1 John 5:18-21
I like to listen to political talk radio, and one of my favorite hosts has “Conspiracy Day” once a month on the day of the full moon. He invites any of his listeners to call in and try to propose the conspiracy theory that they hold, or in the host’s words “the sinister forces behind current events.” Most of them don’t hold water very well, and some of them are as old as the Protocols of Zion (the Jews are trying to take over the world, don'tchaknow), or are fairly new, like the various 9-11 theories (a U.S. government plot, of course). My favorite part is when this host, gently but firmly, picks apart their theory with logic and simple questions.
There's one conspiracy theory, however, which is completely real and based upon God’s word. There's one sinister force behind the evil in the world, and he’s pretty effective at hiding his influence. Kings, Presidents, members of Parliament, dictators and people in all levels of government are under this power. Today’s passage is pretty clear: “the whole world is under the control of the evil one.”
Now if you read the TAWG blog a couple of days ago, you know how this doesn’t contradict the fact of God’s sovereignty. The Almighty is the ultimate authority, but he uses Satan for his own purposes. Satan does some evil act, thinking he’s getting away with something and that he’s in charge, and then he eventually finds out that what he did was what the Lord had planned out all along.
So what does it mean when Scripture says that Satan runs the world? Does this mean that everyone outside of Christ is demon-possessed, like the girl from The Exorcist? Of course not. But it does mean that outside of Christ, every person is completely given over to their sinful nature. They're utterly incapable of pleasing or really loving God, and through their sinful desires Satan controls them. They might be good people and do good things, but they've joined Satan in his opposition to the Lord, whether they know it or not.
In fact, did you know that Satan is their spiritual father? This is a hard saying, but Jesus said it. According to him, everyone has one or the other spiritual father, Satan or God. Hey, don’t shoot the messenger. Again, this doesn’t mean that they're consciously worshiping Satan like someone drawing a pentagram on the floor. The Enemy doesn’t care if they consciously worship him or not, as long as he can keep them away from being redeemed. In fact, most of the time he keeps people in deception, so they have no idea what their spiritual state is.
But take heart. Our Father is in control over all this. The Enemy’s greatest victory was when he hung the Son of God on a cross and killed him. So how did that work out for him?
Lord Jesus, you are in control. The Father has placed everything under your feet, and I share in your victory over the Enemy. Please help me live like it.