But turning around [His back to Peter] and seeing His disciples, He rebuked Peter, saying, Get behind Me, Satan! For you do not have a mind intent on promoting what God wills, but what pleases men [you are not on God’s side, but that of men]. Mark 8:33
God put a down payment for us!
People tend think of the devil as a big red monster, holding a huge fork or a little angel on one side of our conscience. Other people do not believe in Satan, while others go to the extreme of spiritual possession, dealing with witchcraft, or satanic cult involvement. But Satan is concerned with human concerns, opposing God’s concerns. Satan was once a beautiful angel in heaven, and even now, disguises himself as an angel. Satan and his workers lure and seduce people, and then makes tormenting demands on their lives.
Any spirit other than the Holy Spirit of God, is on assignment to draw souls away from God and condemn them to hell. Christians condemn all spirits to hell. Many spiritual groups do not recognize demonic entities, they simply believe in appearance- what things look and sound like. Spiritual possession and spirituality as a whole has become widely accepted now, and like me, most say they are spiritual and not religious. When I was growing up, I thought of myself as spiritual and I was right. I was into tarot card reading, astrology, the law of attraction and divination. I was also a mix of Jehovah witness with Catholic. Can we say spiritually confused?!
If God did not allow for people to make choices, then everyone would be destined to heaven. If spiritual overtaking can be blamed for every decision made, then the demoniac person is free from moral responsibility for his or her actions. Human nature is heavily influenced by senses, and these are directly affected by the environment. The Bible does not speak of demons being casted out of a believer, nor does it warn regarding spiritual possession, it does advise however to disregard seducing spirits. Seducing spirits cannot possess a person, but they can influence. But God gives us a choice, for life or death. We can believe that God will be present in offering an escape, and also allow Satan to be present as well, or we can believe to be possessed by a demon. Satan works by suggestion, temptation and suggestion, which are more subtle ways for Christians to fall prey. The bible speaks of a devil who tempted Jesus; offering power, riches and food in exchange for his worship. Those who negotiate with Satan, run the risk of being taken over by demoniac spirits and eventually oppose God altogether.
Satan threatens Christians spiritually and internally. He offers temptations to sin against God, and it is then possible for him to have place and power in believer’s lives. This occurs when the word of God is disobeyed: Satan is not resisted, un-forgiveness lingers and when believers attach themselves to past life styles and beliefs. The bible communicates that these are the devil’s mechanisms and/or devices against Christians, including creating strongholds in the mind. The word stronghold, can be translated into the psycho-social word: paradigm. This word describes what the human mind embraces as a belief patterns, an ideals and perceptions. The choices people make come from the patterns which have been preset and adapted by their own minds. Once the mind welcomes the suggestion from the prince of the power of the airs, then it opens doors to the enemy. While in the unregenerate human body, Christians will wrestle with the osmosis of their surroundings like pop culture, memories and messages from the past or present, which go against the holiness and knowledge of God.
Believers ought to guard their hearts, because from the heart, man becomes corrupted. It may seem like sin is caused when believers are being possessed by an unclean or evil spirit, but sin begins in the heart. Even Judas’ the Iscariot, betrayed Jesus after Satan entered his heart. Another example, is a couple who decided to lie about the money they made from the sale of their goods. For doing so, they died suddenly in the presence of God. (Acts 5) The apostle Peter leads us to believe that Satan influenced Ananias and Sapphira’s to lie, when he says, “Why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit?”. Psychologists and sociologists have been right all along concerning the power of suggestion. There is an immense ability to influence Christians on their personal view of God and His will, and the devil knows this.
Father God, I come to You today, with all humility knowing you are the only one who has authority and providence over demonic activity. I simply ask you for protection from the evil one, for all my family and friends, and even those reading right now. Lord, we are bombarded with images on social media, television, the internet, books and newspapers that make us vulnerable to all kinds of sin. I pray you would lead us to that place in You, which is Higher than I. Lord, I ask that You protect our minds and hearts. May our minds be set on the spiritual things, and not on the fleshly things of this world. Increase us with discernment, so that we may know when we are being lured into carnal things instead of Godly things. May you help us stand firm against the schemes of the devil. Your word says that our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places, teach our hands to war. May we be vigilant and diligent lord, In Jesus name, Amen.