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Southside is a loving, vigorous, and growing congregation in Shelbyville, Tennessee. Our vision is toward the future: Our Children, Our Ministry, and Our Outreach. Our goal is to embrace all people in our hearts and fellowship as we strive together to support Christ’s mission on earth.
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This probably seems like a strange subject for the Christmas season but this the result of a conversation this past week. A lady thinks that COVID is happening because God is unhappy with us. I agree that God is most likely unhappy and disappointed given the shape of the world, but I do not believe he is the author of this terrible disease. It seems very possible that Satan is using it to his advantage.

My assumption is that if you are reading this you are already a Christian or at least say you are. Hopefully, this is an encouragement to you in the war for your soul.

Who is Satan?  Why does he hate me so much that he wants to drag me down to hell to be with him for eternity? Most leaders in the world, especially military leaders, believe that you should know your enemy and know what he/she is capable of so you can defeat them. If someone were out to destroy you and your family, you would do everything in your power to find out about them in order to defeat them. Well, that person exist, Satan, Lucifer, the devil or whatever name you choose, he is real and wants to destroy you. 1 Peter 5:8  “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”

I thought writing this would be easy, short and sweet but found out different. When the subject of the devil is Googled, the science of the devil comes out immediately. Data about his reality and his believers came out initially and it took several clicks to find a Biblical and commentator discussion about the subject.

The Hebrew name Satan (pronounced SA-tan) actually means "adversary", Greek diabolos, also means "adversary". So, he’s NOT your friend.

References to Satan: Genesis 3:14 - “Cursed are you above all livestock and all wild animals! You will crawl on your belly, and you will eat dust all the days of your life”

Isaiah 14:12 outlines the destruction of Babylon and its wicked king: “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!”

Revelation 12:9 “The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.”

Satan is God’s enemy, but he cannot attack God directly, so he attacks those made in God’s image, and dearly loved by him. Satan knows his doom is sure, and wants to bring as many people down with him as he can.

The Bible describes him as crafty, sneaky, clever, cunning, subtle, intelligent and shrewd. Satan is a clever devil who is very good at what he does. Satan never takes a holiday like Christmas. I even wonder if he doubles his efforts when we are trying to come closer to God.

Here is Max Lucado’s description of satan:

“Want to read his rap sheet?”

“Satan . . . incited David” (1 Chron. 21:1 NIV).

“Satan has asked . . . to sift you [Simon] like wheat” (Luke 22:31 TLB).

“The devil . . . persuaded Judas Iscariot . . . to turn against Jesus” (John 13:2 NCV).

“This woman . . . Satan has kept bound for eighteen long years” (Luke 13:16 NIV).

“He has “blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. As a result, they don’t see the light of the Good News” (2 Cor. 4:4 GOD’S WORD).”

“He rules the world, and his spirit has power over everyone who doesn’t obey God” (Eph. 2:2 CEV).

“Satan incites, sifts, persuades, binds, blinds, and rules.”

The following is a paraphrase from the internet: “The devil is responsible for all the sin, sickness, sorrow, suffering, crime, poverty and death on this earth. Everlasting fire is prepared for the devil and his angels.  Evil men and women are his angels and do his bidding. Look at any news headline whether TV or computer and there’s no doubt that evil things are happening all over the world. And despite our desire for peace, evil seems to be increasing day by day.“ I’m not comfortable with idea that Satan is responsible for all sickness. In searching for a Bible verses that clearly gives that thought, I could not find one. The theologians have very different views about the origin of sickness.

Ok, you already knew all this, so this is a reminder of both our war and who the enemy is, Satan. “Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Eph. 6:12).

So how I do I win the war with Satan? The beginning is found in Acts 2:38 – “And Peter said to them, Repent and be baptized every one of you qin the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” The Spirit is a gift because he ALWAYS stands ready with us to defeat Satan.

“If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit” (Galatians 5:25). The word “if” is very important because we must live by Him not just say we do.  We must walk the walk! “With so much soap, why are there so many dirty people in the world? Christianity, like soap, must be personally applied if it is to make a difference in our lives.” Billy Graham

Pray without ceasing! Invite the Spirit to control your life always! You have to care and want to win! This war you don’t want to lose!


Mike   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

FYI - Max Lucado’s Daily Devotional for December 16. 2021:

We Know He Came

Spiritual beings populate the stories of Scripture. Angels singing. Demons infecting. Heavenly hosts fighting. Ignore the armies of God and you ignore the heart of Scripture. Ever since the snake tempted Eve in Eden, we’ve known there is more to this world than meets the eye.

We know less than we desire about these beings. Their strategies and plans we can only imagine. If Satan could preempt Christ in the cradle, there’d be no Christ on the cross. Don’t you think he tried?

The conflict was, no doubt, far grander and more dramatic than anything we can fictionalize. But while we can only imagine if such a war occurred, we can be sure of this: we know who won. Because we know he came.

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