AUDIO VERSION: YouTube Podbean
Satan’s ego would love for you to refer to him as the god of this world and then go on to imagine him holding all kinds of sway over this place. But in reality, Satan is no more equipped to run this world than you are. Oh, but Satan has an army of demons at his disposal, right? Tell you what: we’ll give you an army of 10,000 guys and send you out to catalog all of the life forms in the ocean. You know, whales, anemone, crabs. Don’t forget the plankton. Just make a list of every single living organism in the planet’s oceans. How long do you think you’ll need to get it done? What do you mean it’s impossible? You’ve got a whole army of guys to help you out and all we’re asking for is a simple catalog of critters. How sad are you that you can’t pull off such a basic task? You’re no sadder than Satan. When it comes to handling a planet-sized project, he’s as lost as you are.
You see, there’s a whole lot more to managing a Creation than just fussing around with humans. Like you, Satan is an extremely limited creature who can only be in one place at one time. That means that while he’s busy trying to get you to worry that you’ve committed the unpardonable sin, he’s forgetting about maintaining the ozone layer and monitoring how fast the snow is melting on mountain peaks. Satan can’t be playing Ouija board with your neighbor’s kid and at the same time make sure a forest fire doesn’t get out of control. Imagine what would happen if we put a nuclear plant under the management of toddlers. Yikes. But that’s nothing compared to what would happen if God handed this creation over to Satan. He’s just one scrawny little demon. Don’t let his massive ego fool you. Satan can’t even come close to handling the chores of a Divine Being.
There are only three Gods in existence: Yahweh, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. They are the same kind of Divine Being and They each have infinite capabilities. Everything else—which means everything that They create—is minuscule and impotent by comparison. Do you lie awake at night worrying that your pencil might rise up and take over the universe? Of course not, so stop worrying about Satan taking the planet apart. You won’t see the day that Satan crashes one of God’s projects. Satan is an absolute joke from God’s perspective.
Satan is like a bratty little kid who comes into a kitchen where a professional chef is making a complicated stew. The kid hates the chef, so when he thinks the chef isn’t looking, he starts trying to mess up the stew. He grabs anything he can lay his hands on and dumps it in the pot in hopes that he’ll wreck the flavor. Several shakes of that strange looking spice. A big dollop of that weird looking cream. Random vegetables, raw meat—the kid thinks he’s being so clever by sneaking behind the chef’s back. As all of his new ingredients sink out of sight into the stew, he thinks he’s pulled one over on the chef. What he fails to realize is that the chef knows exactly what the brat’s intentions are and he has purposely set out all the ingredients he wants to go into the stew. So every time the kid sneaks something, he’s really doing what the chef wants him to do. This is how it is with Satan and God. God is the chef and this world is like that complex stew. Satan thinks that if he is clever enough, he can do permanent damage to God’s project. Satan is a moron. He and all of his demons are like puppets on a string to God—they are only ever doing exactly what God wants them to do.
The more we rebel against God, the more illusions He feeds us. Humans in this world think they are getting away with defying God. Wow. Did they miss the memo about Hell? Suppose you steal a dollar out of your father’s wallet. Thirty seconds later, he bursts into your room, rips the dollar out of your hand, and beats on you with a baseball bat nonstop for the next eight months. Would you consider yourself victorious? Not hardly. And yet right now there are countless humans and demons who think they are so clever for spitting in God’s face, even though somewhere in their brains they know that He sees everything they’re doing and that He is going to punish them for all of eternity. It doesn’t matter how many years you live on this earth—stacked up against all of eternity, your time down here shrinks down to a millisecond. How stupid do you have to be to think that lipping off to God for a millisecond is worth being tortured for all of eternity? God has been totally up front about what He plans to do to those who defy Him, yet we still defy Him. We’re crazy. Demons are crazy. It is utterly insane to think you can win against the God who holds your molecules together.
