Because of the position of power, and perhaps authority, that Lucifer was created with, along with the blessed gift of free will, it is in a sense no wonder that he fell from grace, as it were, we did. Along with his placement above the throne of God, he was created powerful in ways that we have yet to understand.
The gift of free will grants us two distinct possibilities, to serve or not to serve our Lord, and as we all know, Satan chose poorly. There is of course the option of repentance for all, but those who left their first estate are not given this choice, (Jude 1:6) they will all be judged in the negative on the last day. One of the reasons for this is that they were present in heaven when the creation was established by the Lord, the other is the knowledge of the opportunity to serve, and the rejection of it, the same knowledge that all men have been given.
One of the main things that a man desires is respect, this respect is to be given by his wife, (Eph. 5:33) and I would contend that respect was one of the first thoughts in the mind of our adversary as he contemplated his place in the heavens. Respect though, when not kept in check with humility, leads to pride, and that pride will ultimately lead for the desire to be served, not to serve, and in the case of Satan, it led to the desire to be worshipped. He knew full well that he was the most impressive creature created by the Lord, yet forgot one key thing, that he was created. There is a very fine line between respect earned and respect deserved, and neither of these are ever to be placed above the One that created all.
Respect is given out of a knowledge that there is something in an individual that is above what others possess, a gift is then offered from the people who see this attribute, if you will, and in reverence they give what they can unto it. Most generally this comes in the form of words, words of adoration for the particular talents these individuals may possess that are not commonly found in man. The problem arises when the recipient of the accolades accepts these gifts as recognition of talents that he has bestowed upon himself, and not those that he has been blessed by God with, therein lies the path of pride. These individuals begin to worship the creature more than the creator, (Rom. 1:25) and that creature is themselves, and so they assume that they themselves should then be worshipped by others.
Respect, when expected, and not tempered with the knowledge of an eternal and Sovereign God, and great humility, inevitably turns to pride, and in the case of not only our adversary, but in man, that pride seeks to be worshiped. As has we have stated, Satan was created as the most powerful being ever, and so it is that he thought that since no one was, or is more powerful than him in all of that creation, he should be worshiped by all that are under him, he expected respect. This has always been his goal, the worship of him because of his abilities, abilities that he has somehow forgotten were inferred upon him by our Sovereign Lord, and man does the same thing.
Some of those who have been placed in authority over us deem this power to be unto themselves, and so they flaunt this supposed charge over us as assumed dominance. Perhaps you have been employed by such an individual, one who attempts to presume a mastery over you, but has forgotten that by your own free will you have accepted employment at this particular place. Their power is no more over you than that which you allow, and so it is with our adversary, at least in the area of the born-again believer. “There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.” (Psalm 91:10) We have been blessed with the assurance that nothing happens to the Christian unless the Lord God allows it, but our adversary knows full well his end, whether or not he believes that he can alter that course is immaterial, save for his own thought processes.
I have thought long and hard on this particular subject over the years, and have been blessed, so far at least, with this conclusion, our adversary can tell who is saved by the grace of God and who is not, and he does this simply by looking at them. He has dominion and control over the lost, but none unless he asks of it over the saved, and he recognizes those who have given their lives to Christ by seeing the Holy Spirit inside of them. Our adversary is a spiritual being, as is the Holy Spirit, and they can see things in the spiritual realm that we are not permitted to, think on 2nd Kings 6:17 in relation to this topic, “And Elisha prayed, and said, LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.” I do not know how often Elisha could see into the spiritual realm, nor if on these occasions when he could why he was allowed to, but I do not that the eyes of our adversary are quite adept to this type of vision. When he sees a child of the Most High God, he recognizes them, for he sees the Holy Spirit within them, and for him, these are, unless permission is granted, untouchable. How we are blessed, and how little sometimes we give thanks for those blessings.
His first thoughts of the reason that he believed himself worthy of this respect are still beyond our understanding, I do not know why he began to doubt the sovereignty of God, but as soon as he did, he determined that he alone was worthy of what only the Lord God is deserving of, eternal praise, honor and glory. “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death,” (Prov. 16:25) and this same way seemed right to Satan, and of course will ultimately end in his own eternal and unending death, along with all those who do not call upon the Name of the Lord for their salvation. It is self-deceiving in the extreme to not realize the sovereign power of the Lord God, and it is even more difficult for us to understand one who would be so deceived within himself to have watched the beginnings of creation, and then to believe himself possible of the same feats. It in itself infers a complete lack of humility, and the arrogancy of pride.
And so of course, it would be one of the first things that he would use to attempt to coerce our first parents into believing, “For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. “(Gen. 3:5) I do not know how Satan first began to understand the concept of good and evil, but I do know that when he did, it led to this idea of respect due, of respect expected because of his position in the creation of God, and that loss of total respect is what angered him in the most. His desire was to be worshipped as God is, and when that did not happen, an anger that you and I will never be able to express entered into him, and along with that enragement, an overwhelming desire to destroy all that he could that is connected to the goodness of God.
The firm realization that he is limited in these endeavors is one of the main reasons that he moves about as a roaring lion, (1st Peter 5:8) no one who is demanding of total respect will respect any that have domination over them, and there is only one who has that control over our adversary, it is the reason there was joy in his heart at the cross, and a raging fury at the empty tomb. That perhaps is the greatest damage done to any that would feel the need for undue respect, the knowledge that you are truly not in control after all, that you are limited in the pride within that will be recognized by others. The employer who has come to the realization that at any time you can walk out of the door whenever you please, will show no more respect for your talents than he did before, in fact, because you have challenged his assumed authority over you with the truth he would just as soon see you gone and replaced with one whom believes him to have control over them.
Such is how it is with our adversary, his power is not complete, but it is close enough that even “Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The LORD rebuke thee,” (Jude 1:9) and as far as we know from the Word of God, Michael is pretty much at the top of the ladder when it comes to the angels in heaven. Our adversary is so intent in his actions, and granted with so much power from the Lord God that it would be beyond foolish for any man to attempt to bind him, you would not stand a chance. Yes, if you resist him, he will flee from you, (James 4:7) but it would be wise to know that whole verse, “Submit yourselves therefore to God.” You don’t actually think that he is going to run away from you, do you, just because you say some words from the Scriptures, it is not you that he is fleeing from, but the Lord God who rests inside of the believer. Our adversary is either one-hundred percent totally and certifiably insane, or in full and complete knowledge of his end, either way, he will not rest, he will not stop, and he will not curb any of his actions until the final moment that he is cast into the lake of fire, (Rev. 20:10) and though this is complete conjecture on my part, when that moment comes, he may very well be the only one ever created that will still spit in the face of God as he is cast there.
Respect when expected is the cause of pride, God respects no man, He does not show favoritism, (Rom. 2:11) for any to think that they themselves can be as the Most High is the path of pride, pride comes from presuming respect because of something that is within us that we perceive as better than another. If there was ever one who deserved the right, if you will, to expect respect, it was Lucifer, but humility was lost on him, and when that happens to anyone, we begin to attempt to put ourselves in the place of God. To put it bluntly my friends, that would be a pretty stupid thing to do. “But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.” (James 4:6)
It is too late for Satan and the fallen angels, but not for you. If you believe that you deserve respect, you are mistaken, it is God that is to be glorified, if you regard pride in your heart, prepare for destruction. (Prov. 16:18) Live in humility to Him who has created you, walk humbly with the Lord your God, (Micah 6:8) expect no respect, but when and if it is given to you, give it right back to its rightful owner.