It dawned on me that the Devil is not the real enemy. The problem in many churches is that they like to pin their misfortunes and circumstances on Satan and his minions. But if one examines the scriptures carefully, one will find that the appearance of Satan, devils, and evil spirits are mark with ulterior purposes of God, from the very beginning.
The serpent was allowed to dwell in the garden, along with Adam and Eve, that the temptation can be set up to test them.
God allowed Satan to cause destruction of Job and his family, to test Job’s loyalties to God.
God sent Saul an evil spirit (only after the anointing of the Holy Spirit went away), because of Saul’s stubbornness and jealousy (I Samuel 16 & I Samuel 19). What is unusually funny in the latter incident is that when Saul sent messengers to try to capture David, the Holy Spirit came upon them and they began to prophesy (what about, we aren’t told), then Saul sent messengers again, and they began to prophesy as well. Then Saul sent some out once more, with the same result. Finally, Saul himself went to find David, and the Holy Spirit came upon him and Saul began to prophesy. How hilarious is that?! Some even mocked saying, ‘Is Saul one of the prophets?’. (There is an argument against free-will in there somewhere).
But I would venture to say that this incident affect every much in David as it did in Saul, perhaps moreso for David sees the hand of God in the eventual promise that David will be king, at Saul’s expense.
- Jesus was* led *of the Spirit into the wilderness…to be tempted of the devil (Matthew 4:1). I mean it’s not like Satan just happened to be there, he was meant to be there.
No matter how many nicotine spirits you try to cast out, no matter how much you blame the spirit of poverty, despair, or bitterness to ruin you day, in the end it all comes down to how we are going to react in any given situation. Our power isn’t in the ability to cast out demons, but how we overcome our own fears of life through the faith we exercise in God. The miracles that Jesus performed in casting out devils were as much for those who witnessed the events as those who benefited from the healing. They were demonstrations of compassion in which we should take note.
I’m not saying that we should dismiss the devil as harmless, for he does have tremendous influence in the hearts of men. But let’s not blame the devil for you ills or your sin. All he is doing is making it available for you to examine yourself to see if you are in the faith. It is part of the process of God to purify you faith as gold.