Today I was reading through Mark again, and studying the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. I got to the part where John baptized Jesus in the Jordan, and then Jesus was led to the wilderness for 40 days. To many, the passage was perceived as Satan leading Jesus into temptation. He had been baptized, he publically declared his loyalty to God, and dedicated his life to serving him. Surely this would have upset Satan, enough to push him to drag Jesus to the wilderness for 40 days and tempt him.
Even though Satan was frusterated, he did not, does not, and will not, ever have the power to do that. The devil is not omniscient like God is, and he does not hold an arsenal of Godly abilities.
I often hear people talk about Satan in an underworld king ego-boosting way. Things like:
“The enemy has really been oppressing me lately,”
“Satan has been attacking my son.”
The truth is, Satan is not an all powerful being like God is. He was created just like you and I, and is a tool of Gods’ that must obey and articulate plans to him.
When Satan attacks Christians, or makes his presence known in our lives, it is only because God allows it.
Back to Mark, the record of the early ministry of Jesus said that after his baptism he was led into the wilderness where he was tempted. The devil tried to get him to turn stones into bread, worship him, and throw himself down. This was not Satan forcing Jesus into the wilderness out of anger from the baptism. Jesus was led there by the Holy Spirit, and Gods will.
As Christians, a big spiritual victory is usually followed by a test. A test is usually followed by a blessing. This is the formula for which God created to make us rely on him.
We say ” God I am feeling so attacked and alone right now, ”
God says ” exactly. ”
We say “God I cannot do this without you and never want to forsake you, ”
God says “exactly. ”
God exposes his followers to Satan and his decietfulness in full faith that we will be capable of withstanding it. God was well aware that his son would easily be able to overcome the temptation in the wilderness, and was pleased with the visual representation of his faith.
When you are feeling under oppression by Satan you must remember that he can only get in as far as you let him. God gave Satan permission to mess with you in full faith. You are a child of the king, and will not be undermined by the master of darkness.
A fallen angel is no match for a child of the most high.
At the end of the description of the event in Mark, the devil accepts that Jesus would not be tempted, and Jesus left the wilderness. He would then continue the early stages of his ministry and begin miraculous acts of healing.
While we as Christians should be vigilant and weary of Satan, we must remember that we have a king who can move the mountains and shake the Earth. Our God spun the solar system into existence, and drew up the universe.
We have power over Satan through our connection with the Holy Spirit.
Remember, the victory is followed by the test, and the blessing.