).
Satan, with God’s permission, is shooting fiery darts at God’s children (Eph. 6:16). Satan has many angels, which help him in his work (Matt. 25:41). Satan does not work alone (Matt. 12:24-27). The accusation was that Satan casts out devils by his own power. What was Jesus response? His term, “Satan casts out Satan”was equivalent to Satan casting out devils. These evil spirits must be working for Satan at his command.
These devils all have individual personalities.
They have high intelligence and understanding (Luke 8:27-35). They had supernatural knowledge about who Jesus is (Luke 8:28). They feared Jesus’ authority and power to send them into chains of darkness. Generally they obeyed, but at one point they had enough courage to plead for mercy. These demons have names, which apparently describe them (Luke 8:30). We are not discussing whether we have demon possession today. The point in this discussion is that these spirits had individual personalities. God testified to what Satan can do with a man’s heart (John 13:2).
There was a specific temptation for a specific reason that was a part of God’s plan. Judas was well qualified to be used by the Devil (John 12:4-6). God prophesied that Judas would be well qualified to be used by Satan (Psa. 109:8, 16-17). God was good to Judas. He made him an apostle and gave him miraculous powers. When it came time for Judas to betray Jesus, Satan entered into him (Luke 22:1-6). Judas had to have willingly accepted the thought that Satan had previously given him to betray Jesus (John 13:2). After Judas realized what his foolishness had done for him (Matt. 27:33), because he had not resisted the bitterness in his heart. He should have sought a way to turn to God, but he leaned to his own understanding instead.
Peter’s self-confidence allowed him to be used by Satan to stand up against Christ (Matt. 16:22-23).
Peter needed to lose his self-confidence and listen to Christ and not his own understanding. Peter resisted Satan’s temptation by being genuinely sorry for his wrong (Matt. 26:75). It is essential that we NOT be tools that can be used for Satan’s work. We must reject the evil thoughts of envy, hatred, and so forth that come to our minds. We must resist him firm in the faith—giving a scriptural reason for rejecting the thought (1 Pet. 5:8-9). We can acknowledge our wrongdoing—confess and forsake our sins (Prov. 28:13). We can willingly receive the rebukes that are offered to us no matter who they come by (Heb. 12:5). We can ask God to help us to overcome all of our weaknesses (Eph. 3:20).