Remember the “God Particle”? Let’s look at the “Satan Particle”

Exploring Behavioral Pathology to finding the Satan Paticle

Exploring Behavioral Pathology to finding the Satan Paticle

In a counseling session this week, I met with a believer who has suffered repeated attacks from evil, and can’t seem to see where Satan continues to trip him up.  I wanted to direct his attention to where I saw the Evil One attacking his life.  It is obvious to me, looking at his life from the outside.  I call this influence on our lives, where evil attacks, “the Satan Particle”.  It’s easier to understand the Satan particle than the God particle, and it appears to be a lot more important to a whole lot more people.  The Satan particle is apparent.  Everyone gets to see it and no one escapes it.  But before we describe it, let’s first look at the so-called “God Particle”.

Simulated Data Model of Higgs event - Lucas Taylor - http://cdsweb.cern.ch/record/628469

Simulated Data Model of Higgs event – Lucas Taylor – http://cdsweb.cern.ch/record/628469

This gets dry very quickly, but it is a worthwhile illustration so please bear with me.  The God Particle is an elusive and difficult to explain sub-atomic field.  Dubbed the Higgs boson, it has been all the rage in particle physics since 2012. Unless you’re passionate about particle physics, it’s unlikely you could care less about the Higgs boson particle.  The particle was named for one of the discovery team members, Peter Higgs, and got its nickname from a word shortened by the editor of Higg’s book, “The God!@#% Particle: If the Universe is the Answer, What is the Question?”  If you guessed that the naming of the God Particle had nothing to do with God, you’d be right.

CERN facility near Geneva, Switzerland

CERN facility near Geneva, Switzerland

If we take a trip into Wikipedia on this, on July 4, 2012, European scientists at Switzerland’s CERN Hadron Collider facility believe they measured an elusive field (a “boson”) that is thought to exist between known particles.  It is a theoretical thing in a highly theoretical field.  It has also been very difficult to confirm much about it, because it decays extremely quickly in the hadron collider.  The scientists seriously believe it is there, but it’s not quite provable.

Diagram of hand strengthened by the Holy Spirit combating the Satan Particle

Diagram of hand strengthened by the Holy Spirit combating the Satan Particle

As a Christian, in a way, I’m more fortunate than the CERN scientists.  Satan and the Holy Spirit are constantly at battle in our world, and the evidence of the battle gives us many more obvious examples to work with than the particle physicists get to work with.  When discussing the Holy Spirit, it often takes applied human sensory experience to aid in describing who He is.  When Jesus described Him to Nicodemus, a high-ranking Jewish religious leader of the time, Jesus used what was known but not understood to describe the Holy Spirit to Nicodemus.

John 3:5-12 (NLT)

Jesus replied, “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life. So don’t be surprised when I say, ‘You must be born again.’  The wind blows wherever it wants. Just as you can hear the wind but can’t tell where it comes from or where it is going, so you can’t explain how people are born of the Spirit.”

“How are these things possible?” Nicodemus asked.

nicodemus-3Jesus replied, “You are a respected Jewish teacher, and yet you don’t understand these things?

I assure you, we tell you what we know and have seen, and yet you won’t believe our testimony.  But if you don’t believe me when I tell you about earthly things, how can you possibly believe if I tell you about heavenly things?

Nicodemus at the Burial of Jesus

Nicodemus at the Burial of Jesus

Biblical text appears to affirm that Nicodemus eventually understood what Jesus taught.  If we look keenly at how Jesus explained the Holy Spirit to this Jewish scholar, we can more easily put the Satan Particle into perspective.  Apparently, this member of the Sanhedrin, the Jewish authorities that found Jesus guilty of blasphemy, not only believed Jesus, but was moved by the Spirit to actually attend the body of Jesus after the crucifixion.

John 19:38-39 (NLT)

Afterward Joseph of Arimathea, who had been a secret disciple of Jesus (because he feared the Jewish leaders), asked Pilate for permission to take down Jesus’ body. When Pilate gave permission, Joseph came and took the body away.  With him came Nicodemus, the man who had come to Jesus at night. He brought seventy-five pounds of perfumed ointment made from myrrh and aloes.

