The Patience of Satan

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Surely you mean “the patience of Job.” Or, perhaps you meant to write “the patience of God.” You can’t possibly mean “the patience of Satan.” And even though it sounds a bit absurd, that is exactly what I meant to write. And better yet, is the need for us to understand the working of Satan in our lives.

This past week Cathy and I were in Illinois celebrating her parents’ 65th wedding anniversary. One of the activities we enjoy whenever the family gets together is our time of worship with the church there. It was during a visit with one of my brothers there that we spoke on the frustrations and discouragements that come our way as children of God. I repeated to him a thought that had been shared with me several years ago by a local preacher that frustration and discouragement are tools of Satan. There was agreement with the statement, and then he responded with the following, “And Satan is very patient.”

I have allowed that thought to captivate me for the last several days. We are quick to point out the patience of Job and the patience of God, but we fail to recognize that the work of Satan may very well be in a field all its own. And we know that “…the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). I don’t picture a lion giving up after one failed attempt. Maybe you have never watched a lion size up it’s prey before attacking, but no doubt you have watched a cat in its preparations to pounce on its unsuspecting prey. There is no rush. Just a very calculated wait before pouncing on the unsuspecting victim.

Maybe we don’t see Satan in that way, but perhaps it is time for us to re-think the working of our greatest enemy. No doubt Satan waited patiently before Eve (and Adam) succumbed to the temptation of the fruit in the garden. And as he waited then, he does so now with us, “seeking someone to devour.” And unfortunately, his success rate seems to be climbing! Solomon characterizes the one falling into the temptation of adultery “as an ox goes to the slaughter” (Proverbs 7:22). Is it possible that we have allowed ourselves to be so caught up in the pleasures of the world that we have become like that ox to the slaughter?

The apostle Paul warned Timothy to teach with gentleness so that God may grant repentance, so that “they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will” (2 Tim. 2:24-26). Christian, it is time to awaken from our slumber before it is everlastingly too late! Yes, the Lord is patient, but so is Satan! Who is winning the battle for your soul?

Paul Mowrer
Monticello church of Christ
Monticello, AR

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