Praise Confuses the Enemy

Not too long ago a friend of mine, a Gospel music singer herself, posted this very thing on Facebook and since seeing it the truth of that phrase has never left me. Of course the Enemy, Satan, the Father of Lies, being the coward He is would like to present himself as mightily terrifying, invincible and most of all not in any way affected by the Lord God. My friends, do not believe it. Jesus has dealt Satan a mortal wound, ripped the keys to our souls out of his hands and left him to die, and will, one day, utterly destroy any remaining power he does have and forever banish him to the depths of Hell to suffer forever separated from the Lord, the source of life for all beings. It’s all a big lie spread about by none other than himself, that he is somehow invincible, yes, right now he is free to roam throughout the earth and even Heaven. BUT he can doย nothingย without the divine foreknowledge and permission of the Lord. Why do you think this happened at the beginning of the book of Job?:

“Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them. The LORD said to Satan, ‘From where have you come?‘ Satan answered the LORD and said, ‘From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.‘ And the LORD said to Satan, ‘Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?‘ Then Satan answered the LORD and said, ‘Does Job fear God for no reason? Have you not put a hedge around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But stretch out your hand and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face.’ And the LORD said to Satan, ‘Behold, all that he has is in your hand. Only againstย him do not stretch out your hand.‘ So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD.” – Job 1:6-12 (emphasis added)

Now, before I go on, let me make it absolutely clear that God knew exactly what He was doing here. How so? Well, God already knew all the things that Satan had said to Him about Job. That he had been very much so blessed and that it was about time for a trial in order to test Job’s faith. After all, the Word does say in James chapter 1 to “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.” And that the man who remains steadfast is blessed, “for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.” And, “Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am being tempted by God,’ for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.” So you see, God was in complete control of this whole situation and He allows temptations and trials to come about, ultimately, for our own good and His own glory.

Okay so, what can we learn form this passage in Job? Well, the truth is many, many things. However, that must be left for another day. What I’m getting at right now is this: Satan is neither as powerful as he thinks he is, nor as much of a joke as we like to believe he is.

In the book of Job, it is pretty clear that Satan is up to something. Why else would he want to come before the Lord. They are sworn enemies, forever at odds with each other, and I am sure neither of them find any pleasure in being around the other. You can almost hear the disgust in God’s voice when he asks, “From where have you come?” Almost like, “What in the world are youย doing here?” So, since there is this mutual hatred going on, why in the world is Satan there? Because he has seen Job and heย hatesย Job for his love of the Lord and wants to destroy him. But he can’t. Not without going before the Lord first to get permission, otherwise, as he knows all too well, his plans will be foiled and he wouldn’t be able to do a thing to Job. So, Satan cooks up a plan to try to “trick” the Lord into allowing him to destroy Job. Good thing the Lord God isn’t stupid! The Lord knew the Enemy’s plan the moment he thought it up, and already had His own counter-plan figured out by the time Satan came to see Him. You see,ย just as always, just like in the Garden of Eden, God turned Satan’s plan on it’s head and made it turn out for Job’s good and His glory. Let’s take a look:

“Then Job answered the LORD and said:ย  ‘I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. “Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?” Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. “Hear, and I will speak; I will question you, and you make it known to me.” I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.’…And the LORD restored the fortunes of Job, when he had prayed for his friends. And the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before. –ย Job 42:1-6 & 10 (emphasis added)

Satan’s plan: thwarted! So as you can see in this story of Job as well as throughout the entire Bible, he is really not all that, as he thinks he is. However, as we are still living on this earth, which he does have free reign over, until the day that Jesus comes back. We must also acknowledge the power he does have, and be aware of the footholds we have allowed him to have in our lives, and fight back his enticement to worldly desires which inevitably lead to sin. As I said earlier, the Word says, “But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.”

Now you might be thinking, “Okay, so I was tracking with you when you were talking about God’s victory over Satan, and His greater power. That all makes sense. But now you’re telling me that Satan also has power on this earth that is dangerous and worth being aware of?”

It doesn’t seem to quite add up, right? Try to understand it like a hierarchy with God at the top (most powerful), us at the bottom (least powerful) and Satan somewhere in the middle. Although he cannot do anything without the Lord’s foreknowledge and allowance, he does have power to destroy and he is very good at it. Remember, he was once part of the heavenly host before he got too cocky with his power and thought he could be a better god than God himself. Ha! Well, God took care of that and cast him out of Heaven forever!

The Good News is for those who believe in the Son of God, Jesus the Christ, Immanuel God With Us; and everything that He has done. Coming into this fallen world as one of His own fallen creatures, living a life of persecution, dying the most horrible death imaginable, and then defeating death and sin and Satan by RISING FROM THE GRAVE INTO ETERNAL LIFE, WHERE HE HAS ALWAYS BELONGED, AND BRINGING THOSE WHO WOULD BELIEVE WITH HIM.ย If you believe all of that truly in your heart and have confessed it with your mouth, then there isย hope! There is nothing that you can do to make God turn back on His promise to lead you safely through this life, make you more and more like Himself every day, and one day bring you home to Him to live in His presence for-ev-er!

And, hey, I do realize, at least I hope, that there are those who do not believe who are reading this. If you have never heard of this Good News before, or if you have and just don’t get it: first of all, thank you so much for visiting my blog and for reading this post. To me, it says something about your heart that you even made it to the end of this post! It tells me that you are searching, or you are at least a little curious. I praise the Lord for that, because that means that the Lord is pursuing you, my friend, yes, YOU! I encourage you to keep digging, keep following that tug you are feeling in your heart, find a church, a college ministry, or just someone who really loves Jesus who you can trust, and ask questions, read the book of John in the Bible and find out just who this Jesus is! I promise you, you will not regret it! Most importantly, do not be afraid to struggle through it, the Gospel is truly a crazy story of the immense love the Lord God of the Universe has for you, and it will most likely be confusing. BUT, friend, please do not give up! But instead turn to the Lord and ask Him to make you a believer, respond to that call that has been placed in your heart, and He. Will. Do. It!

And to the believer, my dear brother or sister, I implore you: do not be afraid of the Enemy’s attacks! He can do absolutely nothing to tear you from your Father’s hands! “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” The Lord’s grip on us, His children, His chosen ones, is tight and sure. He will not let go of you, not for anything! So praise Him!!! (Yea, you were wondering when I would come back around to that, weren’t you? ;]) Believer, Satan does not understand praise, he can’t, he has forever been blinded and his heart forever hardened toward the Lord. He hates the Lord with every fiber of his being, and he cannot understand the praise that comes from the Spirit within us for the Lord. So know this, the surest way to disappoint the hopes and plans of the Enemy is to rebuke him in the name of the Lord and then simply PRAISE THE LORD with all you’ve got, and the Enemy will not be able to remain.

“For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” – Jesus, Matthew 18:20

“Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” – Jesus, Matthew 18:18

“For it is you who light my lamp; the Lord my God lightens my darkness. For by you I can run against a troop, and by my God I can leap over a wall. This God–his way is perfect; the word of the LORD proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.” – Psalm 18:28-30 (emphasis added)

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” – John 1:1-5 (emphasis added)

“For all who are lead by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, ‘Abba! Father!'” – Romans 8:14-15

“This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.” – 1 John 1:5 (emphasis added)

Peace,

Carly

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