Yes, you read that correctly. Satan, the enemy, the Devil, whatever you prefer to call him – wants you to be happy. As a matter of fact, he wants you to make other people happy. He wants you to have a fantastic life. A life filled with success and pleasure.
Why would he want that? Isn’t he the bad guy? Isn’t he just out to kill, steal, and destroy?
Yes, all of that is correct. I’ve started thinking, however, that our interpretation of these statements has gone to a place that serves to further his mission of deception. You see, Lucifer isn’t out to kill, steal, and destroy you or the things you love – his mission is to cause the eternal separation of souls from God. He has been in God’s presence, he knows what it is like to physically be near God’s glory. Also, he now knows what it means to be separated, and like any bully he wants others to suffer alongside him.
In order to accomplish his goal he simply needs to convince people that they don’t need God and in this day that doesn’t necessarily mean he needs to run around possessing people or causing all kinds of havoc. No, in modern societies his job is much simpler. Create a world where people can get everything they think they need. Give them constant entertainment, convince them that true happiness can only be obtained through profession, possessions, and relationships.
Satan is most certainly a supernatural being who (I believe) does still work in the supernatural realm. He, and other demons, can and do work miracles and produce signs and wonders. (Matt 24:24)These tricks only work against a small minority however. Many Americans and other citizens of the world simply don’t believe in the supernatural. A vast majority of proclaiming Atheists found their entire lack of faith on the apparent lack of evidence that the supernatural is real. If the enemy were to be running around performing supernatural acts then those folks would have the evidence of the reality around them. Sure, some of them would remain unsaved – but others would come running to God. Right now the enemy has them all, so why risk it?
No, see the great deceiver wants you to be content, even prosperous. The more people are convinced that a life built on the foundation of their own abilities, intelligence, personality, etc. then the more often people will never need to turn to God. They’ll simply go on supplying their own feeling of completion. When whatever thing they use to fill that void stops working then they’ll find another… then another… then another… then one day the truth will be revealed.
Some Things to Keep in Mind
Let’s talk about miracles for a minute. Every miracle in the Bible had a common theme: everyone one of them showed God’s power and glory to the people in the vicinity who were on the fence or having trouble believing. Jesus used them for teaching moments. See John 9 as an example. Further we are instructed to test the spiritual claims and manifestations we encounter. (1 John 4)
So here’s what I want to leave you with. The next time you experience inexplicable prosperity, or are benefited in a way that can only be explained as miraculous – give that experience a little test. Ask yourself and anyone else involved, “How does this show God’s glory to those who need it?” or “How can this thing be used to deliver the Gospel to the unreached?” or “Does this gift allow or hinder my ability/desire to humble myself to God’s will and serve others in His name?”
The bottom line: Just because something appears to be good and/or supernatural does not mean it is from God. Remember that the enemy can work in many ways. In this age I believe he is working on a cultural level, influencing us in our societies to be dependent on ourselves or our worldly institutions. In doing this he drives people en masse to forego the gift or salvation, freely given, by our Lord, Jesus Christ,