Anonymous asked: I've never told anyone this. But I have a fear of the devil. I know, it seems so weird because I know God is bigger and better and He watches over me, but I've always been scared of horror movies and stuff. I can't even watch the previews. So the idea of the devil and demons really freaks me out. It's a struggle I've had to deal with for years to the point where (at my worst moments) I'll be too afraid to go to sleep. And I'm 22. Your prayers would be great. But any suggestions?
Satan is powerful, he is cunning, and he is very dangerous. So are his demons. Both Satan and his demons are actual beings: not personifications of evil or any other nonsense like that.
I have had similar fears as yourself, and I’m 21. A few months ago, as I was trying to go to sleep, I saw a man standing in the doorway of my bedroom. For a few minutes, I stared at him. After he walked out of my view, I stood up, grabbed my gun, and went through my house to find him—to no avail. I have little doubt that this was a manifestation of a demon, as there was no sense of the Spirit of God or of peace throughout the encounter.
To say again, demons and Satan are dangerous, and they are real. You—and I—are in luck, because I just finished today a section on Satan and demons in Charles C. Ryrie’s Basic Theology. In it, he said about demons, “To sum up: Demons are not humans; neither are they God. But they are superhuman with superior intelligence and experience and powers. To deny the existence of demons is not skepticism; it only displays ignorance. To be unrealistic about their power is foolhardy.”
And about Satan, “In general we may say that Satan the adversary wants passionately to squelch the believer’s testimony. To accomplish this he prowls the earth like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8). The word ‘devour’ is the same word used to describe the way to Red Sea swallowed up the Egyptians when they were pursuing the Hebrews (Heb. 11:29). It paints a vivid picture of Satan’s ultimate goal—to completely drown the believer’s testimony and usefulness.”
To sum all that up: Satan and his demons exist solely to oppose the spread of the Gospel and to (continually) enslave the world to its dying system.
But here’s the thing: they can do nothing without the permission of the Father (cf. Job 1:12, among others). And, if we know that everything the Father allows for the believer is for his sanctification (Ro. 8:28), then anything that a demon or Satan does to a believer is permitted by the Father and will be used for his sanctification. So, an ultimate blessing in the cursing of demon-annoyance.
Nonetheless, there are things that we can do to avoid and guard against being troubled by demons.
Ryrie points out, “The believer can live victoriously in Satan’s world through faith in Christ who Himself has become the victor over Satan (1 John 5:4-5: [‘For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?’]). No contingency is attached to the promise in these verses. Every believer, whether new or mature, has victory simply because he is a believer.” Being sealed in Christ matters in this fight, because Christ has already won.
Ryrie explains, “Effecting that victory will involved habits, defenses, activities, but it is our faith in Jesus that makes us believers and thus overcomers, sufficient to live Christlike lives in the satanic cosmos.”
We must continually examine ourselves to see if we are walking in such a way that (a) quenches the power of the Spirit within us or (b) immediately opens a door for demonic activity, through witchcraft or occultic practices, both of which (a and b) allow for demonic influence.
We must examine our lives for unconfessed sin and for idolatrous practices, rely on the power of the Spirit, and use the full armor of God, including the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word.
I will be in prayer for you, but trust this: Christ has already conquered the order of this world.
Submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.
James 4:7, 8a
Grace and peace
Edit: As Asia-Lyn points out, “Prayer is the best way to fight the fear! I struggle with that as well.”
Prayer is a powerful, powerful tool against the demonic influences.