Satan constantly tries to get me to stumble and stray from the Lord. And, to overcome this constant threat, I need vigilance and determination to behave in as saintly way as possible.
That’s what I used to believe. My former pastor, who taught all spirits (outside the Holy Ghost) as cohorts of the devil, constantly emphasized Satan’s threat to my salvation, even though I’d been a Born Again Christian.
After Goldfield, my views radically shifted. Now I believe God’s omnipresent love would never permit Satan to be as powerful as I’d once construed him.
The dark one doesn’t have a prayer of prying me away from divine peace.
It’s not that I don’t believe in spiritual warfare; I feel it exists. At times when I was close to a spiritual breakthrough, something would fight me. Everything around me fell apart, diverting my attention. Soon, I was mired in “I’m not good enough” and “Who am I kidding?”
But did the devil cause these trials? Or were they a result of my ego trying to forge independence from the divine by lessening my confidence of salvation? While I can’t say the devil certainly isn’t involved in this, I can’t blame it all on the dark one.
The devil, our egos
Free will, which allows us to be stubborn and do as we please, can erect walls between us and the Great I Am, making it difficult to put our full trust in the divine. Have you ever thought: “I can handle it, I don’t need anyone?”
The Bible shows Jesus only spoke of Satan on four occasions. If the devil threatened our eternal well-being, Jesus would’ve focused more attention on him. When Christ does refer to Satan, I wonder if the devil, as indicated in the examples He presents, really symbolizes out-of-control pride.
In the seed parable (Mark 4:15 and Luke 8:12), Jesus compares some people to soil where The Word is sown. He says as soon as they hear The Word, Satan comes to snatch that holy message away. I believe the dark one represents our arrogance and cynicism that make it hard for us to rely on God and to accept a message of unconditional love and enduring patience.
The temptation of Christ (Luke 4:2) also illustrates how the ego can disarm spirituality. The devil appeals to Jesus’ pride by asking him to prove he is the son of God, and then offering him authority over the world’s kingdoms. Satan’s appeal to Jesus can be pared to, “Don’t you want to be king? You can do it without God.”
Matthew 13:39 offers yet another related parable. A farmer planted quality wheat to later find his enemy had sprinkled weed seeds among the grain so he would have difficulty reaping his harvest. Could the enemy be those little voices in our heads, trying to sabotage the blessings in our life?
While evil incarnate exists, it’s not a constant threat to our salvation. God sees to that with his unconditional love for us. Perhaps we should spend more time looking within ourselves and at our motives when our spirituality starts derailing, instead of blaming the devil for it.
What are your thoughts about Satan?