Several billion years ago, even before the first men set foot on Earth, celestial realms bore witness to an unforgettable cosmic saga that rocked the very foundations of the Universe. Among the celestial hierarchy, Satan, a radiant angel of unparalleled beauty and intelligence, stood as one of the greatest. Fueled by an insatiable ambition that eclipsed even his celestial radiance, he dared the unthinkable — a rebellion against the Creator (Isaiah 14:12-15; Ezekiel 28:12-19).
Knowing he stood no chance against the Maker, he used his charisma to sway a third of the heavenly host into his cosmic insurrection (Revelation 12:4). Like a fever during illness, the heavens thundered as the remaining legion of Angels, led by the archangel Michael, clashed with the insurgents. Despite Satan’s strategic brilliance, the celestial battlefield recorded his defeat (Luke 10:18). Cast out of heaven with his evil legion, he plummeted to Earth (Revelation 12:9).
Unyielding, Satan persisted in his war against the Maker. Employing the most brutal and cunning tactics he could muster. Immediately he spotted Mankind in the beautiful garden of Eden, he felt exceedingly jealous and enraged. So, he vowed to destroy the most beautiful work of the Creator. His plan? To plant the cancerous seed of Sin to bring death and decay. His plan worked (Genesis 3).
But, he would not end there. Determined to corrupt all of creation, he would go on to tempt and torment humanity for centuries on end (1 Peter 5:8). It will get so bad that the Maker would have to sacrifice his one and only son to salvage some part of his creation (John 3:16). And, to this very day, the war rages.
At least, that’s one creative narrative we can draw from diverse verses in the Bible [though they may not be explicitly stated that way and are mostly open to interpretation].
Despite Satan’s obvious blunder of making an enemy of the Creator – who is all-knowing and all-powerful – it is clear as “the writings on the wall” that Satan is purpose-driven, relentless, innovative, tactical, and brave.
Call it foolishness, but it takes someone quite formidable, charming, and persistent to convince an assembly of Angels, and even cause God to sacrifice his one and only Son in the cause of the battle ((John 3:16)).
Perhaps, when it comes to facing your greatest challenges in life, there is something to learn from this reckless fellow.
What Can We Learn From The Devil?
I recall a radio presenter remarking, “It’s not easy to not do well in office.” She was alluding to the politicians who, according to most Nigerians, are corrupt and rarely accomplish anything in office. It was amusing the way she said it, yet it was quite insightful. Gaining power requires significant effort. And even though “bad people” may be engaging in reprehensible behaviour, it is not simple to attain success even while being bad. Success is inherently difficult to achieve. And it frequently necessitates specific attitudes and behaviours.
Successful drug dealers, sex workers, internet fraudsters, etcetera, all spend time studying their target audience. They take the time to position and package themselves. They spend hours, days, weeks, months, and sometimes years building trust with customers. They recruit the most dependable assistance they can find. And, they work exceptionally hard day and night. They share the same characteristics as any other good and successful person out there.
That’s why you might find something useful if you pay close attention to Satan’s character. What is there to learn from the devil? Here are six;
Cultivate Temerity in the Face of Challenges:
When faced with an intimidating challenge or enemy, most people simply back down or let the enemy have their way. But not satan. Satan’s audacity was unprecedented. He was so convinced that his aura of certainty in overthrowing the Maker infected legions of Angels to join his course. As Kahlil Gibran wisely said, “If you are not brave enough, no one would back you up.”
In life, until people see you tackling that challenge head-on, hardly will they join you in fighting. It always starts with one person – the Martin Luther King, Gandhi, or Nelson Mandela. And, in your life, you had better be that one.
It’s cliche, but no one is coming to save you. No one will bet on you if you can’t bet on yourself. However, if you are brave enough, you might just end up inspiring others to help you reach greater heights – be it in your academics, career, or life in general. There is a reason Satan is the Lord of the Demons after all.
Descending to Earth, Satan kept the war going. If he couldn’t hit the stars, he aimed to land on the moon. If he wasn’t going to rule heaven, he was going to rule the earth. And, he did rule the earth (2 Corinthians 4:4).
