God had a different purpose for Lucifer than the one he chose to follow. As his pride grew, so, too, did his motivation to place himself above the Most High, which resulted in his eviction from heaven. Pride turned to bitterness, and bitterness to hatred. Over time, Lucifer’s hatred transformed him into Satan, the father of lies and the antithesis of Christ Jesus. While God created Lucifer, He also gave him the freedom to choose whose will he would follow. Without a doubt, his choice perverted what our heavenly Father originally intended for His creation. However, the fact that this perversion now exists does not mean God is incapable of dealing with evil. Through systematic theology we come to see that He has already dealt with the issue in His own way and timing. We can rest assured that God is in control and has worked matters out where evil is concerned. All we need do is look to the cross to confirm that our Father has indeed taken care of the issue. God is working out His plan and we must persevere.
Characteristically, Satan is the father of lies, a deceiver, and our adversary in life (John 8:44). If he cannot do away with us altogether, then he will settle for making us minions for his evil intent. Through our encounters with sin, either our own or the sin of others, we are conditioned in ways that unwittingly open the door of our mind for Satan to enter and pervert God’s purpose for our life. In effect, he deceives us by telling us lies. If we do not stay alert we begin to believe what he tells us. Believing our adversary’s lies has devastating effects. At times Satan sets us up for a fall with lies that puff up our pride. Other times he erodes our sense of worth with lies that tell us we’re not good enough. These are but two of a myriad of schemes he employs to divert us from our God-given purpose. Regardless of the approach, his intentions are always the same, to: (1) undo God’s work; (2) make us turn away from our heavenly Father; and (3) instigate evil – all as a means to secure our worship. Our adversary is clever, disguising himself as an angel of light. He is constantly at work to insinuate doubt. He has even been known to misuse Scripture as a means of accomplishing his evil will.
Satan battles for our mind (Romans 7:21-25). Once infiltrated, he then works to steal our peace, kill our hope, and ultimately destroy our ability to carry out the purpose God placed on our life. Because of this, we must work diligently to resist our adversary. To be effective in our efforts we need to change the way we once thought. We must submit our thoughts to the Lord, and be willing to allow God to search our mind, so that He can reveal conditioned modes of thinking and behaving that do not line up with His will. As we gain greater awareness, we can then work toward accepting the truth and lean on the Lord for strength as He works to transform us. Through this process we become conditioned to take thoughts captive for the Lord (II Corinthians 10:5}. We make choices to behave in ways that coincide with the will of our Creator. We stop submitting to a yoke of slavery (Galatians 5:1). Putting on the full armor of God, we stand firm on His word and walk in freedom (Ephesians 6:10-17). While the devil continues to prowl around like a roaring lion (I Peter 5:8), with Christ in our life and the Spirit of God living inside of us, we need not fear Satan. Yes, he is a formidable foe, never to be underestimated, but through Christ we are victorious (John 16:33).
Dr. Michael Mannia, D.Min. is Co-Founder and President of Kingdom Community Ministries (KCM), and author of The Conditioned Mind: Overcoming The Crippling Effects of Sin and Guilt (CrossLink, 2014). For more information, visit KCM's BIOS page, or email him at email@example.com.