What do you believe about the Devil? Perhaps you have fallen into his subtle trap and do not even believe that he exists—or perhaps you think that he exists, but you don’t give his existence much thought. If so, then you are in real danger, for Satan is real, and you are underestimating a powerful enemy. But equally, if you live in paralyzing fear of Satan, then you have the opposite problem: You are overestimating his power.
We need to see how hideous and dark the ways of Satan are. We are not to hate people, but we are commanded to hate evil. Psalm 97:10 says, “Let those who love the Lord hate evil.” Proverbs 8:13 says, “To fear the Lord is to hate evil.” Romans 12:9 tells us, “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.” Satan is filled with evil and we are commanded to hate that evil (I want to clarify that Scripture does not tell us to hate Satan, but rather the evil he is trying to get away with).
Recently I saw how hideous and evil Satanic lies have been to someone close to me. I hated so much how Satan (I realize the lies may have come from one of his “co-worker demons” rather than Satan himself) had lied to this person that I cursed at him on my drive to work. He had gotten away with one big lie that he had been telling over and over again for more than forty years. This person had been walked away from as a young teenager by a parent who got involved in an affair that led to divorce. This left an abandonment wound that still caused problems after forty years. Satan and his co-workers continue to use this wound to make this person feel worthless, useless, and abandoned. For some reason, the enormity and longevity of the lie made me mad as hell that day. In a loud voice, I told God to damn Satan and his co-workers to hell, and I told Satan and his co-workers to get their evil claws out of this person. It’s a good thing I was traveling down a country road: No other drivers were there to see me having what probably looked like a bad case of road rage! I am not encouraging “cursing at Satan” by this blog post, but I am encouraging more hatred toward destructive evil. I want us to become so fed-up with it that we are ready to fight against it. From that day on, I have had a new resolve in my heart to fight for people who struggle with abandonment wounds.
Satan was fighting for my former student Steve Szoke’s heart and soul in a major way during Steve’s battle with cancer. Just six weeks before Steve lost his earthly battle with cancer, he wrote about Satan’s whispers to him:
I also know, that just as Satan is whispering in my ear, he may be in yours as well. Satan has been gently lying saying, “God has abandoned Steve.” My God is still right here with me. I made a statement the other day to a fellow minister. I said, “I cannot fathom the mind of God. I don’t know what His plans are, I don’t know why I have this disease. I cannot grasp His mind in this. I can, however, fathom and understand His heart. Just as much as I am broken about this, as my wife, as my parents are broken about this, God’s heart breaks for this as well.” My God is still my Father, my God is still my refuge and my God is still the one true Rock that I will ever cling to.
Praise God that Steve did not believe Satan’s whispers to him in the midst of his battle with cancer. Steve never doubted the love of his heavenly father to the very end of his life on Earth. Hate is a strong emotion and we are not supposed to use it on people, but we are commanded to use it with evil. I pray that this kind of hate can grow in your life!
REFLECTIONS: What is the big lie Satan has been whispering to you your whole life? What are specific truths from Scripture that counter this lie? Make creative reminders of these countering truths that you can carry with you or see during the day. Do you hate evil? Does any evil make you sick enough to make you want to do something about it? Do you need to ask God to help you hate evil more?
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you