Proximity to Jesus, and belief in Him, opens the path for the Holy Spirit to do His saving work.  It is worth noting that at immediately after the crucifixion would have to be the hardest time to believe in Jesus Christ in all of history.  The source of eternal life had been killed, and had not yet resurrected or ascended.  Much of Scripture testifies to the power we draw from Jesus based on our faith in Him, and staying close to Him.  Two texts come to mind that speak to this.  The first comes in the words of Christ, right before He was arrested, and it speaks to how much power Satan has over Jesus:

John 14:30 (NLT)

“I don’t have much more time to talk to you, because the ruler of this world approaches. He has no power over me,

The next text speaks to the power imputed to the believer because of the faith they have in Jesus.  It is His strength in the believer that gives the believer their strength.  If you ever wanted to call something the God Particle, this would be it:

1 John 4:4-6 (NLT)

But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.  Those people belong to this world, so they speak from the world’s viewpoint, and the world listens to them.  But we belong to God, and those who know God listen to us. If they do not belong to God, they do not listen to us. That is how we know if someone has the Spirit of truth or the spirit of deception.

God is Spirit (John 4:24)

God is Spirit (John 4:24)

The real God Particle, is the Holy Spirit living in the believer.  He gives us the power over Satan because, as we just read of Jesus’ words in John 14:30, “[Satan] has no power over Me.”  Now that we understand the true God Particle, we can better understand the Satan Particle.  What comes from the “ruler of this world” carries the Satan Particle, and He has even tried to tempt the One who is fully God, and fully man with it:

Matthew 4:1 (NLT)

Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted there by the devil.

As we read in Matthew, Satan was unsuccessful in tempting Jesus, who told the prince of this world:

Matthew 4:10-11 (NLT)

“Get out of here, Satan,” Jesus told him. “For the Scriptures say, ‘You must worship the LORD your God and serve only him.’”

Then the devil went away, and angels came and took care of Jesus.

If we live in and for the world, Satan has no reason to attack.  Those not living for Christ are already in the prince of this world’s grasp.  It is when there is an opportunity to tempt one of Christ’s followers that we see the evidence of the Satan Particle.  We see it in believers in several predictable places:

  • The moment just before a mean-spirited comment comes out of our mouths
  • The moment an addict gets a reminder of the environment of their drug of choice
  • Just before our pride gives us permission to cheat or steal
  • The suggestion in our heads, just before we decide a lie would be better than the truth.

Martin L:uther

Martin Luther

The Satan Particle was described quite well by 16th Century reformer Martin Luther.  To paraphrase

When the Satan Particle does its work

When the Satan Particle does its work

his description, none of us can help if a bird flies over our head.  But we cannot let one nest in our hair.  The Satan particle is that bird flying overhead.  The prince of this world uses the power of suggestion to instigate the impulse for us to do his work.  He uses these Satan Particles to slide the “thin edge of the wedge” in between us and our Source of Strength.

I recommend that my counseling clients journal daily.  They are instructed to write down significant instances that happened, the good and the bad, which occur each day.  When we write them down, we can begin to see a pattern of impulsive behavior.  Then, we isolate what happens just before the impulse occurs.  It is in the moments before the impulse occurs that we can find the Satan Particle.

John 13:1-2 (NLT)

Before the Passover celebration, Jesus knew that his hour had come to leave this world and return to his Father. He had loved his disciples during his ministry on earth, and now he loved them to the very end.. It was time for supper, and the devil had already prompted Judas, son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus.

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Categories: Christianity

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6 replies

  1. Reblogged this on Applied Faith and commented:

    Freshly guest contributed to Isaiah 53:5 Project website. We would all do well to find the Satan Particle before it can do its work.

    Like

  2. Awesome! -“The real God Particle, is the Holy Spirit living in the believer.”
    Equally awesome! – “it speaks to how much power Satan has over Jesus: – [NONE, NADA, NOTHING]”

    Agreed, Satan has no need to go after those in the world, obliviously or otherwise who are under his rule and dominion- they’re spiritually dead.

    The tip for identifying and isolating the “Satan particle” is spot on, and for those of us who are only moved by the physical evidence we see -unless of course it has some scientific instead of biblical name attached to it -you’ve provided a means by which one can truly map, analyze and interpret ‘data’.

    Wonderful & Blessed read. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I believe a major part comes down to our self-control. Bad actions and thoughts are often only a human habitual trait and we all do it at some time whether we are religious believers or not. We are all wired much the same but some behaviour comes down to a lot of variables such as life’s background and influences and now it is thought extremely serious behavioural patterns can be predicted by genetics.

    Like

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