"Like a good chess player, Satan is always trying to maneuver you into a position
where you can save your castle only by losing your bishop."
- C.S. Lewis
Martin Luther made this observation, “The Prince of Darkness seduces us at first by all the allurements of wrongdoing in order thereafter to plunge us into despair. He pampers up the flesh that he may by and by prostrate the spirit.” That’s what happened to mankind in the beginning. Although Adam and Eve, the father and mother of the human race, were not shielded from an encounter with evil – they were adequately prepared to deal with it. They were more than just aware of the awful consequences associated with disobedience to God. They had full authority on earth over everything – including the devil (Genesis 1:26-28). Satan, also known as Lucifer, is one of three angels named in the Bible. He led a rebellion in heaven against the Lord. His revolt gave birth to sin, making him the father of evil and causing him to be banished to the earth. There he was subject to Adam and Eve. They were given the responsibility of keeping him in his place under their feet. Instead of taking charge of Satan, Adam and Eve listened to his lies and sinned. This foolish couple corrupted the human race through their disobedience. So why did God allow these things to happen? That remains a mystery but the words of E.J. Carnell help us to keep a proper perspective in the matter, “God is the author of the author of sin, but he cannot be the author of sin itself – for sin is the result of a rebellion against God. And God can’t rebel against himself?”
Since the day of humanities rebellion hosts of diabolical demons have sought to destroy everything and anyone close to God. Unfortunately, he has enjoyed some temporary success. The evening news from around the world bears testimony to the fact that he is alive and well on planet earth.
So what is our hope in the face of the Devil’s foreboding hosts of principalities? Before we can deal with the prince of darkness we must first deal with the central issue. We must address his avenue of influence into our lives. And what is that? Martin Luther says, “Before God can deliver us we must undeceive ourselves.” How? Realize you have a problem. Realize that there is an answer to that problem. And then simply recognize that God is your answer. John Dickie comments, “We have sinned, fearfully sinned, and two things are needed that we may be delivered from it and its consequences – the two things are repentance and faith.” Repentance is admitting that we’ve gone the wrong way and admitting that we need God. When we stop living in denial and acknowledge our need for help, then faith is birthed in our hearts. At that point of sincerity and surrender God’s power begins working in us. The result – freedom from the bondage of transgression. The extra benefit – God gives us victory over the enemy of our souls.