In reading The Sovereignty of God, by Arthur W. Pink, I recently became more aware of the sovereignty of God over the Devil and our own sinful flesh. Pink uses one chapter to explain how God governs all things from inanimate creatures, living things, people, and the angels and demons. This chapter struck me as interesting because I don’t think we as young people take into consideration very often just how much power God has over Satan. When thinking about this power, don’t forget that God’s power over sin and Satan does NOT mean that God is sinful Himself, or that He is the author of sin. I John 3: 8ff stress this fact, “He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.” Basically this passage stresses the fact that sin is from the Devil, and those who have the new man of Christ and are born again cannot sin because God does not sin.
The most obvious example of God’s control over Satan is when Satan was temping Christ, and Christ told him to “Get thee hence, Satan” (Matt. 4:11). Satan may think that he has the handle on things, that he is going to get the Son of God to sin, but he is not that powerful. In fact he has no power compared to God’s power! As soon as Christ told him to leave, he had no choice but to leave. Another example is Job. Satan could not bring any of Job’s calamities upon him until God had allowed him. But even in that Satan was limited. He was not allowed to touch Job. And in the end the whole purpose of Satan to bring Job so low so that he would curse God failed. Job was strengthened in his faith through his trials and in the end blessed God even more! So we can see in that circumstance that God uses even the trials in our lives as ways for us to grow and become more and more Christ-like.
Think about this control of God personally now. Yes we all are terrible sinners, and we can see that every day and in different areas in our lives. At times we may think that sin controls us, and that there is no way out of it. But even in our weaknesses and sins God is still in control and has a way of leading us out through forgiveness and through our asking for forgiveness. Yes, Satan, our flesh, and the sins and temptations of this world are powerful, but always remember that God is far greater and far more powerful. Then when we can fully grasp that, we will be able to say no to sin, because He will give us the strength to do so!