WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
MAY 16, 2023
TOPIC: SATAN’S POWER IS LIMITED
BY T. O. BANSO
“And the LORD said to Satan, ‘Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his person.’ So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD” (Job 1:12 New King James Version).
Because of the prevalence of evil in society, some people appear to believe that Satan is God’s rival. God has no rivals. Also, some people seem to fear or reverence Satan more than God. But Satan does not possess the kind of power being ascribed to him. Satan’s power is limited. He is not God’s rival.
Satan is not God and cannot be. God limits Satan’s power. Satan cannot do what God can do. God is omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent. In other words, God knows everything, is all-powerful, and is everywhere at the same time. Satan is none of these. Hebrews 4:13a says there is no creature hidden from God’s sight; all things are naked and open to His eyes. “Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O Lord” (Psalm 139:4 New International Version). Satan cannot read your mind; he doesn’t know what you’re thinking or want to say. God knows the secrets of the heart (Psalm 44:21b). Satan doesn’t.
If Satan knows everything, he should have known that his plan to ascend into heaven, exalt his throne above the stars of God, sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north, ascend above the heights of the clouds, and be like the Most High would fail, and, therefore, desist. “How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, You who weakened the nations!” (Isaiah 14:12 New King James Version). Satan must have believed that he would succeed. But he failed and was cut down to the ground.
God is God. There is no one like Him. He said, “For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done” (Isaiah 46:9b-10a New King James Version). God gave Satan his power on earth and it is limited. “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel” (Genesis 3:15 New King James Version).
It is important to know the following about the limited power of Satan:
1. Satan is answerable to God. Satan was an angel who rebelled against God and became Satan. Nevertheless, he is still accountable to Him. Job 1:6 says, “Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them” (New King James Version). Job 2:1 records another instance when Satan appeared before God: “Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the LORD” (New King James Version). Satan’s power is limited.
2. Satan is not all-powerful; he is a defeated being. If Satan had unlimited power, Jesus wouldn’t have defeated him. Satan is not invincible. Colossians 2:15 says that having disarmed principalities and powers, Jesus made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it. Jesus defeated Satan and his cohorts. By His death Jesus destroyed him who held the power of death — that is, the devil (Hebrews 2:14).
Only God has the final authority to make someone die; Satan doesn’t. He needs God’s permission to take the life of anyone, as seen in the story of Job. “See now that I myself am He! There is no god besides me. I put to death and I bring to life, I have wounded and I will heal, and no one can deliver out of my hand” (Deuteronomy 32:39 New International Version).
Satan is defeated. Revelation 12:7-9 says, “And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him” (New King James Version). Verse 11 says they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony and they did not love their lives to the death.
Satan does not have all authority; Jesus does. “And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth’” (Matthew 28:18 New King James Version). Jesus is seated at the right hand of God in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come (Ephesians 1:20-21). Verses 22-23 say God put all things under His feet and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all. Jesus has authority over Satan. That’s why Jesus said that one of the signs that would follow those who believed was that in His name they would cast out demons (Mark 16:17a). Many Christians are doing that today in the name of Jesus.
3. Satan is not omnipresent. Unlike God, Satan cannot be everywhere at the same time although he has demons under him who work on his behalf. Satan goes to and fro. “And the LORD said to Satan, ‘From where do you come?’ So Satan answered the LORD and said, ‘From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it’” (Job 2:2 New King James Version). God doesn’t go to and fro. His eyes are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good (Proverbs 15:3).
God is everywhere at the same time. David said, “Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, Even there Your hand shall lead me, And Your right hand shall hold me” (Psalm 139:7-10 New King James Version).
4. Satan needs God’s permission to hurt anyone. In the conversation between Satan and God about Job, Satan couldn’t afflict Job until God permitted him. “And the LORD said to Satan, ‘Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his person.’ So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD” (Job 1:12 New King James Version). Nevertheless, Job didn’t curse God as Satan had said.
When Satan appeared before God again, God gave him further permission but limited his power over Job. “So Satan answered the LORD and said, ‘Skin for skin! Yes, all that a man has he will give for his life.’ But stretch out Your hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will surely curse You to Your face’ And the LORD said to Satan, ‘Behold, he is in your hand, but spare his life.’ So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD, and struck Job with painful boils from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head” (Job 2:4-7 New King James Version). Satan’s power is limited.
We also see this truth again in Luke 8. The demons couldn’t, by themselves, enter the swine. They asked Jesus for permission. “And they begged Him that He would not command them to go out into the abyss. Now a herd of many swine was feeding there on the mountain. So they begged Him that He would permit them to enter them. And He permitted them. Then the demons went out of the man and entered the swine, and the herd ran violently down the steep place into the lake and drowned” (Luke 8:31-33 New King James Version).
Also, in Luke 22:31, Satan asked or requested for Peter to sift him as wheat. “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 New King James Version). Satan couldn’t, by himself, exercise power over Peter but requested for him. Jesus’ intercession saved Peter although he denied Jesus three times.
Satan is still under God’s control even after he had been cast down from heaven. God limits his operation on earth. The messenger of Satan that buffeted Paul did so because God allowed it. “And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure” (2 Corinthians 12:7 New King James Version). Note the phrase “a thorn in the flesh was given to me.” Paul pleaded with the Lord three times to take it away from him but He told him that His grace was sufficient for him, for His strength was made perfect in weakness (verses 8-9).
5. Believers are not under Satan’s control, unlike the others in the world. Colossians 1:13 says, “God rescued us from the dark power of Satan and brought us into the kingdom of his dear Son” (Contemporary English Version). Christians are not under Satan’s control as others in the world are. 1 John 5:18-19 says, “We know that whoever is born of God does not sin; but he who has been born of God keeps himself, and the wicked one does not touch him. We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one” (New King James Version).
Therefore, Satan cannot force you to sin. A Christian commits sins by choice. “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it” (1 Corinthians 10:13 English Standard Version).
6. Satan can be resisted and he will flee. If you submit to God and resist the devil, he will flee from you (James 4:7). This again shows that his power is limited. 1 Peter 5:9 says you should resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. You must put on the whole armour of God so that you will be able to stand against the wiles of the devil (Ephesians 6:11). You can defeat the devil because Jesus has already defeated him. But it is not by your power but by God’s power. God will crush Satan under your feet (Romans 16:20).
Satan is not God. Unlike God, his power is limited. That’s why in Revelation 20:2-3, John saw that Satan was bound for a thousand years and cast into the bottomless pit and, thereafter, he was released from his prison. Satan will eventually be cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are and they will be tormented day and night forever (verse 10).
Don’t fear Satan; fear God. “And I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him!” (Luke 12:4-5 New King James Version).
Never forget that Satan’s power is limited. God has given those who believe in Christ authority over Satan and the forces of darkness. “And He said to them, ‘I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you’” (Luke 10:18-19 New King James Version). Satan’s power is limited.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, I worship You, for all power belongs to You. I shall not fear Satan or his human agents. Satan, you are defeated in Jesus’ name. I trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt me.
(For over 900 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
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