|Some people believe God allows bad things to happen to us to test us however I do follow that belief. I believe God knows our limitations therefore he does not have to test us to discover what we are made of he knows. Why then does God allow Satan to stir up our world if he’s not testing us I believe it is to have and deepen our dependency and relationship with him.|
I’d like to say this is not how I see my life right now I’d rather have a picture of Jesus on a pleasant summer day but that is not how life goes for me. I am not sure why God’s plan for my life is going the way it is but if that’s what he wants than that’s what he’ll get. In spite of the seeing and at times feeling gloom and doom somewhere in the process of living Jesus lives in the background. One of the most important lessons we can learn from Job is that God always puts limitations on Satan! And not only that I also believe that God’s always keeps an ever watchful eye on Satan as well.
I suspect there are those who will disagree with me about Satan’s involvement in life. No, they’ll say God’s plan for our lives only includes good things it is when we go against God’s plan when Satan comes on scene. One of the things I believe if God’s ultimate plan for our lives did not include Satan God would have sealed Satan away from us in the first place after all Paul made reference to our world under the (limited) authority of Satan. And with Satan’s authority come bad things happening to good people. The Apostle Peter puts it this way, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.” (1st Peter 5:6-11 ESV)
Some people believe God allows bad things to happen to us to test us however I do follow that belief. I believe God knows our limitations therefore he does not have to test us to discover what we are made of he knows. Why then does God allow Satan to stir up our world if he’s not testing us I believe it is to have and deepen our dependency and relationship with him.
No matter how hard I try to answer those questions for myself I cannot because I am unable to understand God. While it may be fairly easy to predict God it is impossible to understand God. Perhaps the answer to those two questions lies beyond this life. Perhaps my relationship with God is more about what happens after death than before.
When I try to envision my life through God’s eyes I discover he does not see my life as just here and now he sees my life from beginning to end cumulating in a living relationship in his spiritual presence minus my physical presence. I am convinced that so long as we are in the flesh our relationship with God will always be incomplete. I see this life as a time when we prepare ourselves for the great beyond whether that be with or without God. I know the words of the Old Testament instruct us in the ways of preparing ourselves TO SPEND ETERNITY but for many (including me) a revelation of words was insufficient it took a real life to illustrate the way. Jesus came to earth to provide us a living Blueprint of life and with those thoughts in mind I should not be surprised at where I am right now in my life’s journey.
Having said that I don’t think there’s ever been a period in my life when I’ve sensed my presence in Satan’s influence than I have now. When I began writing this I had intentions of going into the nitty-gritty details at the present junction in my life but since beginning I have had second thoughts and have opted to omit them primarily because I do not want this to focus on Gary Piper but on what I am writing about. I say that because I know without a doubt I am not alone we are living in Satan’s domain and while here the clouds of adversity will always hang over us.
I believe one thing we must never forget when the adversities of this present world shine their dark light on us anything Satan can do with us and to us is only temporary at best. We can believe that because the day will come when the authority given him will be revoked and rather than the darkness of Satan shining on the world the Light of Jesus will illuminate every nook and cranny.
In the 5th chapter of Matthew in his Sermon on the Mountain Jesus told the people that they were the salt of earth. “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16 ESV)
But there is one thing we cannot forget before we can become the salt of earth we first need to see Jesus not only as the Light but also Salt as well. We are the salt of the earth because Jesus first was the Salt of the earth. Not only that but Jesus is the Light that stands on the hill as well. Satan’s greatest desire is to somehow get you and I to cover Jesus’ Light. Satan nor is there any power on earth that can extinguish Jesus’ Light the best anyone can do it cover it and Satan tries to use our adversities we encounter on a daily basis to do so. And I might add because of how my life is going right now I can attest to the fact that he is very effective at doing so.
I know you cannot possibly know how long I have hesitated before going to where I need to go next but I have and even as my fingers move across the keyboard I hesitate because of how painful and how I abhor the land I am walking in. The land I am referring to is the Land of Endurance. There have been, are, and will be times when my prayers will return to me answered with only one word, “endure.” And almost immediately my response is, “Why?” Please follow my train of thought: since the feelings of defeat, discouragement, dejectedness and depression is only temporary eventually Jesus will get me through them so why not just skip them and get right to the victory? While that sounds good to me and perhaps to you as well God doesn’t agree with us and reaffirms our place in the Land of Endurance.
Yet as I walk the Land of Endurance’s dark road of Enduring my hunger for relief begins burning in my bones and I begin to experience the futility of struggling with God in the first place the voice of the Spirit quietly whispers, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord…” (Jeremiah 29:11-14 ESV)
As a draw this to a close I have come to understand that Satan is not a “stumbling block” in my life but rather a “tool” included in God’s Ultimate Plan to not only live my life in the Light of Jesus’ Blue Print but to spend eternity with him minus my physical life.
Grace and SHALOM (PEACE),
Scripture quotations marked ESV "Are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved."