This may not be news to some of you but I am firmly convinced that Satan is a jerk! Why, you ask? Well, let’s look at a brief biography of the devil:
- He is a liar 1 (which is often why you will see him with his pants on fire).
- He deceives people by dressing up like an angel 2.
- He stalks people, prowling around ready to pounce and consume them 3.
- He actually plans how to do damage to folks 4.
- His single-minded mission is to steal, and kill and destroy everything that is precious to God 5.
- He is constantly denouncing us and besmirching our character 6.
- He entices us to stray from godly living and pursuing Christ 7.
- He hates Christians and has launched a war against them 8.
- He causes illness and injuries 9.
So, given this list of his most basic characteristics, I think it is fair to say that satan is not someone you want to take home for Sunday dinner or hang around with. He is just not nice.
Here’s the problem. Most Christians either don’t believe he is real or dismiss his influence in their lives. Either approach is naive, unbiblical and dangerous, I think, for obvious reasons – he is trying to take you out and he will stop at nothing to do so. Jesus did not ignore the devil and neither should we. So I recently started trying a new approach to dealing with the devil. In many Christian circles, it is popular to “bind the enemy” – I’m actually not sure what that means. But for me, I found a different and effective tool whenever a thought flits across my mind that is contrary to God’s Word or my Christian confession – in other words when I am tempted to sin. I call satan a jerk! I simply say either out loud (depending on who is around) or silently, “Satan, you’re a jerk.” I found that this does a few things for me. First, it clearly identifies the source of that thought as something “foreign” to me. I don’t have to own it or accept it. Not everything that pops into my mind is either me or God. Sometimes it’s just the devil trying to mess me up. Second, calling satan a jerk, takes his perceived power away from him. One of his strategies is to make himself look too powerful to resist, too intimidating. By calling him out, we recognize and remind him of his status as defeated by Christ. He is NOT all-powerful. And I can resist him. Finally, by calling satan a jerk, we take back control of our own will and our own actions; we take a stand against that thing that would grieve the Holy Spirit. We say to satan, “No!” We affirm that we don’t have to give in or go along. Sometimes, I even have to say, “Satan, you are SUCH as jerk!” when the battle becomes more heated.
Please understand, I am not being flippant here. I really do this and most of the time it really is effective. I’m not saying that it works 100% of the time, but it sure helps. I understand how hard it can be to resist temptation. I understand that sin sometimes looks and feels really good. I understand that we sometimes feel alone and defeated in the battle. But I also understand that Christ won. We are free. We are not slaves. We are not stuck or hopeless. Do not give up the battle. Satan is a jerk – a defeated one at that – and you can let him know it.
1 John 8:44, 2 2 Corinthians 11:14, 3 1 Peter 5:8, 4 2 Corinthians 2:11, Ephesians 6:11, 5 John 10:10, 6 Revelation 12:10, 7 1 Thessalonians 3:5, Luke 4:13, 8 Revelation 12:17, 9 Luke 13:16, Acts 10:38