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.
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 from 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 a loving God say that love isn't always 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 and leaving 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 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).
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" (p 18).
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.
He loves everyone.
He desires all to be saved.
Satan is a liar.
He is a thief.
He is a destroyer of hope, joy, and love.
And as Lewis further retorts in The Screwtape Letters, 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" (p 47).
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 paralyze the bones 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.
If Satan can't convince me to forsake the One who died for me, he will try everything he can to convince me why I should do just that.
Satan will send storms so I feel alone.
He will send medical diagnoses so I question, "Where is God?".
He will create pride, selfishness, and fear within me that cause 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.
Our God is unchanging, ever faithful, and always present whether we can feel, see, or hear Him or not.
“I am the Lord, and I do not change. That is why you descendants of Jacob are not already destroyed" (Malachi 3:6, NLT).
"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever" (Hebrews 13:8, NLT).
Let us sing them over our battles today.
But we still serve the same God.
Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/Stanislav Hubkin
Amber Ginter is a teacher-turned-author who loves Jesus, her husband Ben, and granola. Growing up Amber looked for faith and mental health resources and found none. Today, she offers hope for young Christians struggling with mental illness that goes beyond simply reading your Bible and praying more. Because you can love Jesus and still suffer from anxiety. You can download her top faith and mental health resources for free to help navigate books, podcasts, videos, and influencers from a faith lens perspective. Visit her website at amberginter.com.