But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.
Studies have concluded that many Christians do not believe Satan is a literal being. They see him as a figurative representation of evil. However, I believe there is more than enough scriptural evidence to prove the devil is real.
Satan has supernatural but limited power. He is not deity. He is not comparable to God. Unlike our Lord, the devil is not omnipotent (all powerful), nor omniscient (all knowing), nor omnipresent (present everywhere at the same time). And the evil one is definitely not immutable (unchanging and unchangeable). God’s truth never changes. But there is no truth in Satan. He twists, convolutes, lies, and manipulates to accomplish his evil purposes.
Satan is a created being, a fallen angel who hates both God and man and works to defeat God’s plan of grace and salvation through Christ.
This is the first of three devotions in which we will explore the reality of Satan. Today, we’ll look at How God Protects Us from Satanic Attacks. Tomorrow, we’ll explore What You Can Do to Guard Against Satanic Attack. And then on the third day the subject will be 7 Ways Satan Attacks Believers.
Before we freak out over this evil menace who desires to harm us, we must keep the promise in our focus text top of mind. But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one. (2 Thessalonians 3:3)
In fact, Jesus’ earthly mission was to destroy the devil’s work (1 John 3:8) which He accomplished by His victory at Calvary and the beginning of the age of grace.
Notice how Jesus contrasted His redemptive work with Satan’s destructive plan. “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10) Satan robs and kills. Jesus gives abundant life.
Jesus defeated Satan, but He didn’t destroy him. That will come later after the Lord’s second coming. Until then, the devil remains, prowling like a roaring lion (1 Peter 5:8), looking to keep unbelievers from the faith (2 Corinthians 4:4), and disrupting the lives of believers. (2 Corinthians 11:3)
Before going to the cross, Jesus expressed His concern about Satan’s attacks on His followers in a prayer to the Father. “I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one.” (John 17:15)
Back to our focus text. Notice the two things that God will faithfully do for us: strengthen and protect.
Neither term means that our lives will be kept from attack. Scripture teaches otherwise. But we can expect that when we are assaulted with evil that God will strengthen us for the ordeal and protect us from irreparable harm.
Tomorrow, we’ll look at how God has equipped us to handle demonic attacks. An important segment of scripture on the subject is found in Ephesians 6. At verse 6, in the context of protecting ourselves with the shield of faith, we learn that we can “extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.” As Christians we can expect that Satan will launch assaults against us, but God strengthens us for the battle and protects us by fending off Satan’s arrows.
The devil is noisy, brash, and can stir up more than enough racket to unsettle you. Your day can be going along nicely and all of a sudden, seemingly out of nowhere, all hell breaks loose. An irate coworker. An unfair demand from a boss. A false accusation by a friend or family member. Trouble in your home life or a shocking health concern.
Just remember, when those evil arrows start flying, that God has promised to protect you. My wife and I have had many discussions over the years on this topic. We have regularly observed that “the arrows fly, but nothing hits.” Lots of scary stuff, but we will survive the attack.
Can everything bad that happens to us be attributed to Satan? No. We’ll look at ways to recognize what is and what isn’t OF the devil in the third devotional in this series.
Here’s the good news. You’re on the winning team. Satan can intimidate you but he can’t have you. In the end, he will be destroyed. (Revelation 12:9; 19:20)
When you suspect you are under demonic attack — PRAY. Claim God’s promise: “… the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.”
Reprinted from The Forever Notebook, Book 3 (July – September) Get your copy here: Paperback and eBook/Kindle formats.