Eternal Savior Lutheran Church

A member of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod

2688 North Park Drive
Lafayette, CO 80026
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May 18 – Spiritual Warfare And Our Victory

“You are those who have stayed with Me in My trials, and I assign to you, as My Father assigned to Me, a kingdom, that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.  Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”  Luke 22:28-32

Devotional Thought For The Day

The whole issue of the power and influence of Satan is somewhat of a mystery. We know that he has quite a bit of power – as evidenced in the Egyptian magicians who emulated the first plagues in Exodus, or in what he was able, by God’s allowance, to do to Job. Scripture warns us that he “prowls around as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” [1 Pet. 5:8] He is especially desirous to plague and afflict children of God, disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, and he is allowed to bring us into temptations and to cause our fall into sin – as he did with Peter when he denied three times even knowing Jesus.

It is interesting, the advice Jesus gives to Peter.  First, He speaks of the coming kingdom which He has “assigned” to His disciples, His followers, including Peter. Note that this is by His grace, His gift, His choosing and determining.  This is not a separate kingdom from His own, for He immediately speaks of them eating and drinking with Him at His table.  He is the King, the only King, so the kingdom assigned to us is His own. Yet within this kingdom we too are afforded royal privileges and prestige.  Then He warns Peter of impending Satanic influence, advises Peter that he is going to fall into grievous sin, but then speaks of his repentance, restoration, and service to the other disciples. There is mystery here, why God allows this, why Peter fell anyway even after Jesus’ warning, the limitations God places upon Satan, and the final outcome which is the rout of Satan – Peter’s repentance and faith.

We should remember these things as we go out into the world each day – that we have spiritual enemies who are capable of inflicting great harm on us, leading us into temptations. However, the Lord is fully aware of all of Satan’s plans for us – and He is in full control, limiting what Satan can do to us. Though the Lord knows when we will fall, and the full nature of all of our sins, still He calls us to repentance – to turn back to Him and receive forgiveness, healing, and restoration from Him.  Such falls into sin do not disqualify us from continuing to serve the Lord Jesus and His people, or excuse us from this responsibility – it was Peter who was charged with strengthening the others. In all of this – especially when we turn away from sin in repentance and remain firm in our faith in Jesus, Satan is routed and thoroughly defeated. This is why God allows him continuing influence – the evidence of the futility of evil and rebellion against God is piling up.

It is not that God wants us to fall into sin – He has given us ample warnings.  He does will that we face temptations – in the sense of His permissive will; not that we should fall or be destroyed, and especially not that we should fall into despair and unbelief. There is mystery in this, but we are privileged to participate in the overwhelming victory of His gracious love, mercy, forgiveness, and salvation – and all of this is in the face of that one who seeks to devour us.

Prayer For The Day

Dear Lord Jesus Christ, remind us in all our times of temptation that You are with us, and that You know all things. Help us to overcome all temptations, and deliver us when Satan sifts us like wheat. Restore us to Yourself through godly repentance and faith in Your gracious love. Forbid that we fall into despair, unbelief, or misbelief. Thank You for assigning us the kingdom, and all of its blessings.  Help us to strengthen our brothers and sisters in faith.  Amen.