While America watched the horrors at our United States Capitol building on January 6, 2021, hurting and crying over the awful scenes unfolding on our screens, tumultuous laughter could be heard from one who some of us deny even exists. One elected representative evacuated that day even described his experience with unusual words for a politician: “it was like looking at evil.” If you don’t believe Satan is alive and well, believe it now. He is the prince of this world, and what a chance God took when he set that snake on the loose! He has already been defeated; Jesus took care of that on the cross. He has no power now, except the power we decide to give him. When Jesus cried from the cross, “It is finished,” did you think he meant his life? But Jesus was raised from the dead and sits at the right hand of the Father.
So what did Jesus mean? What was finished? Satan’s power. Jesus meant, “He lost. We won!” But Satan failed to get the memo; he moves ruthlessly through his days, a wimp of who he used to be, trying in vain to continue his deception. As far as our lives are concerned, he is only as successful as we allow. His mission is to wreak havoc any way he can. He does not care who is embarrassed, hurt, mistreated, or slandered as he sets about to fulfill his purposes on this earth: turning every last one of us away from God’s glorious kingdom of light and pulling us into the destruction and darkness he loves.
Someone has said, “The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he did not exist.” I bought into that when I was younger. I thought he was simply a wind of evil that floats among us all, influencing bad things to happen. A good friend of mine echoes my thoughts during those days. “I thought Satan wasn’t actually real – until I met him face to face during my divorce.”
Yes, Satan is real. He is alive and well, and if we know this, we need to get ourselves into God’s Word, where we can not only see him described, but also recognize that he is a has-been. You and I have to stand against his spirit of self-destruction. Biblical teaching reminds us that, “Greater is He [Jesus] that is in you, than he [Satan] that is in the world.” (1 John 4:4)
Satan is clearly our enemy, our adversary. He was dancing while the Capitol was being damaged, lives taken, injuries and trauma inflicted. “Be watchful. Your adversary, the Devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8) Look at some of the horrific acts he has handled. You will not understand this unless you have made a decision that Satan is our real enemy. We can all point to names of those we consider to be the real problem, and we might be right, but look beyond those names and watch how Satan instigates every act of darkness. And remember that he is always a liar.
“Now the serpent was craftier that any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, ‘Did God actually say, “You shall not eat of any tree in the garden?”’” (Genesis 3:1)
When Eve ate the fruit and offered some to Adam, they both willfully chose to listen to the liar instead of their Creator. Before that moment, they were happy. But on taking a bite, they lost the innocence with which they were born. Quickly, they made clothes of leaves to cover up.
As glass was shattering, doors were smashing and anger was exploding at our Capitol building, Satan was propped contentedly on a tree near the Capitol, slithering from limb to limb and laughing hysterically as one by one, scuffling people broke doors and windows, feeling they had the right to do whatever they wanted. “It’s our building,” some chanted, excusing themselves from the mayhem they caused.
And the snake slithered on.
Of course, Satan had long been after America. I am appalled at the divisions in our country. I can’t imagine how I would feel if one I loved had been mistreated or killed on our streets. In fact, for a while, the only redeemable picture from the brutalization of our Capitol was the realization that for a short period, members of both parties were on the same side, binding together, helping each other escape to safety, fearing for themselves and each other – and praying. If we could have gotten into the hearts of our elected officials, we would have heard many prayers being spoken silently.
The night of January sixth, Inside Edition anchor Debra Norville ended the evening with, “God bless America.” The message is not a subtle one. America needs to return to the God we ask to bless us.
Had we been able to actually see a real snake crawling on a tree near the Capitol, we would have noticed one very real, very telling detail. The snake’s head is bashed in. He slithers with a wound. He circles with a crooked head, smashed at the victory over death by our strong Warrior, Jesus Christ. God’s words to Satan after the fall in the garden are telling. “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed. He will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” (Genesis 3:16)
Yes, the snake still slithers. But he is defeated. When he starts attacking you, repeat the name of Jesus, for, “At the name of Jesus, Satan has to flee.” (James 4:7) God is the ruler yet! Live in these uncertain days in the clear and certain authority of your Redeemer, Jesus Christ.
Featured image courtesy David Clode on Unsplash.