How many times have you heard someone say “If God is a God of love, why is there so much suffering in the world?” Sadly many Christians struggle to answer this question, because they don’t understand today’s verse.
Every time we pick up a newspaper, or check our news app, we are bombarded by devastating news; murder, violence, terrorism, wars, famines and the like. Does it sound to you like the God who loves us unconditionally is calling all the shots in this world? The answer is clearly “no”! So who is in charge?
God is sovereign. That will never change. He is the ultimate authority over the heavens and the earth. In the beginning God gave Adam authority over everything that lives and moves on the earth (Genesis 1:28). Psalm 115:16 confirms this when it says ‘The highest heavens belong to the LORD, but the earth he has given to mankind.’ The authority Adam was given was strictly limited to the earth.
Unfortunately the story didn’t end there. We all know what happened next. Satan came along. Satan was an angelic being (previously named Lucifer), created by God with the necessary power to fulfil the tasks required of him in heaven. When Lucifer rebelled and was kicked out of heaven, he lost his God-given authority and no longer had a place to use his power. Power is the ability to do something, but authority is the right to use that power.
It is so important that you and I understand that we give authority to whomever we obey. Satan knew that if he could get Adam and Eve to obey him, he would have their authority. When Adam and Eve obeyed the serpent, they literally handed their God-given authority (over the earth) to him. That’s why Satan could say to Jesus in Luke 4:6 “I will give you all their authority and splendour; it has been given to me”. And that’s why today’s verse explains our current situation.
Next time you see something terrible happening in this world and you think “God, how could you let that happen?” Just remember that the Bible teaches clearly that the whole world is under the control of the evil one. Many people today are angry at God because they have mistakenly attributed the pain and destruction inflicted by the ‘god of this world’ to the God who loves them and wants the best for them. Satan is out to steal, kill and destroy, but Jesus Christ came to give us life in abundance (John 10:10).
When you were born, you were born into Satan’s domain. When you were born again, you were born into God’s Kingdom. ‘For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves’ (Colossians 1:13).
Jesus, our King, was never under the authority of Satan. He wasn’t born like you and I. He was born of the Holy Spirit and was therefore the first man (since Adam sinned) to walk the face of this earth with a higher authority than the god of this world. This is why demons had to obey Him, the wind and waves obeyed Him and people were astonished at the authority He spoke with. He loves you. He has a plan for you and He wants to restore you to be the person He created you to be.
Remember, you give authority to whomever you obey. Your choice today is whom you will decide to obey. I know who I’m choosing!
Prayer: Father, thank You for Your everlasting and unconditional love for me. I am so sorry for the times that I have attributed the terrible things that happen in this world to You and I’m sorry for when I’ve blamed You for them or been angry at You. I recognise that You are not the one who seeks my destruction but that Your desire is for my restoration. Thank You that I have the opportunity to obey You today and to hand the authority over my life back to You. Would You help me to do this, and to experience more and more of Your abundant life as I do so. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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