Let’s consider Job, the most righteous man on all the earth. God was so confident of his faithfulness that He allowed Satan to test Job to prove his worth. Satan tormented him with all kinds of emotional and physical suffering, but was unable to cause him to curse God.
Do we sometimes feel that God is testing us? Do we even feel that God is punishing us, and that He’s allowing Satan to put us through a time of trial, to bring us back to repentance? I don’t believe that is so.
Permission was given for Satan to torment Job, but only because of Job’s humility and right standing with God. Satan believed that if enough pain and suffering was inflicted, Job would deny and curse his God. But God knew Job wouldn’t do this: ‘There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright... who fears God and shuns evil’ (Job 1:8).
Would God hand us over to Satan to be tested? I don’t think so, because ‘God demonstrates His own love towards us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him’ (Romans 5:8-9).
But can this give us a false sense of superiority? Can we become so confident of always being in victory that we forget the One who gave His life for us?
Self righteousness and pride can be our greatest barrier to God. They create a wall of self-importance around us, which keeps God out, and allows the enemy free access. The moment we think we’ve earned the right to God’s love, our downfall is close. Is it any wonder then, that the enemy is still aggressive on all fronts?
We need to recognise the source of our salvation, and walk in it; within the safe boundary of the Kingdom of God, directed by His Word and protected by the shed blood of Jesus. ‘If we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin’(1 John 1:7).
We walk in fellowship with Him, by whose death we have life, and we are then in a strong position against the enemy. ‘In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one’ (Ephesians 6:16).
Prayer: Father forgive me if I’ve been walking in my own strength and drifting away from Your protection. Please draw me back into Your light and show me where I may have been walking in presumption and not in faith, in bitterness and not forgiveness, in enmity and not in love. Help me to make any necessary changes, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
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