Satan must ask permission

by Ministry of Hope

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23 august 2006

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Satan must ask permission

Did Jesus teach that Satan must ask permission from God before tempting or attacking Christians (Luke 22:31-32)?

Luke 22:31
Simon, Simon (Peter), listen! Satan has asked excessively that [all of] you be given up to him [out of the power and keeping of God], that he might sift [all of] you like grain,

Luke 22:32 But I have prayed especially for you [Peter], that your [own] faith may not fail; and when you yourself have turned again, strengthen {and} establish your brethren.

In Luke 22:31-32, Jesus said to the disciple Peter: "Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers."

As a backdrop to understanding this passage, wheat in ancient times was sifted in order to remove the chaff and the dirt, as well as to eliminate the broken and withered grains.

The sifting process revealed the impure elements that had to be removed from the good wheat. In like manner, Satan often tempts believers with a view to revealing and emphasizing their weaknesses. This is what Satan sought to do to Peter.

Contextually, it seems clear from Luke 22:31-32 that Satan is "on a leash." He cannot go beyond what our sovereign God will allow him. We see this not only in Luke 22 but also in the Book of Job where Satan had to obtain permission from God before afflicting

Job (read Job 1:9-12).

Job 1:9 Then Satan answered the Lord, Does Job [reverently] fear God for nothing?
Job 1:10 Have You not put a hedge about him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have conferred prosperity {and} happiness upon him in the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land.
Job 1:11 But put forth Your hand now and touch all that he has, and he will curse You to Your face.
Job 1:12 And the Lord said to Satan (the adversary and the accuser), Behold, all that he has is in your power, only upon the man himself put not forth your hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the Lord.

Another observation we can make is that Jesus, fully aware that Satan wanted to tempt Peter, prayed for Peter before the temptation even began that Peter's faith would not fail (Luke 22:32).

What a wonderful Savior we have and what a comforting thought to know that God is the supreme ruler and the sovereign God over all His creation and will never allow the enemy to tempt His Children be on their ability.

1 Cor 10:13 For no temptation (no trial regarded as enticing to sin), [no matter how it comes or where it leads] has overtaken you {and} laid hold on you that is not common to man [that is, no temptation or trial has come to you that is beyond human resistance and that is not adjusted and adapted and belonging to human experience, and such as man can bear]. But God is faithful [to His Word and to His compassionate nature], and He [can be trusted] not to let you be tempted {and} tried {and} assayed beyond your ability {and} strength of resistance {and} power to endure, but with the temptation He will [always] also provide the way out (the means of escape to a landing place), that you may be capable {and} strong {and} powerful to bear up under it patiently.

arrow.gif (4694 bytes) see also the sovereignty of God

Hebrews 7:25 tells us, "He is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them."

So many people have been misled to believe that they have to fight satan on their own and have to conquer the enemy, Be assured that Jesus defeated the enemy of our soul and since we have bcome a child of God, He is the one that decides what is to happen to us, therefore when we are tempted, we resist the devil and submit to God since He is the one that is in controle.

When we are tempted, God has a pupose for allowing it, to strengthen, to purify, and to mature, and teach.

James 4:7 So be subject to God. Resist the devil [stand firm against him], and he will flee from you.
James 4:8 Come close to God and He will come close to you. [Recognize that you are] sinners, get your soiled hands clean; [realize that you have been disloyal] wavering individuals with divided interests, and purify your hearts [of your spiritual adultery].
James 4:9 [As you draw near to God] be deeply penitent and grieve, even weep [over your disloyalty]. Let your laughter be turned to grief and your mirth to dejection {and} heartfelt shame [for your sins].
James 4:10 Humble yourselves [feeling very insignificant] in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you [He will lift you up and make your lives significant].

We should all rest secure in the fact that God is in control of the universe, and that Satan cannot simply do as he pleases in our lives. The trials and testings that come to God's people are only those which He allows.

God Bless!!
Ministry of Hope

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