“Resolution One: I will live for God. Resolution Two: If no one else does, I still will.” - Jonathan Edwards -

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Could it be..... Satan?

Remember the church lady from SNL? Dana Carvey's little old lady, (Enid Strict), would rant and rave about the evils of our day, usually venting her wrath on some 'guest' on her show. She would rail against the sin in others lives, and cap it off by saying.... Could it be.... Satan?

Unfortunately, there are far too many Christians today who follow Enid's mentality; i.e. everything is of Satan, except the good parts of life. These people will rail against John Piper when he writes of God's sovereignty; a sovereignty that is present even amidst crises.

I understand that the desire of these people is to 'protect' or 'defend' God against character assassination, but the sad truth is that many of these people have little understanding of God's nature and character, and therefore in their desire to 'protect' it, are actually diminishing it!

What brings all of this on? Well, we are currently finishing up 2nd Samuel in our daily devotions, and what you find in this book (chapter 13 and following) is a listing of the troubles that David experienced. David's life turns from the idyllic beloved of God who expanded the Kingdom, to a daytime soap opera:

1. - Amnon, lusts after Tamar, his half-sister and lures her into his home to rape her and then toss her out.
2. - Absalom, Tamar's full-brother, avenges his sister's defilement after David does nothing for two years. Amnon is fooled into attending a celebration feast held by Absalom for the expressed purpose of killing Amnon. Amnon is killed and Absalom goes into hiding out of country for two years.
3. - Absalom is convinced to return to Israel and reconcile with David, his father. After four years, Absalom decides that he is a more capable ruler than David and leads a revolt against David -- in which Joab and his men kill Absalom.
4. - There are several internal revolts following on the heels of David's victory over Absalom, and the Philistines raise their ugly heads again!

Bottom line, David's life is one of strife and pain, constantly at war. Now, many who would face this today would undoubtedly, like Enid, say Could it be... Satan?

But God makes it clear that it is He who declares that David will face these obstacles. 2nd Samuel 12:10 - 12 "...Now therefore the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised me and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife. Thus says the Lord, Behold, I will raise up evil against you out of your own house. And I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun. For you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel and before the sun."

We are so quick to assume that we are suffering because Satan is autonomously at work in our lives, yet throughout the Bible, even when Satan is involved, it is God who is thoroughly and completely in control (witness Job). People live in complete bondage to the myth that their every sin 'opens a door' for Satan, up to and including the words they speak! Now, I am not saying that Satan is not at work in this, but I am stating that it is the Father who has the reins of power, NOT Satan. If a door is 'opened' and things happen as a result of our sin, it is, (for those who are His children),the Potter whose loving hands rework the clay, it is the Master Smelter burning the dross off the lives of His Saints, NOT the schemings of an equally powerful 'evil force' who is capable of subverting the power of God. This is not Star Wars -- and the Jedi vs. the Dark Side -- which is the perspective of many Christians today. God is not Obie-Wan-Kenobi, and Satan is not Darth Vader.

My friends, to give Satan authority that he does not possess is wrong-headed, and makes for a life filled with dread and fear. God is omnipotent, and while we may not always understand His ways, we must NEVER assign His authority to Satan!


Even So... said...

Wonderful post...truth...

Even So... said...

God is not Obie-Wan-Kenobi, and Satan is not Darth Vader

Whew! I'm glad you said that, because I am Luke Skywalker...


Ray said...

I am always amazed by well-meaning people who put the fear of Satan in believers, telling them that Satan is under every bush and around every corner, yet never explaining the fact that it is God who is sovereign, and we need to rest in Christ.

Yes, we must be aware that the devil prowls around... seeking someone to devour, but we must also contextualize that passage, which is thrown about so much. Peter goes on to say 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.

We are not to be in fear, but to stand firm in our faith, knowing that God will deliver us!

Steve Sensenig said...

Amen!!! Especially to your last comment, Ray.