God hasn’t kept the ending a secret. He wants us to see the big picture. He wants us to know that He wins. And He also wants us to know that the evil we witness on the stage of life is not as mighty as we might think.
Many passages teach these truths, but my favourite is a couple of verses recorded by Luke. Jesus speaks the words on the night before His death. He is in the upper room with His followers. They are shocked to hear His prophecy that one of them will betray the Master. Their defensiveness leads to an argument, and the argument leads to Jesus to exhort them to servanthood.
Then in an abrupt shift, Jesus turns to Simon Peter and makes this intriguing statement: “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren” (Luke 22:31-32, NKJV).
This passage gives us a glimpse into an unseen world. It raises many questions, but it also affords many assurances, the chief of which is the chain of command. God is clearly in control, and the devil is on a short leash. Did you notice the verb that followed Satan’s name? Ask. “Satan has asked…”
The devil didn’t demand, resolve, or decide. He asked. Just as he requested permission to tempt Job, he requested permission to tempt Simon Peter. Sort of recasts our image of the old snake, doesn’t it? Instead of the mighty Darth Vader of Gloom, a better caricature is a skinny, back-alley punk who acts tough, but ducks fast when God flexes. “Uh, uh… I’d… uh… like to do a number on Peter – that is, if you don’t mind.” The chain of command is clear. Satan does nothing outside of God’s domain, and God uses Satan to advance the cause of His kingdom.
[Taken from When Christ Comes by Max Lucado]
THINK BIG. START SMALL. GO DEEP.