It is important to begin by explaining my purpose and position in regards to Satan’s attack. I hope that the reader begins to view Satan appropriately, and to wage spiritual warfare for our neighbor, rather than against Satan. The sole purpose of this, as well as all of my other posts is to advance the gospel message for people who are still lost in darkness. It is also important for me to note, that I am not projecting myself as being one who has overcome Satan or his schemes, only that the One who has overcome resides within me.
Satan is a part of creation and as such, he is bound in many ways by time, space, limited understanding, and an eternal fate. Realizing these limitations can help us begin to grasp the power that Satan does not have. Furthermore, realizing that Satan is being limited can give us a greater sense of peace when it comes to our interaction with his lies.
As an example, I have a son who is 2 years old. The fact is he would eat just about every piece of candy known to man if I let him, but that wouldn’t be good for him. When he plays in the living room/kitchen, he will often go to the counter where we keep the candy and point to it and ask for some. At times he will even beg us for candy, but if it isn’t time to have candy, and if his parents don’t want him to have any, there isn’t really anything that he can do about it at this point in his life. He is limited.
-He is limited by his height so he can’t reach the candy.
-He is limited by his knowledge of physics so he can’t catapult some object and dislodge the candy from its resting state.
-He is limited in his acrobatic prowess so he cannot catapult himself to the height of the candy.
-But ultimately, he is limited by his parents. We are the ones that decided to put the candy where he could not reach it.
Limitation is an active process. I have to be aware of the advancements that Rutledge makes as he grows and must make sure that he can’t reach certain things. Sometimes, that’s harder than others, but the active placement of candy on a shelf is an assertion of his being limited by our judgment.
God’s active limitation of Satan, aside from the time/space limitation applied to all created beings, is best illustrated in the story of Job.
6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them. 7 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.” 8 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?” 9 Then Satan answered the Lord and said, “Does Job fear God for no reason? 10 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. 11 But stretch out your hand and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face.” 12 And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your hand. Only against him do not stretch out your hand.” So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord. Job 1:6-12
Satan is depicted in this section of scripture as being limited in every possible way by God. He is only able to do what God specifically allows. It’s not that Satan was given some parameters in which to abide and then had to chose whether or not he was going to obey, it is as though God set a clear and discernable constraint to Satan’s activities. Satan was allowed to go only so far before the boundary was reached, and when he arrived at the end of his rope, he was unable to continue.
Throughout the text, the authority of God is never in question!
I have been given authority to act on behalf of this God, and to intercede in ways that reflect His great mercy and grace. I have been given a royal position of adopted son in the kingdom of God and am therefore at war under His banner. I have no authority of my own, but am empowered by the almighty God to wage war on His behalf. So when Satan flings his arrows at me, my faith in the one who sent me extinguishes them and shields me from harm.
My faith does not rest in what I can do; it is a result of what God has already done!