Question: As a Christian, is Satan afraid of me?
I think this is a fascinating question. A youth in our student ministry asked this question recently, so this post is the written version of my response to him. The answer has two parts. I hope you enjoy!
(1) I believe there is a sense in which Satan is terrified of Christians, but it has absolutely nothing to do with the ability of Christians to stand against Satan. Instead it has everything to do with Jesus’ power to send Satan to flight.
Satan’s fear is locked-in on Jesus, because Jesus will destroy him in the end. Where we stand toe-to-toe with the forces of evil as infantry in Jesus’ army, Satan is fighting a losing battle — and it’s because of our captain, Jesus, not simply because of us.
James 4:7 teaches, “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” The picture is similar to the standoff between Satan and Jesus in the wilderness. Jesus’ temptation is the antitype of Adam’s in the book of Genesis, where Adam and Eve both crumbled under Satan’s simple argument. We must not think ourselves better than they, or we will set ourselves up to fall just as hard! Instead, we bank on God’s strength for resisting the devil, “and he will flee from you.”
So the wise Christian hears the Word of God and does not boast foolishly that Satan is too weak to hurt believers. He stands and agrees with Rev. 12:9 — that Satan is the “ancient serpent” and one “who leads the whole world astray.” He remembers that Satan even “rose up against Israel and incited” David, Israel’s great king, to sin (1 Chron. 21:1). He remembers that Satan’s ways can fill even the hearts of believers and lead to destruction, as with Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5:3). He wisely remembers that the devil “himself masquerades as an angel of light” (2 Cor. 11:4). He cautiously knows that Satan, as he did with Paul, can even try to stop you from doing what you want to do for God (1 Thess. 2:18). Then, perhaps most dangerously, the Bible warns that some turn away from Jesus to follow Satan (1 Tim. 5:15).
I list those verses to help us keep our heads on our shoulders. Satan is a formidable enemy! He hates the people of God, and he will do whatever he can to stop the advance of the gospel, most obviously, by destroying one’s testimony. So, my caution to you is not that you can’t face Satan with Jesus’ help and see him flee, but more that you humbly take to heart that this is a serious fight, not a simple-answer-fight against the devil.
(2) Here are some verses that should give us a rush of exhilaration knowing that Satan is no match for Jesus!
In Zech. 3:2, God himself rebukes Satan — imagine that scene! In Luke 10:18, when the disciples returned from the nearby towns after preaching the Good News there, they returned in excitement; and Jesus described it this way, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven!” In Acts 26:18, Paul says that the gospel has the power to “open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God.” And, I love this: Romans 16:20 teaches, “The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.”
I would like to encourage you to note that wherever there is victory over Satan, it is because of what God does. It’s his power over Satan, not ours. Notice that it is God who will crush Satan under your feet. So, I believe that is a biblically accurate way to say that Satan is not happy with you!
Satan is not happy with you, because you are now a light in a dark world, who is commissioned by King Jesus to share the gospel, and snatch others out of the grasp of the ancient serpent. Satan would have a much easier time deceiving people if there weren’t Christians onward marching, telling the world what the Word of God says! Satan would have a much easier time directing peoples’ paths to destruction, especially since that is their natural path anyway, if it weren’t for born-again Christians thwarting his plans by the power of God!
As Russ Moore says, “Tremble, O Proud Snake King” . . . for
“The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet!” (Rom. 16:20).