Satan or God at work is a question we should ask. Satan endlessly schemes in his attempts to thwart the will of God. Yet those schemes fulfil God’s Word, for God created all things for Himself, even the wicked for the day of evil, Proverbs, 16:4. All things were created for God’s purpose and His plan of redemption.
Satan knows what his ultimate end will be. He knows the wages of sin is eternal separation from God. However, God uses Satan’s evil scheming for good as was seen at Calvary when Jesus took back the authority Satan stole from Adam, Genesis 13. The blazing light of God pierced the darkness, which Satan designed to destroy mankind and kill God’s Messiah.
God gave the angels a free will, for only through the agency of free will can the Creator be truly worshipped. God knew what His creation would do, yet He allows all who have a free will to be tested, for faith that is untested is of little value.
It’s hard to imagine why a third of the angels, who lived in the perfect presence of God, would follow a false leader, Lucifer. No doubt, the beautiful Lucifer was charismatic in nature, as revealed in Isaiah 14:12-15.
Satan at Work Or God’s Power
Job trusted in his own strength. He believed his piety would keep his family safe from harm, Job 1:5. Satan challenged God, saying He had a hedge around Job. God permitted Satan to test Job to the maximum, but not kill him.
Job lost all his wealth and suffered the agony of all 10 children killed in one horrific accident, Job 1:19. Only those who lose a child, know the depths of that valley of the shadow of death. I can’t imagine what Job went through. Yet, Job fell down and worshipped God, though he didn’t comprehend what God was up to.
Job at Fault
Job’s friends said he was to blame for his loss of everything, and the agonising sickness in his body. Even Job’s wife told him to curse God and die, Job 2:9. It is not until you reach the end of the book of Job, that Job admits he had not had an understanding of God, Job 42:15. Still, it is impossible for the mortal mind to comprehend the Awesome Majesty of a Holy God.
Job blamed God for taking away everything away, Job 1:21, though he did say, “When God has tried me, I will come out as gold, Job 23:10. Whether he fully understood or not, Job spoke a precious truth. God does not test us to destroy us, but to make us stronger.
Job eventually repented of his pride and rebellion. After 9 months of adversity Job was blessed with double what he had before, including 10 more children, Job 42:10. Job finally found fulfilment in fellowship with God and did come out the other side stronger and better.
Satan or God at Work
If you were God, wouldn’t you want to showcase only ‘perfect’ people, yet, look at the greats such as Moses, Abraham, David, and Paul. All had flaws and were tested in the valley of adversity. Paul tells us our affliction, or testing, is but for a moment, 2Corinthinians, 4:17. It is in our flaws we see God’s wondrous grace, mercy and love.
God does not put adversity on His people, but He allows Satan to test us, just as Satan was permitted to tempt Christ, Hebrews 4:15. However, Satan cannot operate outside the authority of God.
Trials and Temptations
If we have the courage to go through trials and the valley of the shadow of death with our eyes fixed on our Lord, we can come out the other side twice blessed. Instead of ‘Woe is me’ and blaming God for whatever goes wrong, God will turn adversity to blessing. The three who walked in the furnace had it right, Daniel 3:17,18. “God can save us and if He doesn’t, we will still praise Him.”
We can look back at the negatives of our life and wallow in self-pity, or we can see God was at work all the time. He was bringing us step by step, into a true relationship with Him. When we repent of our sins they disappear into the ocean of God’s forgiveness and forgetfulness, as far as the east is from the west, Psalm 103:12.
Just as Job was double blessed, so those who believe in the saving power of Jesus Christ, will be double blessed. The eight promises to the overcomer in the book of Revelation paint an interesting picture.
The overcomer will eat from the tree of life in God’s paradise, Rev2:7, and be given a crown of life, Revelation 2:10. He shall not be hurt by the second death, Rev 2:11. However, all unbelievers will experience eternal separation from God for all eternity.
Overcomers will eat hidden manna, Rev 2:17, and be well satisfied by their personal relationship with Jesus. As an overcomer you will receive a white acquittal stone with a new name written on it which you alone will know. You will have a new name, as a bridegroom gives his name to his new bride as a sign of a covenantal relationship.
The overcomer will rule nations during the millennial reign of Christ, Rev 2:26. Natural people will be born during the millennium. Their faith will be tested at the end when Satan will be released for a season, Rev 20:7. Many will rebel even though they have lived for a thousand years under the perfect government of Christ, which will result in the battle of Gog and Magog, Rev 20:7-10
Above all, the overcomer will receive the morning star, Rev 2:26. This points to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, just as we have a personal relationship with Him on earth.
The overcomer will be clothed in white robes, signifying righteousness. Their name will not be blotted out of the book of life, Rev 3:5. Christ will confess your name before His Father and all the angelic host of heaven. You will be a pillar in the temple of God and never again go before His face. Revelation 3:12.
The overcomer will sit on the throne of Christ, as co-ruler, Rev 3:21 just as Jesus overcame and is seated on His Father’s throne.
Final Proof of Satan or God at Work
The final promise to the overcomer puts the seal on whether it is Satan or God at work. Overcomes shall inherit all things and I will be His God and he shall be my son, Rev 21:7. For all eternity overcomers will be proof of God’s plan of redemption, His grace and endless mercy.
From the Garden of Eden the purpose and plan of God was to have many sons born of the Spirit of God. Adam was created from the earth and flawed, but redeemed mankind will be born of the Spirit and perfect for all eternity. Satan is the instrument of trial and testing, but the end result is beyond our earthly comprehension. Be encouraged when adversity comes your way. God is at work and never leaves or forsakes you.