Many people think the Devil is a fairy tale, and I don’t blame them. Who could really believe in an angry bright red guy with goat horns and a pitchfork? Seems childish, right? But that version of the Devil (or Satan) doesn’t come from the Bible. Instead, scripture shows us a real spiritual enemy that we need to take seriously. So is the Devil real? Yes. Does he own a pitchfork? Probably not.
Who is the Devil?
Let’s be clear, Satan is a title, not a name. It means “the deceiver” and that tells you most of what you need to know about him. He’s a liar. it’s not something he enjoys, it’s who he is. The first time he’s named is in 1 Chronicles 21:1 where he’s inspiring David to sin by taking a census. In their day, you’d take a census before you went to war. So Satan is trying to convince David to go to war by telling him lies.
“Wait a second,” you might say. “I thought he was the snake in Genesis 1?” He is, but he isn’t called the Devil at that point. But later, authors recognized that the serpent must have been their spiritual enemy Satan.
In the Garden of Eden, the Devil brought confusion by questioning Eve. “Did God really say …?” Then, he tempted her with the same thing that caused him to be cast out of God’s presence—pride. He promised Eve she could be like God, without needing God. Adam & Eve fell into the temptation, were sent out of Eden, and out of perfect fellowship with God.
At one moment they were walking with God, the next they were filled with shame. Ever been there?
Is The Devil Real?
Have you ever done something that felt fun or exciting in one moment, then felt cheap, ugly, or hurtful later? I think everyone has. That’s what happens when we’re convinced by a lie. The Devil is how the Biblical authors talk about our desire for short-term highs that lead to lasing harm. So is the Devil real? You tell me.
The devil is a liar and he still has some power on the earth today. He looks like the good life, but then he tries to suck the life out of you. Think about porn, addictions, affairs, bingeing, empty sex, and anything that promises to fulfill your needs without God.
Have you ever felt crippled by guilt and shame over things you’ve done wrong—big or small? That’s another one of the devil’s traits. He’s known as the accuser of the family of God. The devil isn’t stupid—he’s a liar and an accuser. Pride, lies, and shame come in many forms. That’s why the Bible tells us to be watchful, on our guard against him.
How Powerful is the Devil?
Okay, but why does God allow this? Maybe because God wanted humans to live in a world with free will and the ability to choose to love Him—or not. I don’t know, but I trust God in His infinite wisdom more than my finite mind. So far, this all sounds kind of sad, and while sin is heartbreaking, I do know the end of the story. And it’s really good.
Satan Tempted Jesus
Satan tried to tempt Jesus during His time on earth. Jesus was about to start his earthly ministry, so He went out to the desert to fast for 40 days. 40 days. In. The. Desert. I’ve been hangry before after missing a snack, so I can’t imagine what that was like. But Jesus was sustained by God. The devil came to him three times offering him power, fame, and food. Can you imagine how good that all had to sound? Jesus chose to remain faithful to God’s love then, and He wasn’t tempted away from giving His life on the cross either.
And what’s the best part of the story? John 10:10 NIV says it best. It teaches us that the devil is a thief who comes to steal, kill, and destroy. That’s pretty important to know, right? If you’re feeling robbed of your joy, dead inside, and utterly shattered, you’re right where the devil wants you. But the beautiful hope is that Jesus came so we can have life—and more life! Some versions read: life to the fullest.
Jesus defeated death—He was the perfect sacrifice for all sin for all time. He gives us the fullest life. God made a way for you and me to be with Him despite all the times we’ve chosen pride & lies over Him. So, yes—the devil is real. He’s a liar. But he’s being defeated every day when we choose what’s right over what’s easy.