Real Faith: How do I know God?

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What if I told you Satan knows God better than lots of Christians?

What if I said Satan’s better knowledge is what makes him so dangerous?

You still reading? Great, because we can now have a serious discussion. This is part of what I call “Real Faith.” A lifetime of experience has brought me to the realizations shared here.

God’s people should know our enemy

To begin, Satan is an interesting character. Unfortunately, he is often misunderstood, especially by Christians. This is sad because he is pretty well described in the Bible.

Hopefully, we are past the spike-horned, red-clad pixie reject with a pitchfork that is often depicted. On a sad

abstract image
Photo by Annette Batista Day on Unsplash

note, modern Christians are likely to dismiss him as a fairy tale, a myth, or some kind of joke. This attitude exposes one to his attacks.

Scholars of the Bible tell us that Satan represented an accuser of humankind. He may have appeared as the serpent in Eden. It seems the demons in the New Testament are a different species of adversaries.

Satan, for his part, is best described in the Old Testament book of Job. In its first few verses, the bible account describes a meeting of God and with the angels; and Satan shows up. In verses six through twelve of chapter one, Satan reveals himself as an accuser who targets Job and sets out to break down his faith.

Job is one of the strangest books in the Bible and we won’t attempt a study here. We do say it shows the accusatory function of Satan, something like a modern prosecuting attorney. He uses a variety of weapons to attack Job and Job’s faith. The assaults on Job are unimaginable, as is his devotion to God, and his resolute refusal to abandon his faith.

Ultimately, Job’s faith carries him through the ordeal. I often wonder how many of today’s Christians could survive such a test.

Jesus’ encounter with Satan

In Matthew 4:1-11, we witness an amazing encounter between Jesus and Satan. The evil one seeks to tempt Jesus to worship him.

image of Jesus and Satan
Julius Schnoor-von-Carolsfeld
19th century woodcut Wikipedia

Here, as with Job, Satan seeks to challenge the relationships with the Father. Notice, his primary weapons are words, challenges, and incitement of doubt. This account is worthy of study and reflection. Jesus’ encounter came just as he spent 40 days in the wilderness, according to scripture, to be tempted.

Both Jesus and Job are remarkable examples of strength and resolution that should encourage us all.

Satan’s knowledge of God

In the accounts of both Jesus and Job, Satan’s knowledge and acquaintance with God is revealed. Satan recounts scriptures, acknowledges God’s power, and admits that God  is stronger than he.

Scholars describe the desire of Satan to usurp God and the pride that drove (and continues to drive) him. The Billy Graham website describes his motivation this way, “He became jealous of God’s position, and in his pride he decided to lead a revolution and take God’s place…:”

photo of accusing man
Photo by Adi Goldstein on Unsplash

Ezekiel 28 teaches that, Satan (AKA Lucifer) was the most beautiful angel created; he was granted intellect and special talents. These were not enough to satisfy him.

Unable to defeat God, Satan has turned to new tactics in our age. He can impersonate God and try to pretend to be the Almighty. He can present himself in a variety of convincing disguises He can, and does, challenge the very best of us. His attacks can come at any time. He is even able to convince the unwary that he is God.

Why we must know the real God

Christians are an especially appealing target for the father of lies. Since the creation, though the time of Jesus, and now, he has craved to steal people away from God. We must be “as wise as serpents, and as gentle as doves,” Matthew 10:16. God’s people must know their Savior.

photo of bible
Photo by Anthony Garand on Unsplash

Accusations can come in many sizes and shapes. They may be a superficial irritation or an outright catastrophe. Whether one is a wealthy celebrity or a pauper, Satan’s challenges can be tragic.  

A Christian should maintain a strong and growing relationship with the Lord throughout life. We must not let worldly distractions and injuries damage or weaken our faith. The focus on our walk with God and the promises of salvation and eternity should guide us always.

For a quick suggestion, do a study of the full armor of God in Ephesians 6: 10-18. You will find those few verses carry an amazing amount of information and guidance for defending one’s salvation.

God does not lie

To be candid, it can take a bit of revelation for a world-wise person to come to grips with the idea that someone could never lie. On earth, lies seem inevitable and everyone seems to tell them. However, a foundation of our faith is that God does not lie. Conversely, Satan carries the title, “father of lies”.

sun behind clouds
Photo by Paweł Czerwiński on Unsplash

When lies, doubts, and accusations are afoot, one is likely in the presence of Satan’s influence. He wants to prosecute you, to convict you of not really trusting the one true God.

Remember, God bestows, blessings,comfort, and grace. It should not be difficult for a sincere person to recognize the difference. 

We should never forget that Satan has been an enduring foe of the human race throughout our history. While the circumstances of what brought on his pride and envy of God may be beyond our understanding. Satan represents a true and enduring threat to humanity. He is not, never was, and never will be our friend. Remember, he can only lie and deceive us. We have the strongest ally in the universe protecting us. God offers us security and an eternity in heaven.

Satan invites humans to deception, grief, and eternal destruction.

Mercifully, we belong to God, embrace His love and deny Satan any opportunity to accuse you.

In closing, there will always be times when Satan tries to bring us into his prosecution. We must be watchful and remember that we have a tremendously more power advocate, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

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