When evil touches us , is it from God? (part 1)
by David Leach
When evil touches my life is it indirectly from God or can there be another or second cause that has nothing to do with God?
This is an age old question. Before we became true believers in Christ many of us assumed that when bad things happened to us God was the cause. As young born again believers in Christ most of us encountered a widely prevalent doctrine that attributes all of the circumstances of a Christian, favorable and unfavorable, to God on the premise that He is in control of everything. As we spiritually mature as Christians and genuinely surrender our lives and will to God we are again challenged by the question if I remain submitted to God can anything evil impact my life except in the will of God? In other words in the life of a truly consecrated believer is there only one who causes the daily events that occur, God, or can there be another cause that is not of God?
There are some fundamental truths in the Bible that clearly answer this question but as with all of God’s truths if I don’t know them and believe them in my heart it is almost inevitable that I will continue to operate under some form of misconception.
There are two separate kingdoms – God rules in one; Satan rules in the other
Jesus Himself said that Satan has a kingdom. It is the kingdom of darkness. The world lies in this kingdom under the influence of the Devil who is identified in scripture as being the god of this world. The primary mission of Christ and of the Christian is, under God, to move as many people out of Satan’s kingdom into Christ’s Kingdom which is the kingdom of heaven where, as the Lord’s Prayer says, God’s will is always done.
Matt 12:26 (Jesus) If Satan casts out Satan…How then will his kingdom stand?
2 Cor 4:4 In whom the god of this world has blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ…should shine unto them.
1 Jo 5:19 …The whole world lies under the sway (influence) of the wicked one.
Acts 26:18 To open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins…
The two opposing kingdoms have very different characteristics which Jesus summarized in the following scripture:
John 10:10 The thief (Satan and his kingdom) does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I (Jesus and the kingdom of heaven) have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
These two kingdoms are in total conflict, at war, and not in harmony
Before salvation and when we were of the world the Bible is clear that we belonged to Satan’s kingdom and as his subjects we would share in his eternal destination. Jesus the Son of God came to destroy the Devil’s works, deplete his kingdom and by a spiritual re-birth move as many as would receive Him into God’s kingdom, the Kingdom of Heaven.
1 John 3:8 …For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might
destroy the works of the devil. In other words Satan is not God’s agent but His enemy.
Matt 18:3 (Jesus) Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.
Phil 3:20 For our citizenship is in heaven…
1 Pet 5:8-9 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith…
With this warning to Christians from God - to be spiritually sober and not intoxicated with fulfilling the desires of the flesh such as pride, and to be spiritually alert, which is different from being mentally alert, in order both to recognize the presence of my spiritual enemy, the devil, and to be able to resist him - two things become clear. First, by warning me it’s obvious my heavenly Father does not want me to be overcome by my spiritual enemies, in other words it is not God’s will for evil to overwhelm me. Secondly, unless I heed God’s warning and learn about Satan’s strategies and how, in Christ, to resist them the likely consequence is that I will be deceived and overcome even though I am born again and even though it is not God’s will for me to stumble – all because of a second cause.
Christians can fall prey to Satan’s devices if we don’t know how to live in God’s safety
Hos 4:6 My (God’s) people are destroyed (not God’s will) for lack of knowledge...
But there is a place, a spiritual place, where a Christian can be safe, a place that is out of bounds and off limits to the devil. In fact it is the only place of safety for us Christians and yet many don’t know where it is or how to live there.
Ps 91:7-10 A thousand may fall at your side, And ten thousand at your right hand; But it shall not come near you…Because you have made the LORD...your dwelling place, no evil shall befall you, nor shall any plague come near your dwelling;
Prov 18:10 The name of the LORD is a strong tower; The righteous run into it and are safe. When Christians learn where this strong tower is God can now guard them:
2 Thess 3:3 But the Lord is faithful, who will…guard you from the evil one.
Where is this secret place of safety where God protects? The Kingdom of heaven.
There are two kingdoms currently operating, God’s and Satan’s. Unless I know where God’s Kingdom is and choose to remain living there under God’s protection then I will be exposed, even though I am a Christian, to the evil of Satan’s kingdom. This is what happened to the prodigal son, he left God’s kingdom (his Father’s house) for the world (Satan’s kingdom) and suffered enormously until he chose to return to God’s Kingdom. Where is this Kingdom? Jesus said it is within us, that is, it is within our hearts or spirits when our hearts or spirits are filled with the Holy Spirit and we have fully surrendered the reins of our lives into His hands. It is abiding, that is, living moment by moment, in Christ.