GOD UTILIZES THE ENEMY – 3
(Thirty plus years ago God put Don Rogers in my life. He trained and mentored me in spiritual ministry. When he was no longer able to minister, I had the privilege taking over his “Spiritual Warfare Ministries”. He had written many articles about spiritual warfare. I have edited and added to his work for this blog.)
In the last 2 blogs we have seen that God sometimes uses evil spirits to bring chastisement or discipline on those not following the Lord. He even uses them to test and strengthen the faith of those who are living in obedience (John 15:1).
- God uses evil spirits to TEST the believer’s faith and obedience A. Job – The Book of Job – Job was blameless, upright, feared God and shunned evil (1:1). He was the greatest man among all the people of the East (1:3). He offered up sacrifices to the Lord each morning in case any of his children had sinned against God (1:5). There was no one on earth like him (1:8).
It was the Lord who pointed out His righteous servant to Satan. What followed were a series of losses that would challenge Job’s faith and obedience. First, he lost his family and possessions. Then his health was taken from him. Then he had to endure the judgmental attitudes of his friends. Job maintained that what he was suffering was not caused by sin. He did question why the Lord was allowing all this to happen to him. But he professed in Job 13:15, “Though He slay me, yet will I hope in Him.” Job was tested by Satan, humbled, sifted, and in the end had a greater appreciation of the greatness of God through his trials. The Lord made him prosperous again and gave him twice as much as he had before. The Lord gave him seven sons and three daughters. His daughters were the most beautiful in the land. Job lived a hundred and forty years and saw his children and their children to the fourth generation.
- The apostle Paul – 2 Corinthians 12:1-10 – Paul had a wonderful heavenly vision which was so real that he was not sure whether actually caught up, physically, to heaven or not. Following his heavenly vision, the Lord permitted an angelic messenger of Satan to give Paul a “thorn in the flesh,” to torment him. Scholars have speculated as to the nature of the physical infirmity. Many think it was a problem with his eyes. In any case, Paul went to the Lord three times in prayer to seek release from his torment, but the Lord told him, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness” (12:8).
Paul admitted that one of the reasons he had the “thorn in the flesh” was to keep him from becoming conceited or yielding to pride. Out of this experience he learned to boast in his weakness rather than his abilities, so that Christ’s power could rest on him (12:9). He had learned to delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when he was weak, he was strong and the Lord received the glory.
Believers have often had questions as to why the Lord tolerates Satan’s activities. Why does he permit Satan to continue to operate after Christ’s victory on the cross? Why is he allowed to touch believers?
- The prophet Habakkuk also had questions of this nature. He cried out to the Lord and complained.
- “Why do you make me look at injustice? Why do you tolerate wrong? Therefore the law is paralyzed, and justice never prevails. The wicked hem in the righteous, so that justice is perverted.” (1:3-4) The Lord answered him and said he was raising up a new force on the world scene, the ruthless and violent Chaldeans to sweep across the earth and conquer. (1:5-9)
- “Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrong. Why then do you tolerate the treacherous? Why are you silent while the wicked swallow up those more righteous than themselves?” (1:13) He couldn’t understand why the Lord would use a people more wicked than His people to judge them. The Lord answered again and said, wicked men trust themselves alone [as these Chaldeans do], and fail; but the righteous man trusts in Me, and lives! (2:4) Then the Lord listed the five woes of those who trust in themselves, in plunder, in unjust gain, in bloodshed, in wicked pleasures or in idols. In other words, their judgment awaited them.
- Habakkuk praised the Lord for answering his questions. He realized that evil will not triumph forever. He could see that God was in control and could be trusted to vindicate those who are faithful to Him. Habakkuk would wait on the Lord to fulfill His will not matter what trials had to be endured. He declared he would rejoice in the Lord, his Savior. He acknowledged the Sovereign Lord as his strength. (Chapter 3)
When you go through difficulties in life, or as you pray for others facing obstacles and pain, remember that God allows it to help us grow more like Him. See them as an opportunity to trust Him. Stay faithful and allow them to cause you to draw closer to the One Who promises to never leave you or forsake you.
PLEASE NOTE: Satan deceives and defeats us by getting us to believe lies (John 8:44) just like he did with Eve. I’m starting a 5-blog series on LIES CHRISTIANS BELIEVE for my INDIA UPDATE blogs. Since they expose one of the main tools the enemy uses against us I want to offer them to you who read these spiritual warfare blogs. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll put you on the list. Or you can sign up at www.christiantrainingonline.org/our-ministries/india/