Would you fall down and worship a pencil? Would you bring it offerings and cower in its presence? No? Then how about a shoe? Would you worship a shoe? No? Why not? Because these things are just manmade objects. So are idols, but that hasn’t stopped us from worshiping them for thousands of years. All throughout the Old Testament, we find humans quivering and bowing down and sacrificing in the presence of some object that their own hands have made. What fools we are. No wonder Yahweh mocked us. Today, we Christians are trembling at the thought of some speck of a demon running the world. Paul calls Satan “the prince of the power of the air” in Ephesians 2:2. Where does Paul get off handing out the lofty titles? Satan’s ego was already big enough, but now thanks to Paul, we’ve got a bunch of Christians running around calling Satan a prince. Was Paul in alignment with the Holy Spirit when he wrote about Satan being the prince of the power of the air? No, he was just running his mouth. Humans have always had a problem with exalting powers they can’t see, and this tendency of ours is very annoying to God.
In John 12, we find Jesus referring to Satan as “the ruler of this world.” Before you run amuck with this, realize that Jesus was simply accommodating the foolish thinking of His audience. Look back at the Old Testament and see how Yahweh alternates between mocking all idols as powerless and then saying He will fight them and overcome. One minute Yahweh says the pagan gods aren’t even real gods, and the next minute He talks about making individual gods gasp and groan and do a bunch of other things that a non-existent deity couldn’t do. We have to remember that much of what God says is accommodating our warped human perspective. In the Old Testament, people were convinced that gods like Baal and Marduk were real, so sometimes Yahweh played along. Jews like Paul clearly had an over-exalted opinion of Satan to refer to him as the prince of the power of the air. Paul had been among the elite religious rulers of his day–you know, those same idiots who went around talking about Beelzebub being the ruler of demons (Mk 3:22). Right. As if they knew bumpkus about how demons organize themselves. Interview any demon and he’ll gladly claim to be the most powerful card in the deck if that is what will make you worship him. Demons lie. Demons are obsessed with a lust for power and worship. Demons do not explain themselves to us, they just appear in any form that will suck us into their games. They only need a nanosecond to assess the state of your ego, and if they see that you’re a good candidate for becoming some pompous moron who goes around bragging about slaying demons, then they’ll gladly feed you a bunch of baloney about their names, ranks, and geographic strongholds. Some Christians get so sucked into this baloney that they actually start drawing maps and trying to keep case files on individual demons that they think they’ve known. Lookout, it’s the demon of despair–everyone start fasting! It’s the demon of vegetables–you can only cast him out if you eat a bunch of celery while you stand on your head! We know because we dealt with him on the mission field in Africa and well, we’d know his voice anywhere. It’s not like one demon could ever act like another–whoa…there’s a shocking thought. What fools we are.
God does not view Satan as a prince, a temporary ruler, or even a partial manager of earth. Satan is just an arrogant fleck who just can’t stand to face all that he’s not. Sound familiar? We humans like to go around trumpeting ourselves as payer warriors and mighty intercessors. Demons aren’t the only arrogant creatures in existence. But no matter how many titles we give each other, we’re all just teensy little creatures God has made who can’t even breathe without His constant assistance.
You need to view Satan for what he is: a tool God is using to further His own Divine agenda in this world. Is Satan nasty? Oh, yes. Is he dangerous? If you’re left alone with him, he is. An angry grizzly bear only needs a few seconds to kill you with its massive razor sharp claws. Satan is much smarter and far more powerful than a grizzly bear. But so what? Demons aren’t the only thing on this planet that can injure you. You could get caught in an avalanche or sucked up by a tornado or burned in a fire. If God wants to spank you, He has an endless array of weapons at His disposal. So keep your focus where it belongs: on the three magnificent Creators who are directing every atom in existence. Don’t be wowed by demons. Treat them like you would a rabid dog—keep your distance and realize that you are totally out of your league when it comes to taking them on by yourself. We want to recognize that demons have the capacity to annihilate us without losing the sight of the fact that we are not alone down here. God runs this place, not demons, and Satan can’t lift a finger against you without God’s approval. Once Satan has to get permission for everything he does, he is hardly deserving of impressive titles. Satan is just one more in a long line of foolish creatures who thought that created things could dominate their Creators. Hell will be the much deserved last chapter of their pathetic stories.
Understanding the Limits of Satan’s Power (God’s Relationship with Evil)
The Power of Demons In Perspective
Why didn’t God make us stronger than demons?