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What is Satan's motive behind every believer's faith?
by Mary Sangeetha
5/15/2014 / Christian Living
Obedience brings forth blessings.
Right from creation, God's intention for man was that he walked in obedience and lived the blessed life that God always wanted him to have, without any lack. Man was created in the image and likeness of God and was made to have dominion over everything in every aspect of life (Gen 1:26-30). What God bestowed on man, made someone very jealous, someone who got kicked out of heaven because of his pride. Satan. Also known by different names - accuser (Job 1:6, Rev 12:10), murderer (Jn 8:44), liar (Jn 8:44), thief (Jn 10:10), lion (1Pet 5:8), angel of light (2Cor 11:14). And right from creation, Satan's job against every believer is to separate him from God and His promises. And this, he achieves by targeting the very foundation of every believer - his FAITH.
Let's take a close look at how Satan moved against Job and Peter. First, let's start with Job.
Job 1 starts with describing Job as being a man of complete integrity, one who feared God and stayed away from evil. Job is portrayed as a man of great riches, in fact, the richest person in that entire area. Job's first test starts with verse 6 when satan comes as an accuser and stands before God.
One day the members of the heavenly court came to present themselves before the Lord, and the Accuser, Satan, came with them. 7 "Where have you come from?" the Lord asked Satan.
Satan answered the Lord, "I have been patrolling the earth, watching everything that's going on."
8 Then the Lord asked Satan, "Have you noticed my servant Job? He is the finest man in all the earth. He is blamelessa man of complete integrity. He fears God and stays away from evil."
9 Satan replied to the Lord, "Yes, but Job has good reason to fear God. 10 You have always put a wall of protection around him and his home and his property. You have made him prosper in everything he does. Look how rich he is! 11 But reach out and take away everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face!"
12 "All right, you may test him," the Lord said to Satan. "Do whatever you want with everything he possesses, but don't harm him physically." So Satan left the Lord's presence.
Verse 10 makes it clear that Satan was fully aware of God placing a hedge of protection around Job, his home and his property.
This is what makes it all the more difficult for Satan when he plans to move against a person who keeps God's laws first in life and makes it a point to obey them, without having the slightest thought of unbelief or doubt. Satan cannot easily move inside the wall of protection that God places around every aspect concerning a believer, which includes his daily bread, health, finances, marriage and children. Since the believer already speaks God's promises of protection and deliverance over his life, satan tactically plans to make a believer question his faith in God when something aweful happens to any of the above aspects, especially health. Such was the case with Job. He stood in faith when satan attacked everything that he had. But finally when terrible boils struck him, he went beyond recognition. The Bible says that his suffering was too great for words (Job 2:13). Chapter 3 opens up with Job cursing the day of his birth and the chapters that follow explain how his friends remind him about God's goodness when Job continues to curse everything about his life and as to why does he have to undergo a suffering so great. In fact, in chapter 13, he even gets ready to argue his case with God. And how does Job's story end when we reach chapter 42? Verses 7 - 17, say that God blessed Job in the second half of his life even more than in the beginning. Verse 17 says that he died an old man who had lived a long, full life. And how did this sudden change in events occur? Only when Job admits to God that he takes back whatever he's said in the previous chapters and repents of his sins. Job gets ready to stand up in faith once again instead of moaning and groaning.
Now let's move on to Peter.
Luke 22:31 describes about Jesus predicting Peter's denial.
31 "Simon, Simon! Listen! Satan has received permission to test all of you, to separate the good from the bad, as a farmer separates the wheat from the chaff. 32 But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith will not fail. And when you turn back to me, you must strengthen your brothers."
33 Peter answered, "Lord, I am ready to go to prison with you and to die with you!"
34 "I tell you, Peter," Jesus said, "the rooster will not crow tonight until you have said three times that you do not know me."
Here, Jesus says that satan has received permission from God to test all His disciples and He explicitly warns Simon Peter regarding his test. Here, we need to make note of something which is important. Jesus says in verse 34 that Peter would be denying Him thrice while also saying in verse 31 that He has prayed for his faith not to fail him. From the very beginning, God created man to have a free will of his own. He was not supposed to be something pre-progammed that when keyed, would behave the way it was intended to be. That's why Adam and Eve were given a choice of eating the forbidden fruit (Gen 2:15-17). God knew that man would fall into temptation, even before the world began (1Pet 1:20), but still gave them a free will to obey Him.
Moving back to Peter, in the verses that follow (Luke 22:54-62), Peter indeed denied Jesus as he had been warned. This was why Jesus said to him in Luke 22:31, "So when you have repented and turned to me again, strengthen your brothers". God requires repentance and turning back to Him - a renewal of faith in every believer's case.
Looking at Job and Peter, it is clear that satan has to get excessive permission from God prior to moving against a saved person. And what is required of us in such circumstances? Is it to go about with a defeated mind and complain about everything?
What does a believer have to do?
Be willing to stand up in faith with the assurance that God has already provided a way out for every trial and tribulation faced.
2 Dear brothers and sisters,when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. Jas 1:2-4.
3 We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. 4 And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. 5 And this hope will not lead to disappointment. Rom 5:3-5.
13 Therefore, put on every piece of God's armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. 14 Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God's righteousness. 15 For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. 16 In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. 17 Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Eph 6:13-17.
Mary is a believer who got saved at the age of 17. She is a woman who honors God with all her life and earnestly believes that the Gospel has the power to change anyone's destiny.
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