Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Not Without His Permission

And the Lord said,“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)

Jesus spoke the words in the verse above when He and His disciples were eating the 'Lord's supper' and when He was predicting Peter's imminent denial of Him.

Jesus told Peter that Satan asked for Him, meaning that, Jesus had previously had a conversation with Satan whereby, Satan requested for Peter. This implies that Satan cannot pick and choose, freely, whom he desires to afflict or torment, on this earth, 'he must ask God, he needs God's permission to do so'. (Head spinning right? - Yes, it was for me also when I was opened to this understanding).

However, surprised we must not be, for in the Bible, there is another example whereby it shows that, Satan requires God's permission for everything, especially when it comes to His children. Where is that written? I hear you ask. In the book of Job. It is evident in Job 2: 3 - 6, and it reads "3 Then the Lord asked Satan, “Have you noticed my servant Job? He is the finest man in all the earth. He is blameless—a man of complete integrity. He fears God and stays away from evil. And he has maintained his integrity, even though you urged me to harm him without cause.” 4 Satan replied to the Lord, “Skin for skin! A man will give up everything he has to save his life. 5 But reach out and take away his health, and he will surely curse you to your face!” 6 “All right, do with him as you please,” the Lord said to Satan. “But spare his life.”(NLT)

Here we see, Satan having conversations with God regarding Job and asking permission to torment Job so that he(Job), can turn his back on God.

To ask permission means: "authorization granted to do something; formal consent"

To sift means to: "pass or fall through or as if through a sieve"

We learn from this same Luke 22 passage that, Satan wanted to sift Peter like wheat, thereby putting Peter's FAITH to the test. He wanted to put Peter's FAITH UNDER PRESSURE.

What is the essence of putting Peter's faith to the test, I hear you ask?
Hebrews 11:1 defines faith as "Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see." (NLT)

Breaking this passage down further, it means that our FAITH, which is our BELIEF (which is in the fundamental fact of God's existence and in His word, which is our firm foundation), that what we hope (which is in God's word) for, will actually happen; it gives us total and complete assurance (total confidence) about the things that we cannot see.

Thus, with that definition in mind, when our faith is tested, our belief, confidence, hope and total assurance and declaration in God and His word, is being tested. It is not to test if we can hold on to our earthly possessions (cars, houses, jobs and the rest), but if we can hold on to our firm belief in God, during the trials and tribulations we go through.

Reading Luke 22: 31 - 32 further, we learn that, even though Jesus gave Satan permission to test Paul, in His goodness, He made sure that Peter was going to be alright. Jesus prayed for Peter. He prayed that his Faith (which is what was to be tested) will not fail him, Luke 22: 32 reads "But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail;" However, the beauty of our Lord Jesus is that, as He prayed for Peter then, He still prays for us now, during our trials and tribulations as confirmed in Romans 8:34, which reads "Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us." (NLT)

We also learn from the 2nd part of verse 32, of Luke 22, that regardless our trials and tribulations, we will come through. However, when we do, we will have a testimony, which is to be used to help others who are going through the same difficulties we just came out of. Luke 22:32 reads "...So when you have repented and turned to me again, strengthen your brothers. (NLT)" This is why it is important to share our testimonies with others so that it will help them towards their breakthrough and also bringing glory to God's name.

From all of the above, we must remember that:
  • Nothing happens to us without God's permission. Satan has to obtain permission from God to afflict us. I like to say he requires a 'permission slip' that states his limited, under permission authority and boundaries on anything concerning us.

  • When we are going through trials and tribulations, being tested, it is our FAITH - our foundation, our belief in God that is being tested.

  • God is always there to help and see us through as we are assured in 1 Corinthians 10:13 which reads "The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure". (NLT)

  • The testing of our faith is good for us, for it brings growth through endurance as confirmed in James1: 2 - 4, which reads "Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow."(NLT) Endurance is the ability or strength to continue or last, esp. despite fatigue, stress, or other adverse conditions; stamina: He has amazing physical endurance

So I encourage us all to be of good cheer, for every single test of faith we go through, has not happened without God's notice or permission.

Nothing occurs to God and nothing takes Him by surprise.

However, we must do whatever it takes, to hold on to the very foundations of our faith, our belief, which is in God and His word. We must believe that He is on our side, He is praying for us, and the tests are to refine us. This means we will be fine, we will come out refined and much stronger. We will come out victorious armed with powerful and life changing testimonies. These we must share with others, to strengthen and help them through their own tests; whilst making our good, wonderful and merciful God, famous along your way.

Much Love
Remi Banjo
***Pictures by Photobucket***


Kafo said...

i'm almost tempted to print multiple copies past one on my steering wheel, one on the ceiling of my room
one on my cellphone
one on my laptop screen

hmmm what else do i look at daily
i think that is about it

this is beautiful
i lvoe the way you broke it down

thank u

Remi, United Kingdom said...

@ kafo... lol.. I just laughed out so loud and hard after reading your comment ... lol. I could almost see you thinking hard oh.. eh, where else do I look oh.. you are welcome love. God has been good, he has been super teaching me some things, that even my head is spinning.. but I have to share..

