“The huge dragon, the ancient serpent known as the devil or Satan, the seducer of the whole world, was driven out; he was hurled down to the earth and his minions with him.”Rev 12:9
The devil and his demons are supernatural beings who were once angels created by God with certain abilities. They retained those supernatural capabilities even after they were thrown out of heaven and down upon the earth. They are highly intelligent and although they cannot read our minds, they can make a good guess as to what we are thinking and how we will act, or react in a situation. They know our weaknesses and will use them against us. Their purpose is to turn people away from good and towards evil. This is not something that is at the forefront of people’s minds and the devil knows that. He is sly and he will do whatever it takes to rip as many souls as possible away from God so that he can torture them in hell for all eternity.
“Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”1 Peter 5:8
Satan will do everything in his power to distort the way people see reality. He infects the mind with lies and twists the way people view themselves, those around them, the skills they possess, and the experiences they encounter each day. In this way, the devil tears down a person’s self-image by slowly destroying their confidence. This tempts the person into a state of self-hatred and despair, which suppresses their ability to move forward in life. The devil attacks other people by building up their self-image which inflates their ego, tempting them with the sin of pride. Both conditions show how skilled Satan is at altering a person’s perception of truth.
The first step in resisting the enemy is being able to identify the destructive thoughts and emotions they incite as an attack, and then learn to consistently reject them. A person won’t be able to do that without a firm belief in God, and also a belief in the existence of the devil. The less aware a person is of the devil, the more power he will have over them. Satan’s greatest deception is convincing people that he does not exist. If he can do that, then his ability to influence them is greater, because they have no fear of sin since they believe there is no devil and therefore no hell. For those who believe in the devil, he persuades them that God is so good that He will forgive all their sins no matter the gravity, without confession. This is how I lived y life for years.
The devil’s attacks start when a person is young and the awareness of God is just beginning to enter the intellect, but before they are fully conscious of the devil and his power to affect them. My parents raised me to know God and believe in the devil, so although I abandoned Jesus, my conscience never stopped convicting me. Once I decided to learn more about my faith and devote myself to God, the attacks escalated. Through those suffering, I grew closer to Jesus and began to surrender my life to Him. It was in that surrender that God revealed how foreign my thoughts were, and that was when I was able to begin the work to eradicate them and the toll they had taken on my life.
“In Him who is the source of my strength, I have strength for everything.”Philippines 4:13
Jesus gives us every tool we need through the Catholic Church to overcome sin by participating in the sacraments, which are the path to eternal life. Confession defeats Satan so he creates fear in the minds of millions of people, convincing them that it is not necessary for their salvation when deep down, they know that it is. They listen to the voice of the enemy, just like I used to, instead of the voice of their Savior Jesus Christ. The Eucharist, if received in a state of grace, gives strength and opens the door of our hearts to Christ. I have learned the only way to conquer the devil is to seek Christ within yourself. Jesus already defeated Satan through His passion, death, and resurrection. Now we continue to defeat the devil in our lives by allowing Jesus to live in and through us.