Fall in line

PROFESSIONS OF FAITH

I would like to look a little closer at the work of Satan and the broad spectrum of his reach and influence. Although Satan is limited in power and authority, he is still referred to as “the god of this world,” John 8:44. Satan can only be present at one place at a time, but his evil influence and manipulation can be seen or experienced through the work of demons (fallen angels) and evil people who serve him. His power has an effect on people from the lowest to the highest, including spirit beings as well.

In Mark 7:24-30, Jesus cast the demon out of a young girl. In Acts 10:38 it says “that Jesus went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.” In Matthew 17:14-18, Jesus rebuked a demon and the epileptic boy was healed. If we go back to the Old Testament, we find in I Chronicles 21:1, “Satan stood up against Israel, and moved David to number Israel.” In the book of Job, Satan accused Job before the Lord; he then took his livestock, his children and even Job’s health.

Satan came to tempt Jesus in the wilderness and later entered into Judas that he might betray Jesus. In Ephesians 6:11-12 we read, “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual host of wickedness in heavenly places.”

There isn’t anyone alive who is outside of Satan’s schemes and temptations. Even people around us can be used by Satan to cause us to fall, just like he used Judas to betray Christ. Be on your guard, here are some things (outward signs) to watch out for.

Number 1: Moral evil is one of Satan’s attributes and his children are of the same spirit. Adultery, fornication and lust are also characteristics of his children.

Number 2: John 8:44 says that the devil “is a liar and the father of it.”

If someone has a problem of habitually lying all the time, it would certainly lead us to believe they are serving Satan, since it is contrary to God’s word and His revealed will. In other words, they are not being conformed to the image of Christ.

Number 3: This is what I call the belly-button syndrome. Their eyes are constantly on themselves, what they can get, what people think of them, and how they can impress others and gain their approval. They think very highly of themselves and want others to feel the same way. Satan had this consuming passion, to be thought of very highly by others, he even asked the Lord to bow down and worship him, Acts 4:9.

Are we prepared for the temptations and accusations that Satan may send our way? It may be time to immerse ourselves in the word of God and put on the whole armor of God!

Comments or questions, contact me at: thoughtsonword@gmail.com.

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Editor’s note: This is the fifth of six columns in a series by Lyndon Stimeling that will run in simultaneous weeks on the Religion page.

Lyndon Stimeling, of Richfield, has been writing about faith and family for many years. He has self-published two books, “Common Thoughts on The Word” in 2016 and “Eye of a Needle” in 2017. He has also had articles published in The Coming Home Journal and local newspapers and has written a children’s book.

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