the evil one.

You may have read in my last post that I have recently been enthralled by the concept of knowing and being known by God, and through this journey something else has come to my attention. In knowing Him better and studying scripture to find out what He’s like, I realize I better understand what He’s not.

I feel more familiar with the Lord’s voice and His promptings, and almost alarmingly aware of what is not from Him. Satan can sound seductively kind, caring, and helpful, as he tries to pull us away from the plan God has for us. I have a professor who refers to Satan only as “the evil one”. I like this, as it makes it impossible for us to forget that all Satan is, is true evil. The name Satan often conjures up images of a man in a red outfit with a pitch fork, I’m pretty sure he loves that this happens as it take our eyes away from the evil. There is nothing Satan is that is not evil. In Hebrew Satan can be translated as adversary or oppressor, this often interpreted as a struggle against evil.* All that is evil is the being we think of as Satan. The evil one encompasses the depth of the depravity in our world, everything that is fallen, everything that would obstruct our path as we seek to follow God. The evil one is absolutely our adversary, it is an evil that is against us at every step and every turn, and so we need God. We desperately need God to help us.

The depth of the evil that seeks our destruction should show us how great our need for God truly is. The pure evil that would attempt to turn us from Christ is not something that we can handle on our own, oh how we need our God to save us, and help us.

Again, for me, part of this battle is truly being known by my Father. Knowing Him, so that I know His voice above all others. Being honest enough to voice my struggles and failings with Him. I need to know His voice and His guidance so that I am not misled by the evil that would seductively trap me. I think the evil one has many tactics, and one of those appears to be to often approach us under the disguise of something sweet, or not so harmful.

Last night I found myself in one of these situations where Satan comes across as trying to take care of me. “It’s ok you don’t really need to do this, it is fall break after all.” “It’s ok you are tired and you worked so hard on homework all afternoon.” “Look your tire light is on and you shouldn’t drive across town in the dark with the tire light on! You could get hurt!” The last one is what got me. My tire light comes on at any subtle change in the weather (and actually been on for about a week), and so when I felt that lie, it was really almost laughable. The problem is that I actually thought something like “Oh man that’s so true, my dad would not want me driving right now.” Oh my gosh, really?? No thank you, Satan. And so I kept driving to my church to worship and find community and was so blessed by those moments with my God. The evil one was trying to mislead me and his attack was obvious, but it is not always so clear and not always so easy to choose Christ and His power in those moments.

In this the need to know God, really know Him, so that we can respond to Him and Him alone seems so imperative.

*Strong’s Hebrew Dictionary ; Neff, D. D. (1991). A dozen Greek and Hebrew words you ought to know. Christianity Today, 35(12), 30. and; Satan: The Early Christian Tradition By Jeffrey Burton Russell

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