Satan’s goal is to be like God. He studies God and imitates Him so that he can trick the world into worshipping him. His greatest tool is deception. 2 Corinthians 11:14 explains that he “masquerades as an angel of light”. He will do whatever he can to deceive the world and blind the minds of unbelievers so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ (2 Corinthians 4:4). Satan adds to the Scriptures, deletes from them, denies their inerrancy, and causes people to misinterpret them1. He turns nations against each other and attempts to set them against God. He divides the church through various disagreements, the most significant being legalism.
Luke spoke out against it in Acts 15 and Paul wrote about it in Galatians 2, but the power of God’s grace is still being distorted. Satan has attacked the meaning of love and distorted the world’s views on marriage. He has misled people into believing that God causes death and sickness when the Bible is clear that Satan comes to steal, kill, and destroy but God comes to give abundant life (John 10:10). He attempts to stop the work of the church and delay God’s answers to prayers. In Daniel 10:13 the angel Gabriel explains that he took twenty-one days to get to Daniel because Satan fought him for that long. Satan wants the world to focus on hate, anger, jealousy, pride, and offense instead of love as Jesus commanded.
While Satan is a serious force to be reckoned with, it is important to remember that he is not God. He cannot be in more than one place at a time, he is not able to do all things, and he is not all-knowing2. While he studies a person’s actions and can influence their thoughts, God has given his children the power to overcome him. James 4:7 clearly explains that if you submit yourself to God and resist the devil, he must flee. He may not realize it yet, but he has already been defeated by the Almighty God. Billy Graham put it best when he wrote, “By His death and resurrection, Jesus Christ conquered death and hell and Satan – and someday His victory will be complete”3.
1 Dr. Harrold L. Wilmington, Wilmington’s Guide to the Bible (Carol Stream: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc), 733
2 Wilmington, Wilmington’s Guide to the Bible, 738
3 Billy Graham, “Answers” July 3, 2017 accessed August 1, 2019, https://billygraham.org/answer/what-is-the-devils-most-successful-scheme/