Weekly Newsletter

Pastor David’s Weekly Devotional
Satan is a destroyer – not in the playfully-innocent-toddler “terrible-two’s” type of destroyer, but more like the sadistically-wreaking-massive-havoc-and-devastation battleship kind of destroyer.  That is, Satan’s chief purpose is to destroy the things of God in an attempt to steal God’s glory for himself.  In the book of Job, we read that Satan is “roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it” (Job 1:7, 2:2). Writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the apostle Peter further clarified Satan’s mission when he wrote, “Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1Pet.5:8).  Jesus said Satan is “a murderer” (Jn.8:44).  In the book of Revelation, we read that Satan is “filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short” (Rev.12:12).

Clearly, Satan must not be trifled with.  He is treacherous, furious, murderous, vainglorious, and the prince of demons!   However, for the true believer, Satan is not to be feared either.  For Satan is a defeated enemy.  Satan is a roaring lion, but a lion restrained by God.  This becomes abundantly clear when reading the first two chapters of the book of Job.  Satan does not have absolute free will or supreme reign, on the earth or over human beings.  In a very real sense, he must receive permission from God before he acts.  Satan is ultimately and eternally subject to the sovereign will of God.  God is ultimately and eternally sovereign over Satan.

We find the same lesson from the words of Jesus recorded in the Gospel of Luke.  Speaking to Simon Peter, Jesus said, “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat” (Lk.22:31).  The sifting metaphor is a powerful imagery.  For the process of sifting wheat involves separating the wheat from the chaff by beating or rolling over the wheat.  The devil wanted to thoroughly test Simon (in fact, the “you” is plural indicating that Satan was asking to “sift” all the apostles).  Satan wanted to thresh – or, to put it in our contemporary vernacular, “thrash” – Peter’s faith and life.

Notice that Jesus did not refuse Satan.  Rather than telling Satan “No”, Jesus told Peter, “… I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail.  And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers” (Lk.22:32).  Satan had to ask God permission to test Peter (for Satan can do nothing without God’s consent), and God granted Satan’s request.  This is a mysterious and glorious truth.  We know that Peter was “sifted” as he eventually denied and disowned Jesus on three different occasions (see Lk.22:54-62) – even to the point of calling curses down upon himself and swearing, “I don't know the man!” (Matt.26:74).

But while Peter was being sifted by Satan, Jesus was praying for Peter.  Indeed, Peter’s faith did not fail because Jesus Christ Himself was interceding on Peter’s behalf (cf. Rom.8:31-38; Heb.2:14-18, 4:14-16).  Peter eventually “turned back” and “strengthened [his] brothers” becoming a great and faithful disciple of Jesus Christ.  What Satan intended for evil, God used for good.

Satan is a destroyer, but Jesus is the Deliverer!  In fact, the Bible tells us that Jesus is the Destroyer of Satan’s destructive works.  In 1 John 3:8 we read, “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil's work.”  As the Redeemer, Jesus demolishes the effects of Satan’s work so that ultimately Satan will not be able to thwart God’s sovereign will or diminish God’s supreme glory.  In the end, this truth will be reality for everyone who has truly received Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior: “The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet” (Rom.16:20).

Together in and for Christ,
Pastor David

Scripture Readings for the Week (Monday – Sunday ~ Week #27):
Leviticus 10-12; 2 Kings 1-5; Psalms 78-80; Proverbs 8-9; Ezekiel 19-24; Luke 17-18; Philippians 3-4
Recommended Reading:
“The Glory of Heaven” by John MacArthur

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