God is omniscient. Satan is not.
God knows our hearts and our thoughts. Satan can only know where we stand from our actions and our words.
In my novel "A Handful of Demons" old man Hendricks gave Pastor McAlester a brand new, top of the line Cadillac. No strings. At least, none attached to Mike Hendricks. The demon of pride, now that was another matter entirely.
But the demon of pride didn’t tell all. He didn’t reveal to the others his pièce de résistance. The event that would leave Edward McAlester wounded and bleeding—not financially, or even physically—but spiritually. The happening through which he, and he alone, would pierce McAlester’s tough armor with one sharp talon. Ripping and tearing, he would gain ingress into McAlester’s very soul.
He allowed the others to put their all into bringing the pastor down financially and saved his personal, reeling blow for last.
And today was going to be the day.
Yes, it looked like Pride was going to be the winner of this ghoulish contest. And so it should be. Hadn’t he put the thought of giving the pastor a Cadillac into old man Hendricks’s head?
And the senile fool gave God all the credit.
He’d seen the old coot on his knees, praying out loud to God about how to spend his money. All the demon of pride had to do was plant the idea. It was so easy. A few whispered suggestions and the geezer was hooked.
Oh, but that's only fiction, you say. Bear with me, and I'll tell you a story about a lady to whom I ministered quite a few years ago.
Satan had gotten a foothold in her life early on. And though she'd recently given her heart to Jesus, she lived with constant regret at all the years she served the wrong master, all because of a prayer she uttered in despair at the age of nineteen.
Home from college on summer break, her friends had introduced her to a handsome young service man who was home on furlough. The attraction was instant and mutual. They were quickly seeing each other every evening.
The young man was much more worldly than she, and it disturbed her that at the end of each date he'd cajole her to allow him more intimate leeway than she was raised to permit. This went on for several weeks. Then one day, he didn't call. Or the next day, or the next.
She couldn't reach him by phone. So she had her friends check on him. And, yes, he was alive and well. The young lady fell into a deep depression, because she really did think she loved him, and that he felt the same for her.
At this point of the story I am reminded of an old song, It's All in the Game. The words go like this: "Once in awhile he won't call, but it's all in the game." And I get angry that to some . . . love is only a game, while to others it is life.
Well, the young lady was at home alone, on her knees scrubbing the kitchen floor for her mother. Tears fell and mingled with the soapy water on her scrub rag. Her thoughts began pouring from her mouth in audible words. "God, if you will only let him call me, I will do anything—anything—he wants." Three minutes later the phone rang.
She considered the phone call an answered prayer. What happened that very evening spit in the face of every decent thing her mother had taught her, ruined her ensuing first marriage, and turned her toward a life of sin. And after that night the young serviceman never called back.
Twenty years later, she found her way back to the Lord. But it wasn't until she and I talked and prayed together that she realized she'd been duped.
Yes, the battle is real.