In our Christian lives, we usually fall into two extremes when it comes to the evil one and his minions. We usually either marginalize them, creating them into powerless cartoon characters and deny their existence entirely. Or, we give them all the power, knowledge, and ability of God himself. Neither is a healthy view in light of what Scripture teaches.
First, Satan, also known as Lucifer and the devil, and his crew are fallen angels, aka demons…not gods, and not cartoons! Scripture says that the Evil One is the god of this age. Meaning that he rules the hearts and minds of those who do not belong to Christ and he can affect the world. He is also called the prince of the power of the air. See here in 2 Corinthians how Paul describes Satan and his work against the gospel of Christ and those who believe.
But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled only to those who are perishing, among whom the god of this age has blinded the minds of those who do not believe so they would not see the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God. 2 Corinthians 4:3-4
However, Lucifer only has half the angels on his side that God does. They are created beings and inferior in every way to God himself. They are not all knowing, not all powerful, not omnipresent. They are not trapped in hell. They can’t make you do anything without fully possessing your body. However, they can affect your thoughts and the world around you. Make no mistake, as a Christian, with God’s indwelling Holy Spirit inside you, the power of Christ in you is always more powerful than them. Peter warns Jesus followers what the enemy’s tactics are and how to combat him.
Be sober and alert. Your enemy the devil, like a roaring lion, is on the prowl looking for someone to devour. Resist him, strong in your faith, because you know that your brothers and sisters throughout the world are enduring the same kinds of suffering. And, after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace who called you to his eternal glory in Christ will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him belongs the power forever. Amen. 1 Peter 5:8-11
The devil has used the same tricks since his time in the garden of Eden with Eve (Genesis 3:6). He uses the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life to tempt us to betray God and follow our own sinful desires rather than submitting to the will of God. He used these same things against Jesus in the desert (Matthew 4:1-11), and John warns us in 1 John, that his tactics have not changed. They haven’t changed, because they still work against us. See what John says,
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him, because all that is in the world (the desire of the flesh and the desire of the eyes and the arrogance produced by material possessions) is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away with all its desires, but the person who does the will of God remains forever. 1 John 2:15-17
We need to know, we already have victory in Jesus. We have an Advocate before the Father, that pleads our case for us when we do sin (1 John 2:1-2). John also says that by living in forgiveness, by knowing the Father, by knowing and applying his Word, we have conquered the evil one (1 John 2:13-14). The enemy of our souls can’t make us do anything we do not have the desire to do ourselves. James 1:14 says,
“But each one is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desires.”
We must resist these impulses! We must fight temptation! Paul says,
“No trial has overtaken you that is not faced by others. And God is faithful: He will not let you be tried beyond what you are able to bear, but with the trial will also provide a way out so that you may be able to endure it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13
Turn to God and submit to His will and the devil will have no power over you…