Who Is In Control? Evans Olang

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Luke 22:30-32, “31 And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.”

A true worshiper of God constantly hungers to walk in His will. We often wrestle to know if we are acting in the flesh or led of the Spirit. We want to know who is standing on our way, God or Satan. We want to know who is in control. Many times we blame Satan, (give him too much credit) when things are not going right we read his mission, John 10:10, “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy…” His mission is not news to us, but is he the main issue?

The more I walk with God the more I realize that what God has blessed can no man curse or change it, not even Satan. Believers ought to take comfort in God, the One in charge of their lives. Before salvation we were under another ruler. When I study Scriptures, those who were possessed by the devil and cast out were not believers, if anything they were potential converts. They were under Satan’s dominion. At the point of salvation, we came under a new government, under new ownership. This is why I believe those who are of God can only be oppressed by Satan and his agents and not owned by him. God is in control of believers lives.

In this passage Luke 22:30-32, we see the oppression of Satan taking effect, however Jesus is in control the whole time only allowing Satan as an agent to sift Peter for something bigger to come. Jesus prayed for Peter’s faith not to fail, in other words, submit to God in faith and resist Satan in areas he was not permitted to touch. “31 And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.”, Luke 22:30-32.

This story is similar to that of Paul in 2Corinthians 12. Paul had been to heaven, he tells the story though he speaks of himself in the third person to stay humble, he says Vs. “7 And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. 8 Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me, 9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong”, 2Corinthians 12:7-10. Paul knowing God was in control and allowed an agent of Satan to oppress him in some way, Paul in prayer submitted to God, and God gave him grace to resist yielding to more than what was permitted.

So why was Satan allowed in Peter, Paul and even Job’s case? To quote Zac Poonen, “Why didn’t Jesus say, “Simon I have prayed for you that you will not deny Me even once”? We would like the Lord to say to us “My son, my daughter, I have prayed for you that you will never fall and never fail.” But interestingly enough, our Lord doesn’t pray such a prayer for us. What did Jesus pray for Simon? That when Satan tempted him, his faith would not fail. He didn’t pray that Peter should not fall in temptation, but that when he did fall, his faith in God’s perfect love would not fail him so that even when Peter reached the bottom of the pit of failure, he would confess, “God still loves me”. That is faith – and that is the confession we must always have on our lips and in our hearts – no matter how low we may have sunk or fallen – that God still loves us, JUST AS WE ARE,…The Lord uses Satan to remove the chaff from our lives to accomplish His purpose. Only through many experiences of failure do we finally reach a “zero point”, where we’re truly broken”

1Peter 5:5-11, “5 …“God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.” 6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, 7 casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. 8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 9 Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. 10 But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. 11 To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen”

The more we feel the oppression from Satan, the more we ought to submit to God in prayers for therein lies the strength to resist him. If God is in control, we know that God is working all things (including the oppression from Satan) together for our good, Romans 8:28. To stay in God’s will over Satan, we have to constantly submit to God first, then resist for him to flee, James 4:7. Blessings Ev

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