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As a child, I grew up hearing about the Devil. With his pitchfork in hand and red horns, I thought I would always easily spot him. The dragging red tail and sinister voice were bonuses. 

Wouldn’t everyone stay away from evil if he were this obvious?

What I did not realize as a child, however, was that Satan does not appear to us in obvious measures. And though Satan appears to us in many forms, blatant physiques are not one of them. 

He is too intelligent to appear that way. 

He is much too sneaky. 

He is more clever than we might like to bargain.

How Satan Appears

For some, Satan and His ways come in the addictions, sins, and deceptions of fallen humanity. 

Did God really say? (Genesis 3:1)

Is pornography really a sin if no one ever sees you? (Matthew 5:28)

Would a loving God really send people to Hell? (Revelation 21:8-9)

How can you argue that love is love? (Genesis 19:1-11)

For others, He comes dressed as everything we ever wanted.

A job promotion of 60+ hours a week, including Sunday, leaves little room for God. 

Our new relationship quickly becomes an obsession we cannot stop thinking and dreaming about (Luke 12:34)

The dreams we have for ourselves quickly take over the ambitions and plans God is calling us to achieve (1 Thessalonians 5:19).

And for a few, Satan arrives unexpectedly in the shifts and shadows of pain, crises, and turmoil (Job 2:6). 

The ever-growing list of medical diagnoses and premeditations blurs our vision and dulls our hope (Psalms 9:18).

The loss of our loved ones creates grief too deep for words and too void for understanding (Psalms 34:18).

This world gets so heavy, and our suffering so great, that we often forfeit the eternal prize we are living for in exchange for poor replacements in the here and now (2 Corinthians 4:18). 

Same Devil

Regardless of the addictions, sins, deception, circumstances, or turmoil, Satan is still Satan. And from the beginning of time, he hasn’t really changed. 

He is still the father of lies (John 8:44).

He is still synonymous with unhealthy fear (1 John 4:18-19).

He is the master behind every evil and destructive thing that plagues this earth (Job 2:1-13).

He is who lurks on the earth, just hoping he can add more soldiers to his arsenal destined for Hell. 

As C.S. Lewis notes in his profound work, The Screwtape Letters“Do not be deceived, Wormwood. Our cause is never more in danger than when a human, no longer desiring, but still intending, to do our Enemy’s will, looks round upon a universe from which every trace of Him seems to have vanished, and asks why he has been forsaken, and still obeys” (pg. 18). 

Same God

Because as a fallen angel, Satan knows who God was and still is.

He knows what God is capable of, and at his core, he knows that he and God are incomparable. 

God never changes.

His words are always true. 

He fulfills every promise. 

His mercies are never every morning. 

He loves everyone.

He desires all to be saved. 

But Satan?

He is a liar.

He is a thief.

He is a destroyer of hope, joy, and love.

And as Lewis further retorts, the danger is not in who Satan is but in what Satan can attempt to convince us about Christ Himself:

“We thus distract men’s minds from Who He is, and what He did. We first make Him solely a teacher and then conceal the very substantial agreement between His teachings and those of all other great moral teachers. For humans must not be allowed to notice that all great moralists are sent by the Enemy not to inform men but to remind them, to restate the primeval moral platitudes against our continual concealment of them” (pg. 47). 

New Demons

Today, the demons that you and I may face on a daily basis do not come to us with pitchforks blazing and fires burning. But they do often appear in similar but different fashions. 

For myself, my demon was an eating disorder and an addiction to exercise. It was an obsession with a boy I loved. It was lying and cheating to succeed because I wanted to be perfect. And though Christ has given me victory over each of those things, I still face new demons. 

Their faces have changed, but the one behind them is the same.

Crippling anxiety to the point of panic attacks is not from God.

Seven diagnoses in just over three years are not from God.

Stress, worry, and fear that paralyzes the bone are not from God.

But all of these things are surely intended by the enemy to destroy my faith and my view of God. Yet what the enemy intended for evil, God can and will use for good. 

Because if Satan can’t convince me to forsake the one who died for me, he will try everything he can to convince me to do just that. 

He will send storms so that I will feel alone. 

He will send medical diagnoses so I question “where is God?”

He will create pride, selfishness, and fear within me that causes me to lose hope.

But God has not given us spirits of fear, worry, anxiety, or pride. God has given us spirits of power, love, discipline, and self-control. And the best news is that although we may face new demons, and it is the same Devil behind them, it is also the same God fighting for you and me. He is not a God of disorder and chaos, but a God of peace. 

He Is Still God

The God who moved mountains is still moving mountains.

The God who split the Red Sea is parting waves for us. 

The God who called down thunder, lightning, fire, and rain still reigns in power and majesty today. 

Because our God is unchanging, ever faithful, and always present whether we can feel, see, or hear Him or not. 

Malachi 3:6 and Hebrews 13:8 declare these affirmations:

“I am the Lord, and I do not change. That is why you descendants of Jacob are not already destroyed” (Malachi 3:6, New Living Translation)

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever”(Hebrews 13:8, New Living Translation). 

Let us sing them over our battles today. 

Same Devil. 

New Demons. 

But we still serve the same God. 

Agape, Amber