In life, hardly do things works out as planned. Most times, you will have to fail, fail, and fail again. Sometimes, you never really win the battle. But, that doesn’t mean you give up. You must persist and adapt as needed.
Satan conceived and deployed several strategies, and in many cases got creative on the spot just to ensure his agenda was achieved.
On his encounters with Jesus, the Son of God, in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1-11), he demonstrated his unmatched creativity – adapting his temptations to exploit weaknesses (i.e. Jesus’s hunger and thirst), purpose (Jesus’s mission to reclaim the whole world), and ego (i.e. Jesus’s awareness of his royalty and divinity) to mention a few.
Actively Seek Opportunities:
Despite having successfully planted the seed of Sin in the World, Satan understood that there were some people who would not let that sin get to them and needed an extra push to sin. So, he kept roaming to and fro the earth, looking for those people to tempt. This is basically his job, and he works day and night seeking opportunities to mislead the ignorant.
When Satan encountered Job and found that he couldn’t get him to sin, mostly because the Maker had put a hedge around Job, he asked the Maker for an opportunity (i.e. to remove the hedge) so he could do his work. His request was granted. He was given the opportunity (Job 1:6-22). Keep in mind that he searched far and wide for that opportunity. It didn’t come to him.
Ask For What You Want
On another encounter where he was being crushed by the Son of God – who was casting him out of a man he had successfully possessed, he begged to be cast into swines. My best guess is that Satan figured it was better to be cast into swine than into the lake of fire. His request was granted (Mark 5:12-13).
It is really interesting considering he was on bad terms with the Maker. Now, why haven’t you asked for what you want?
As Patty Hansen aptly stated, “You create your opportunities by asking for them.”. Most of us would go batty if we were told all the opportunities we missed by simply not asking. Perhaps you needed some money, or you liked that girl, or you needed a tip to fix your PC. Why don’t you ask?
It’s really insane what people are willing to share or even give away; who could guessed that the Creator would allow Satan to have a fun time with Job his beloved?
Be Clear on What You Want:
Satan knows exactly what he wants – both in the long term and in the short term. And, he doesn’t really care if most people think it crazy, nor does he doubt himself for a minute. From Challenging God to asking to be shown mercy and cast into the swine, it is clear that he doesn’t let what others might think of him get in the way of what he wants.
Ben Stein once said: “The first step to getting the things you want out of life is this: decide what you want.” Satan’s relentless pursuit, despite defeats, beckons us to decide, be brave, follow through, improve, and never surrender.
Concluding: Stop Denying What You Want. Go After It.
I do not support unethical actions or behaviours. However, I’ve found that it is easy to confuse shame and fear for morality and principles. For instance, whilst cheating is wrong, and some communities may shame you for having sex outside of wedlock, there is nothing; morally wrong with sex (as long as it is between two consenting adults who are single or have consent from their partner).
Also, in marketing and sales, whilst it is wrong to swindle or mislead people, and many people hate the ads, there is nothing wrong with actively promoting your products or services as there are people who might need them (as long as the claims about your product/service are honest).
This is true in several other aspects of life…
If you gained nothing from this piece, understand that to a large extent, you are the one holding yourself back. And, until you start to move – in the direction of the things you want, despite what people might think or say – nothing really will change. Remember that it is okay for people to ignore, hate, or even resist you. But, what isn’t okay is ignoring, hating, or resisting yourself.
Caution: Always put your energy into doing good because the rewards of our actions are often much more than we anticipate. Satan lost his glorious position in Heaven. Perhaps, that’s another lesson to learn.
“Do not plow the ground to plant seeds of injustice; you may reap a bigger harvest than you expect.”– Sirach 7:3
Here are some content you might find helpful:
- Askophobia: 5 Tips To Overcome Your Fear of Asking For What You Want
- The Brutal Truth About Being Good: Ethical Dilemma
- How Do You Betray Yourself? [21 Ways You Betray Yourself Daily]
- Become An Anomaly: Why Not Everyone Can Be Successful [And How To Stop Being Like Everyone]
- How Can Courage Change Your Life? [Lessons From The Fearless Vikings]
A Self-Help Writer And Editor Who Keeps It Simple (Yet Elegant)