Our culture rejects the notion of a real devil. The idea that there is a real-life personification of evil is in sharp contrast to the prevailing secular materialist philosophies that shape the current worldview. There is no place for absolutes in contemporary philosophy. And, since there is no absolute God to lay out a moral code, then there certainly is no place for an absolute god of evil either. But the mindset ignores reality. You have to live with your eyes shut to not see the evidence for both a good God and an evil devil all around you.
Our headlines are filled with reports of horrible acts against humanity that we intuitively recognize as evil. We all know that wrong is wrong and that right is right when we see it. But western secular philosophy stops short of attributing the good or the bad to any source other than to bad people. To go beyond that demands the acknowledgement of a divine being that has established the moral boundaries. They would also be forced to recognize that there are evil forces that work in the hearts of men.
The Bible, however, is filled with references to the devil. He his identified by many names, such as: Satan, Deceiver, Father of Lies, the evil one, the enemy of our souls, Lucifer, and the dragon. The Apostle Paul, in his letter to the Corinthians, identifies the great irony we face today when he writes, “Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe.” (2 Corinthians 4:4 NLT) Those who don’t believe in Satan are, in fact, being blinded by the very one they can’t accept as real! He blinds then to the glory of God and blinds the to his own existence. So, they go through life denying the reality of a spiritual world and the spiritual ruler that is influencing while he is controlling every aspect of their lives.
Paul issues this warning to all who will listen, “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8 NLT). Yes, there is a devil. He is real and his after you! Ignore him at your peril. We don’t have to live in fear of him because Jesus has given us power over him, but you shouldn’t deny his existence either. Recognize that he as always plotting against you, against humanity, and against God. Live your life with a healthy awareness of the existence of both God and his adversary, the devil. But make sure you’re on the right side! Paul goes on to tell us to, “Stand firm against him (the devil), and be strong in your faith (in Jesus)” [parenthesis added].
Yes, the devil is real and is actively at work to do you harm and to hurt the cause of Christ on the earth. But you and I don’t have to let him rule our mind and our hearts. You can resist him by submitting your life to Jesus and dedicating yourself to what is good and right. “Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.” (Romans 12:9 NIV)