Unveiling the Maleficent Truth about Our Enemy
Updated: Mar 5, 2020
I thought I was the only person who hadn’t seen the movie Maleficent. I mean, no one I asked had seen it! I understand... who messes with Sleeping Beauty?! With little regard to the ominous title, I watched it anyway, forging through scads of commercials.
What a surprisingly redeeming story.
SPOILER ALERT: It’s an alternative rendition of The Sleeping Beauty. And Maleficent ends up not being so maleficent. (Some scary scenes, so still may not be child friendly!)
I think we all harbor a desire to see the good in people, knowing even the crotchety old man next door has a soft spot, the drug lord loves puppies, and the prostitute with her dysfunctional childhood feels tenderness toward children.
I tried to explain the movie to my husband. Basically, I said, it’s about a fairy queen who falls in love and this boy steals her wings and she becomes bitter... ”That’s enough,” he said, “I’m out of here.” Not a fan of fantasy redemption I guess.
We secretly suspect redeeming qualities in all our villains. Unless life has hardened us, we desire to witness redemption. We want our villains to transform into heroines, like Maleficent.
But don’t make the mistake of applying this wishful thinking to the devil. Satan is to-the-bone evil.
Don’t think he will cut you some slack in a weak moment. He won’t. That is the moment he will spring his trap. He even takes advantage of us as unsuspecting and innocent children, planting seeds of fear, hopelessness, abandonment, insecurity, rejection. You name it. As we mature, the lies planted in us mature into strongholds, much like Maleficent’s thorny walls to protect her beloved homeland.
The devil doesn’t play fair – ever.
Understand this but know there is an even greater truth: JESUS OVERCOMES ALL.
Jesus said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.” (John 10:10 NIV) And, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 NIV) The Apostle John tells us, “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” (1John 4:4 NIV)
So what do we need to know about our enemy, not to focus on his evil depravity, but so we can be wise about his tactics? Why, as Jesus followers, does he hate us?
We received the redemption he can never experience.
We are favored and blessed by God.
We worship and adore God, not him, receiving the honor he covets.
We are created by God in His own image, but we have a fallen sin nature due to Adam and Eve’s “original” sin. Perfect fodder to corrupt. And Satan was doing such a good job, until God threw a money wrench in his diabolical scheme for worldwide chaos and demonic destruction.
In the fullness of time, God sent a Savior, His Son Jesus. (Galatians 4:4-5)
I hope I’m not blurring the lines of fantasy and reality for you too much with talk of fairy queens, Jesus, and world domination. One is truth. One is fiction. Be sure to sort it out!
Jesus now holds the keys to death and the grave. “I am the living one. I died, but look – I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and the grave.” (Revelation 1:18 NLT)
Through His death, burial, and resurrection, Jesus established the Kingdom of God on earth. While we still live in a war zone, where Satan and his minions roam and wreak havoc, we need to understand that living a blessed and fulfilling life in the Kingdom of God here on earth is our birthright!
Yes, we must still contend with the deceitful ways of our enemy, but his days are numbered and his fate is sealed. (See Revelation 20:1-3, 7-10)
We have a spotless, sacrificial Lamb who died to pay the penalty for our sins, a heavenly intercessor seated next to Almighty God praying for us, a conquering hero fighting for us, and a host of angelic beings ministering to us.
This is not fantasy but fantastical truth.
Here are some not-so-fun facts you need to know about your enemy:
1. Satan is a created being. He was created by God as a heavenly angel with an exalted position. All the music of heaven flowed through him to God. But he desired the praise for himself and was cast from heaven to the earth after he rebelled against God.
“How you have fallen from heaven, morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! You said in your heart, “I will ascend to the heavens; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of Mount Zaphon, I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.” But you are brought down to the realm of the dead, to the depths of the pit.” Isaiah 14:12-15
If the devil is a created being, like you and me, then who has the most power – Almighty God or Satan? Exactly. While the devil has some influence because God allows it, our God is the sovereign power over all.
2. There is no good in Satan. The enemy of our souls doesn’t cut us slack in our vulnerable spots; instead, he seeks to take advantage of them. Satan is full-on maleficent.
3. The enemy uses any means to ensnare us. If we expect a red guy with a pitchfork and tail to show up at our door (or with oxen horns like Maleficent), we’ll be waiting a long time. The devil is quite good at camouflaging who he is and his true intent. Some of his favorite tools include the following tactics:
Bondage to sin – “For freedom did Christ set us free: stand fast therefore, and be not entangled again in a yoke of bondage.” Galatians 5:1
Fear and intimidation - “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8
Deception and lies -“…he is a liar and the father of lies.” John 8:44 The devil loves to lie to us; it is his nature to lie. He will trash us at every opportunity. We must choose not to listen to his garbage and repent for believing it!
Self-pity– “Self-pity is the super glue from hell that binds us to our past,” according to Henry Wright, author of “A Better Way.” Don’t allow self-pity; it will suck your life and steal your future.
Condemnation, shame, guilt – What better way to defeat a child of God than to heap negative and defeating emotions on them? Condemnation, guilt, and shame are NEVER from God. The Holy Spirit never condemns, but convicts in love, offering forgiveness and freedom. (Romans 8:1)
The answer to each of these is Jesus Christ. We need to confess our sin and receive His forgiveness, then move on.
Maybe I’m looking for majesty in the malevolent, but I saw Maleficent as a story of redemption. Hardened by bitterness from rejection and betrayal, only love broke through her walls of self-protection. My story isn’t exactly the same, but the theme rings true.
Redeeming love is always a tale worth sharing.