Hope u're doing good girl.. much love x

adebanji said...

Very encouraging, especially for me right now. May God bless you for such a piece!

simeone said...

actually ehn remi...i wanna just copy kafo's comment and paste ..(i had to read something like this at this particular moment.)..thanks for chekin up on moi..reali reali appreciate..i was already here b4 i saw it sef..
remain blessed

Rita said...

God! This is beautiful! I am so blessed by this post!

Something I would like to add is that God has confidence in us that we will trust Him during the trials...it is left for us to trust Him and His words...

God bless you Remi...

Anonymous said...

Thank you for allowing God to use you as an instrument. Lately I've been going back and forth between beating myself up and staying steadfast in faith principles. This just confirms to me what he's been saying all along.

Favoured Girl said...

Thanks for breaking this down so well! It's so true, no situation we are going through takes God by surprise.

Stay blessed!

David C Brown said...

When Satan tested Jesus it brought out the perfection of Jesus; when he tests us the work of God in us does not fail, although we may fail.

Gee said...

Remi there u go again..
as if the bible study Im just coming from is not enuf!
noo...its not enuf!!
I needed to read this post!
I'm going thru alot of stuff now, I call it PGS(my post)...and i'm happy to kno that God is fully aware and hasnt 4gotten me!
this is beautiful!!

Olufunke said...

I never thought of it that way....'that satan takes permission from God to hurt us"
Very profound truth here, need to go do some personal study.
God bless you and increase you

Anonymous said...

God bless you, I don't want to start crying in the library, but I have never been under so much pressure in my life, plus I am tired...But I have to continue, because I need to give my testimony.

Stay blessed


My Quest said...

You stopped by "My Quest" the other day and left such encouraging and thoughtful comments.
for someone who doesn't know me, your comments are really a blessing. Thanks for all the suggestions.
I know God is faithful and will perform his good will towards us at the appointed time.
I take it that you are single, waiting for that special someone, God will send that bone of your bone and flesh of your flesh as you tend his vinyard.


Lady A said...

@Kafo, lol!
Amen! Well put. This is something we all need to mediatate on this week.

StandTall-The Activist said...

Thanks for this insight. I have gained a new perspective about afflictions and God's reason for allowing certain things to happen to us via this post.

Remi, United Kingdom said...

@ adebanji...I thank God that you are encouraged.. His words and wisdom bring light, life and peace.. :-)

@simeone.. lol.. I feel you.. I re-read it and I'm tempted to do the same. Half the time when I write I can't remember it.. and then I read again and I say "thank you Holy Spirit" for I am also blessed and encouraged by it... amazing.. Hope you're doing good. Update oh. x

@Rita... true that... so who are we not to have confidence in ourselves? yup, yup.. How's the project coming along? x
@Anonymous - I thank God you were blessed by this... :-)

@Favoured Girl... Yup yup, thanks love.. and u too. :-)

@David C Brown ... Word.. that's so through... wow.. thank you for that insight. How are u doing?

@Gee... lol. It is not me oh, this is God teaching us eh? It is amazing the things we learn when we open ourselves to him! Unlike man, God is never too busy to help us... hope you're having a great week. :-)

@Olufunke - Yup... me neither, until I got more wisdom about this. Happy studying, and please share what u learnt.. God bless x

@Anonymous ...Nope, no crying, keep on going, and when u feel tired, take hold of God's strength and keep going. He is always there by yourself and will carry you through if need be. Yes, you need that testimony to help others along the way.. xx :-

@My Quest - God is a good and faithful God. Yup single and sound.. lol.. Amen and Amen.. and u too.. thanks so much :-) Have a blessed week..

@Lady - I am sure by now, Kafo has printed like 100 copies oh.. lol.. God bless... :-)

@StandTall-The Activist - praise God.. :-) x

Jaycee said...

First of all, I just want to thanki you Rem for bringing these two stories out in the light.

Next, I observed that in Job's story, God asked satan if he had "noticed" Job. I now realize that unless a person is determined to walk in God's ways, satan would not even notice him/her. In the same way, it was because satan noticed Peter that he decided to ask for permission.

When we go through diverse trials, we must understand that it is because satan has noticed us...

The poets voice ~~~ said...

@ Jaycee- i like your little addition to this..it reminds of where it says in the bible that we should let our light shine for all to see..when we are serving God faihfully, our light is so bright that Satan can't help but notice!
He then takes action because we've become a threat to him.

@ Remi- Thanks for breaking this down.The Devil knows his place so he takes permission from God. But God is 'never taken by surprise' so He is expecting us to pass this test! When are faith is tried and tested and we come out victorious, we grow in strength.

...Our faith grows from being mustard-sized to having mounting-moving capabilities!!!

Travis T. Wisconsin said...

Nothing happens without God's permission? So God permits women, children, and innocent people to be raped and molested by strangers, adults, caregivers, PARENTS!? How can a loving being let such cruel and disgusting acts take place?! This is just one of the millions of reasons I have complete and blind faith in Atheism and Humanism.