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When Satan Asks for Permission to Mess You Up

In the 1984 film Terminator, Arnold Schwarzenegger introduced the catch phrase, “I’ll be back!”  On June 21st, 2005, the American Film Institute voted this line as the 37th most popular movie quote in the past century.  The point of this dialogue is to inform the audience that nothing will keep this character from returning.  Unfortunately, one fallen angel uses a similar calling card.  However, when Satan arrives on the scene, his goal is the mess you up.

Now there was a day when the sons of God (angels) came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan (adversary, accuser) also came among them. The Lord said to Satan, “From where have you come?” Then Satan answered the Lord, “From roaming around on the earth and from walking around on it.” The Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered and reflected on My servant Job? For there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God [with reverence] and abstains from and turns away from evil [because he honors God].” Then Satan answered the Lord, “Does Job fear God for nothing? 10 Have You not put a hedge [of protection] around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands [and conferred prosperity and happiness upon him], and his possessions have increased in the land. 11 But put forth Your hand now and touch (destroy) all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face.” 12 Then the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that Job has is in your power, only do not put your hand on the man himself.” So Satan departed from the presence of the Lord, Job 1:6-12.

The first two chapters of the book of Job reveals pertinent information containing the relationship between God and Satan.  First, God places a hedge of protection around certain individuals.  While its not specified, it appears that certain godly people are protected by more than just one guardian angel.  Second, Satan must ask for permission to interfere with the lives of God’s servants.  In the passage above, God allows Job to experience a series of earth shattering trials.  Satan’s objective is to mess Job up so badly that he is compelled to curse God publicly.

“Simon, Simon (Peter), listen! Satan has demanded permission to sift [all of] you like grain; 32 but I have prayed [especially] for you [Peter], that your faith [and confidence in Me] may not fail; and you, once you have turned back again [to Me], strengthen and support your brothers [in the faith],” Luke 22:31-32.

This assault on human beings isn’t limited to the Old Testament.  According to Jesus, Satan met with God the Father demanding permission to mess Peter up.  Its odd that Peter is not caught off guard by Jesus’ comment suggesting that this concept is not new, fully known by Jesus’ disciples.  As I read the passage above, my main concern is whose next?  In addition, if you’re next on the list, are you ready for all the plots and schemes meant to trip you up?  In view of this clear and present danger, may Jesus’ words in Luke 22:46 awaken your soul so that when temptation arises, Satan won’t mess you up spiritually.

by Jay Mankus

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