2Th 2:9-10 The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, (10) and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.
When we consider the attributes of God, we soon come to that of His omnipotence. He is God All-mighty, maker of heaven and earth. He speaks, He wills, and it is done. Light comes into being out of darkness. From nothing, He created all that is. Merely by the power of His Word. By that Word the universe is held together (see Colossians 1) and our very life finds its source in Him. God has this infinite power, and by it He rules His universe. He decrees all that comes to pass and it comes to pass because He decreed it. As Paul told the Athenian philosophers, it is in Him that we move and exist and have our being. If God were to cease to exist for even a nanosecond (an impossibility of course), the universe would be no more.
Now, when the sinner covets this power and control for himself, he is headed down that same path Satan traveled so long ago, and still pursues today. Power. That is what he wants. Control, sovereignty, to be worshipped as God. This craving is really at the root of all sin, which is lawlessness. “I will make my own law and disregard the Law of God.” That is the twisted reasoning of sin.
Why do RASNs (revilers, abusers, sociopaths, narcissists) do what they do? For power. For control. They do their deeds of evil because, like their father the devil, they want to be God. To be worshipped. To be served. They are a law, as the saying goes, to themselves. When you are the target of a RASN, you can be sure of this. Their foundational motivation is to be God to you. To have omnipotence and sovereignty over you. If you examine the tactics of RASNs – the gaslighting, the double standards, the raging, assaulting, isolating, depriving – all of it has at its root this demand for power and control. This insistence upon being God.
And this is why one of the best ways to detect a RASN in a relationship (in marriage, in the workplace, in the church…) is to watch for this exercising of power and control in arenas where there is no right to have it. Under the disguise of “biblical saintliness” for example, a man might dictate to his wife how much, to the dollar, she is allowed to spend on groceries or clothing for the kids. He may insist that she have his permission to have a friend or to…well, to do just about anything. I have seen such a man actually tell his wife that she needed to come with him now, rather than go to the restroom in the store. HE will tell her when she can go!
Power and control. Power and control. I am God, you are my servant. If you fail to serve, I will punish you.
I have said before (and the observation is certainly not original with me) that RASNs are trespassers. They violate personal boundaries and work to break down personhood in others. This is why, in this evil world, we need to learn about boundaries and personhood. We need to realize, when it happens, that a person is trespassing into an area of our life where they have no right to be. As a pastor, I have had just such a person attempt to dictate to me where I am allowed to buy a house, what I am to preach, how I am to relate to others, and so on. And these people are always ready to punish when they perceive that they aren’t being obeyed. These kind are not rare. They are everywhere. Virtually every church has one or more.
Stories abound of women (less often, but sometimes, men) being murdered by their spouse when the woman realized she had to get out of the marriage. So wickedly intense is the RASNs insistence upon power and control, he will rather kill her than lose that power over her. It happens daily. This is why people who are in the know about domestic violence warn that leaving is a dangerous time. Even for the children. So satanic are such people that sometimes they will rather murder the children as well rather than see them in the custody of their mother. This power and control dynamic is what is at the root of these ongoing court battles of child custody. The RASN MUST win. They really don’t care about the children.
The Apostle John was wise to this business:
3Jn 1:9-10 I have written something to the church, but Diotrephes, who likes to put himself first, does not acknowledge our authority. (10) So if I come, I will bring up what he is doing, talking wicked nonsense against us. And not content with that, he refuses to welcome the brothers, and also stops those who want to and puts them out of the church.
It is long past time that we were wise to it as well.