How Strong is Satan?
How Strong is Satan?
If we were to hypothesize some sort spiritual hierarchy, where would Satan be on that list? For whatever reason, we have the tendency of making him inferior only to the Godhead and no one else. A popular train of thought might put Satan second to God, then angels, and humans as last. What this ideology accomplishes is a handicapped perception of our ability to fight back against the devil and break free. A false illusion of power can create a real submission by the subject.
Revelation 12:8 reveals an angel that gives us a glimmer of hope. The angel's name is Michael and he has some sort of army. The following verse notes that the dragon was defeated by Michael's militant force and the later text reveals the dragon to be Satan. This angel is never given the title of deity, yet he was strong enough to defeat Satan. Rev. 20:1-3 is another scene where Satan is being bound up by an angel and thrown into a pit. This further indicates that angels can have strength over Satan.
The book of Job reveals a man who is able to overcome Satan's tactics. In the first two chapters of the book, Satan is given permission by God to test Job. Satan's energy and focus were entirely on Job at that point. Literally every aspect of Job's life fell to pieces. Yet, when you fast forward to chapter 42, Job is seen as triumphant and is further blessed by God. Many lessons can be gleaned from Job, but perhaps one of the greatest of all is the reality of victory over Satan.
Matthew 4:1-11 reveals a Savior who is stronger than Satan. In this popular scene of Jesus vs. Satan, Satan tries every form of deceit (lust of flesh, lust of eyes, lust of pride; cf. 1Jn 2:15-17). Yet, the Messiah was able to come back with arguments against Satan and further resist him. This eventually caused the devil to flee (James 4:7). One might think that this example is a no-brainer since Christ is God. However, keep in mind that He emptied himself and took on the form of man (Ph. 2:5-8). This meant that He was tempted and tried just as we are (Heb. 2:18).
So then. If angels can have strength over Satan, and man can have strength over him, and the Savior can too, what's preventing us? I want to encourage you -- though Satan may be adequately equipped to make our lives miserable, he is not omniscient, omnipresent, nor is he omnipotent. His energy and abilities are limited. But I know a God without limits, and a God who yearns to help us. I don't know what temptation you're dealing with and I don't know your situation, but remember that you have the opportunity to be stronger.