I believe that Satan is the predator of my soul, the enemy who seeks to devour me spiritually, if only he could. He can’t because nothing can separate me from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus—not even angels or principalities or powers (Rom. 8:38-39).
So what’s Satan doing these days? I mean, the Bible gives us some notion of his activity “back then.” In the Old Testament we know he targeted Job and brought immeasurable suffering on him and his family in an effort to prove that Job’s faith had a foundation built on his health and wealth, not on God’s character.
Further, we know he, or one of his demon followers, opposed Michael as he set off in answer to Daniel’s prayer. We also know that, being the Father of Lies, Satan must have been behind the false prophets that misled Judah and Israel. We know in fact that he lied about God’s word to Eve:
The woman said to the serpent, “From … the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.'”
The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die!
I suspect Satan was the prime mover in a lot of the idol worship of the day, with its child sacrifices and temple prostitutes, but I’m not sure that’s verifiable. But he did prompt David to take a census of Israel, apparently in opposition to God’s dictates. And the prophet Zechariah saw a vision in which Satan was accusing the high priest (Zec 3:1).
In the New Testament Satan and his forces seem to have been less covert. He himself spent forty days tempting Jesus in the wilderness (Luke 4:2), capped by three specific temptations that called into question Christ’s deity (Matt. 4:3-10). In addition, numerous people Jesus encountered were demon possessed, at least one with a “legion” of evil spirits.
The Pharisees, according to Jesus, were following after their father the devil. Satan also entered Judas and prompted him to betray Jesus.
Paul said Satan hindered him from going to the Thessalonians, and he admonished the Corinthians to put on the armor of God to be able to stand against the devil.
Peter, writing in the first epistle bearing his name, said, “Be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (I Peter 5:8b).
There’s that devour business again. So the question is, has Satan stopped prowling about? Or does he only prowl about in places far, far away?
Or is he just as active today in exactly the same ways in the US as he was in Biblical times and Biblical places? If the latter is the case, then he is accusing some before God’s throne, demanding to test others, using schemes and snares to capture still others to do his will (see 2 Tim 2:26) and actually possessing some.
Yes, possessing some. While we in our educated, rational society look for sociological or psychological reasons for bazaar anti-social behavior, I am suggesting we shouldn’t dismiss the possibility that Satan is at work. We know he tempts, but he also tricks, lies, seduces, and bends some to his will.
I believe he is especially active when his territory is threatened, but I don’t have Scripture to prove this. Nevertheless, understanding the way conflict works, it seems logical.
Think for a moment about political conflict. There are two segments of society that don’t receive a great deal of attention from a candidate during an election—those he knows he cannot win, and those he knows he’s already won.
So too, I suggest, Satan ignores some while working double-time against others. (NO, I didn’t say political candidates are from Satan! 😆 Stay with me here).
Satan doesn’t need to give a lot of attention to those who are adamantly opposed to God. He already has them. Nor does he need to spend a lot of attention on those who are solid believers.
What he hates, I submit, are believers who have an impact on the “undecided,” who are forging into new territory—evangelizing, planting new churches, challenging Satan’s lies, and showing the love of Christ.
Thankfully, his efforts are futile as long as we believers stay alert and gird ourselves with the FULL armor of God.
So, what’s Satan doing these days? If we stay on our spiritual toes, I suspect it won’t take long before we see that he hasn’t changed. He’s still prowling about, still seeking somebody to devour.
This post is an edited edition of one that first appeared here in June 2010.