_ What are some words you would use to describe Satan?  Evil?  Destructive?  Powerful?  Scary?  These may not be the words you were thinking of, but they are very common responses that I have heard from Christians on this topic.  But during a lesson with the teenagers at my church, our youth pastor used some different words to describe the evil one.  Weak.  Powerless.  Defeated.  Is that the perception you have of the devil?  Should it be?

Far too often, we give Satan more credit than he deserves.  It’s like we view Satan as just slightly weaker than God.  That is not even close to true.  God is omniscient (he knows everything), omnipresent (he can be everywhere at the same time), and omnipotent (he has unlimited power).  Satan is none of those things.  Satan has limited knowledge, limited power, and he can only be at one place at a time.

Take a moment and let the implications of that sink in.  How often do you hear people saying that the devil is trying to interfere with their Christian walk?  But if he can only be in one place at a time, how many people can Satan be personally responsible for deceiving?  (Note:  I know very little about the average speed of evil beings, and thus very little about their travel capacities).  If he has limited knowledge, then he definitely can’t know everything about every person.  In fact, this makes it seem unlikely that he would use his limited knowledge on any Christian that does not pose a major threat to his purpose (turning as many people as possible away from God).  So…what are the chances that Satan even knows that you exist?  For the vast majority of Christians, I would say the chances are not very good.

To go a step further, it seems very unlikely that he even cares that you exist.  I believe that most Christians do so little to advance the Kingdom of God that Satan would not even bother wasting his limited resources on them.  Is that an insult?  I sure take it that way.  It should be a goal for all Christians to get Satan’s attention by leading people to the Lord. 

For some, though, it is easier to believe that Satan is more powerful than he is.  Think about it.  If you can blame some of your sinful behavior on the devil, it is easier to look yourself in the mirror.  If you use him as your person scapegoat, you tend to avoid taking responsibility for your own actions. 

There seems to be one aspect of this debate that we all tend to forget.  Through Christ, we are stronger than the devil.  With the power of the Holy Spirit, we can overcome evil.  The enemy has already been defeated.  The battle has already been won. 

The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.”  He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” (Luke 10:17-20)

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