It’s pretty much a win-win. He doesn’t have to get you at the altar. He doesn’t really have to do much at all. He can win by a slow bleed that goes unnoticed until it is too late. The archetypical hero’s tale of Campbell and Jung is nice but way too much work. A little bamboo pole, an old rowboat, some bloodworms, a cooler full of beer and some time, the fish will come.
Hollywood uses this all the time. You meet the hero, the bad guy, they have some beef that means the hero will fight the bad guy somewhere near the end of the movie, the hero refuses the fight, then something happens and the hero decides to go fight the baddie, he meets his helper, they journey to the fight . . . If you are familiar with Campbell’s Hero’s Tale you recognize this. In this narrative the story reaches its peak in a penultimate battle with the baddie, who ends up losing and dying.
God and Satan are seeming polar opposites. God is life, love, light where Satan is death, darkness and hate. So, if we are true to the hero’s tale Satan perpetually loses the penultimate battle. I’m not being true to the hero’s tale here. It occurs to me that Satan doesn’t have to win. In fact, all that work to journey to the battle, then fighting the battle, losing, ad infinitum, seems like a poor use of Lucifer’s time. Way more Steven Covey smart to anchor the bass boat on a calm lake, bait the line and toss it in. Open another Bud Lite. There is no shortage of fish for Satan.
Paraphrasing C.S. Lewis, we are dinner for Satan. What he wants is to eat us, to enjoy our liver sauteed in onions and enjoyed with a nice Chianti. All he has to do is play defense. If he can prevent us from union with God, even a little, he can eat. Satan can be all those insults and still win. He can be a pussy, an ass, a chicken, a tease, and so many more bad names and if in the end, we become the entree for him, job done.
Were I him I’d not waste my time in an epic battle. Nope. I’d get them slowly, in dribs & drabs, like frogs in a pot, so that my prey doesn’t notice what I’m doing until it is too late. No life changing porn addiction. Too demonstrative. Just a little obsession with video shorts streamed from Chrome’s Incognito Window. Enough of those and the flow of life-draining energy from hapless Christians becomes as reliable as the annual flooding of the Nile. Done right you can even manipulate those caught so the net effect is stronger than a heroic battle with Christ.
Or a nice little habit of losing to the local bookie. Let it escalate slowly so the victim lands at the alter a bit late, with all lost, and only death feeling like relief. There are ten thousand more ways Satan could slowly bleed us away from Christ. He’s got all of eternity and a way better paradigm to work within. If he fails, meh. Where he does, he can enjoy us fried or sautéed, dressed with a little ketchup and enjoyed with a simple lager or chianti.