Anita Clark – Pastor – Carbondale, KS
We are drawn to the statement of Apostle Paul in 2 Cor. 12:7-10, “Lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet (literally “to rap with the fist”) me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee, for My strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak then am I strong.”
As with Paul, Satan is buffeting God’s people today. It is important that we understand the attitude we must have as we do combat with the arch enemy.
Peter speaks these words, “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time. Cast all your care on Him for He careth for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom He may devour; whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.” I Peter 5:6-9. First of all Peter instructs us to cast all our cares upon Him! How precious! All our anxieties, worries and concerns can be brought to our Lord and literally “thrown upon” Him. Through the cares of life, our adversary, the devil, would taunt us and tempt us as regarding God’s faithfulness and His total awareness of where we are and what is happening moment by moment in our lives. The devil would make us think that we need to handle things in our own strength, or that this or that is too small and no concern to God. He roars loudly to discourage us concerning God’s presence and purpose for us. Peter says, “Whom resist steadfast in the faith.” “Resist” means “to stand against or oppose.” It comes from a word that means “to arrange oneself against.”
Notice that in these verses Peter includes vigilance as a necessity to resistance. Then in verse 10, he affirms that it is “The God of all grace, who hath called us unto His eternal glory by Christ Jesus “who will perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.” In our resisting the enemy we must understand that God has His timing for every test which He allows in our lives. It is in “due time” that He will exalt us. In His time He will deliver.
In Ephesians 4:22-32, Paul speaks of resisting the devil, when he says in verse 27, “Neither give place to the devil.” He is speaking in these verses concerning our dealing with our former conversation or “manner of life” and the traits of the old man. (Vs 22). In verses 25-30 he lists some of these traits. Neither “give place” to the devil means giving ‘’space, location or opportunity.’’
There is a difference between God allowing “a messenger of Satan to buffet” and in our resisting or “giving place” to the devil. We must learn to give no space or opportunity for him to take control of our lives. By faith we resist and take victory over him.
The messenger of Satan to buffet us is whatever God allows Satan to bring our way. We have no control in these matters except to accept and submit to God’s purpose for our lives, and be willing to believe anyway. Remember, it is up to God to bring an end to these situations. The example for this is so bold in the life of Job. Job could not of himself bring an end to his predicament. God’s instruction to Satan in this matter was, “Behold , all that he hath is within thy power; only upon himself, put not forth thine hand.” Job 1:12. Even after losing all his possessions and his sons and daughters, Job’s response to his loss was, “ Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: The LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.” Job. 1:21.
When Satan next came to accuse Job he said, “Put forth thine hand now and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse thee to thy face. And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold he is in thine hand, only save his life.” Job 2:5-6.
It is imperative that we understand the difference between Satan tempting us to do evil through the traits of the old nature, and his being allowed by God to buffet or try us through infirmities, reproaches, necessities, persecutions and distresses. The secret to resisting when in temptation is the power of the written Word. As Jesus said when tempted by Satan, “It is written.”
In Paul’s circumstance and positions he was convinced by the words of the Lord, “My grace is sufficient for thee.” The two sides of this matter must be applied in our lives in situations we are confronted with today. The time is short! Jesus is coming soon!