Updated: Jan 31
Long ago, up in heaven, there was an angel named Lucifer who hovered above the throne of God (Ezekiel 28:14). The Bible doesn't tell us when he was created or how long he hovered over the Mercy Seat of heaven, but we do know that it was a special position to cover the throne of Almighty God. We have all heard about the golden streets, the gates of pearl, and the crystal sea but rarely do we consider the inconceivable beauty and power of God's throne room. Around the throne of the Lord there is an emerald rainbow and flames of fire (Revelation 4; Daniel 7:9). Coming out of the throne is a river of crystal clear, life-giving water. Scripture teaches us that when God speaks, it's like thunder and the pillars of heaven shake (Isaiah 6:4). His glory lights all of heaven and His holiness is continuously praised by angelic hosts and the saints who have gone before us. Lucifer used to praise Him along with all the other millions of angels. Lucifer continually dwelled in God's glory. Can you just imagine it?
Angels are created, spiritual beings whose purpose is to serve and praise the Creator. They act as His messengers, His fighters, His ministers to us, and His heavenly worshippers. Lucifer, whose name means brightness, was beautiful. But one day he uttered the words that changed everything....
And because of the sin of self-exaltation and pride, the holiness of God's presence in heaven could no longer be his home.
In Isaiah 14, the LORD tells us about the sin of Lucifer.
How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. (vs 12-14)
What amazes me more than Lucifer/Satan having the audacity to look upon God's glory with the intention to claim it for himself, is the sheer rebellion and hatred for God that was found in his heart. He wasn't the only one who left heaven. No, he was able to convince 1/3 of the angels to join him in a spiritual revolt against God's dominion. Imagine the clay challenging the potter! Imagine a child usurping authority over the parent! How ludicrous for a host of angelic beings to stand in opposition to their Maker!
But here is what frightens me most of all: Lucifer and all his devilish comrades....they still tremble under God's mighty power. (James 2:19)
I remember the first time I was told by a friend that they didn't care what the Bible said in regards to a particular sin. I was thirteen years old and, at that point in my life, I hadn't even begun to study the magnitude of God's glory. But hearing my church-going friend challenge the authority of God's Word was jolting. But you know, we are all guilty of justifying our sin. We are all guilty of looking at what she should not look at, wanting what Scripture says is destructive, and finally indulging in what brings death to our souls.
I think....I want...I will...
It's the same sin as Lucifer. But here is something to consider: Satan believes God is real. I mean, he saw Jehovah God with his own eyes! Have we? No. We walk by faith with the promise that our faith will one day be sight. Satan saw the splendor of His holiness, He was - and still is! - well aware of God's just and righteous nature. He also knows the depths of God's love. He, along with millions of other angels, had worshipped Him for millenia. He believes....maybe even more than us, because the devil trembles while we flippantly take the name of God in vain and curse Him with our actions. There have been so many moments in my life when I have been in a filthy room of sin and have not trembled with conviction. There have been many more moments when I have felt the presence of God and still haven't trembled with awe and reverence! Something is wrong when spiritual beings who have no hope of salvation can tremble, while we who are indwelt by The Holy Spirit do not.
We satisfy the cravings of our flesh by pursuing greed, and addicting our bodies to alcohol, drugs, and even food. We gratify our sinful nature by flirting with erotica and pornography, and justifying fornication and adultery. We numb and desensitize our conscience by indulging in sinful intentions, spiteful attitudes, and self-centered pursuits.
Oh but we are believers! Right?
Big deal. Good for us. Let's pat ourselves on the back for believing while we, in turn, rationalize the very sin that nailed Jesus to the cross. While thousands slip into eternity without our precious Savior, we go about our life having a form of godliness (2 Timothy 3:5) yet not even blushing over all that separates us from God's blessings, protection, and fellowship. The devil is a believer too. Of course he doesn't believe IN God because he has refused to submit to His Lordship and has rejected the one condition of salvation - repentance. But he believes. And as we share religious quotes on Facebook and plaster a Bible verse on our email signature, our actions prove that we do not tremble. By all intents and purposes, we care more about making ourselves happy instead of holy. And with that logic, Satan may very well have a better chance at winning souls than us, because he trembles - fully aware of God's righteousness. Oh, but good for us for believing! To see God's glory in person and turn against Him is unfathomable to me, but it is also very sobering to think that we can be given eternal life and a living Book that cuts, heals, and gives hope, and still frivolously disrespect the very One we claim to worship. The Bible says Lucifer is "that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world." Oh let us not be deceived any longer. Let's start trembling.