God’s Story has a Villain


Eve in the GardenLike every great story, God’s story has a villain. The villain in God’s story is Satan. From the very beginning, Satan has had a sole diabolical purpose—to entice us to live our lives outside of God’s plan. Here’s a little background on how this rogue entered the picture.

God the Sculptor was busy at work creating a stunning figure of clay—perfect in every intricate detail. It was a breathtaking masterpiece, more beautiful than the mind can conceive and too stunning to express with words. When the Sculptor completed his work of art, he rested.

While he was resting, his archenemy slithered onto the scene. I imagine he was somewhere nearby as God was forming his masterpiece in the garden. As he watched, he schemed in his rancorous brain how to destroy the splendor of the Sculptor’s creation.

Some of us have wondered why God allowed this to happen. Why did he allow his newly formed works of art—beings of pure innocence—to be subjected to the wiles of one so evilly wise? We wonder if they possessed an understanding of right and wrong since they had not yet eaten from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. And if not, how could they possibly have made the right choice? Even if they did understand the concept of right and wrong, they certainly did not have knowledge of the consequences of choosing to disobey. They were like kids in a candy store with only one forbidden piece of candy. “You can have anything in the store, except that!”

We all live with the enticement of forbidden fruit, and we go for it. And we do have knowledge of good and evil, and we know there will be consequences for our sinful choices.

It was no surprise that Satan successfully deceived Eve since he was the master of deception – the Father of Lies – and she was an innocent babe. I don’t believe the fall of humankind was one of Satan’s most challenging accomplishments.

God allowed the deception and the consequential abduction of humanity. But why? The world we live in is all about God’s demonstration of grace, and evil is the variable that makes grace necessary. There can be no rescue without a hostage. There is no need for grace apart from the separation of humankind from God by spiritual death caused by sin. And it is evident throughout Scripture that God is all about redemption, and redemption is all about grace.

Excerpt from Holy Libido: Craving Passionate Life in God…available at http://www.redemption-press.com and http://www.amazon.com

The group study version, Holy Libido: Spurring One Another On, Coming Soon!

 

Satan Goofed


joseph coat of colorsSatan made a mistake. If he had been thinking more clearly, he would have enlisted Judas to protect Jesus so the prospective Savior could live to be a ripe old age. If Satan could have somehow averted the crucifixion, and the subsequent resurrection, there would be no redemption. But the Enemy used Judas to fulfill prophecy, playing into God’s plan to rescue us from the wages of our sinful disobedience. Satan’s diabolical plan to kill Jesus was a necessary part of the plan of salvation—our salvation.*

Satan makes the same mistake every time he tries to trip us up along our journey. Every time he throws something into our path to destroy us – to take us out of the game – he is unwittingly playing into God’s plan. Our trust in God does not increase during the comfortable times in our life. (We do have comfortable times, don’t we) Out trust in God’s sovereignty grows only during the times when we are compelled to cling to him for dear life.

There’s a story in the book of Genesis about a plan to take a guy out, but the plan backfired. Joseph was a bright-eyed youngster who experienced harsh complications in his life as a result of the jealous schemes of his older brothers. (I think there is a special place in heaven for younger brothers who have had to endure the evil plots of elder brothers.) Young Joey was a menace to his brothers, so they sold him to slave traders.

Those who are familiar with the story know that God eventually used Joe to save the lives of the brothers who had tried to kill him. In fact, God used Joe to save an entire nation. Here’s the thing: Joe would not have been in a position to rescue a nation if his brothers had not done what they did.

The more we learn to trust our heavenly Father, the more alert we become in the midst of “bad things.” We become more alert because we have learned that an out-of-the-ordinary thing in our life might very well be the event God will use to accomplish something really good. Sounds strange, but some of us actually get a little excited—in a trembling kind of way—when we realize God is entrusting something to us that is beyond our capacity to handle…on our own. We know he’s about to do something that will ultimately bring him glory. And we are invited to play a part in the plan.

The Enemy wants to entangle us in doubt and fear. Since the beginning, he has always been trying to thwart the plan of God. But every attempt he makes to destroy us is another opportunity in God’s hands to accomplish his plan in our life. Every time.

Possibly something comes to your mind that illustrates this powerful truth in your own life. Perhaps there was a time in your life when you felt as though you were “going under.” But you didn’t go under. Instead, God used the difficult time to accomplish something good. Maybe you will have an opportunity to share your story with someone who needs to be reminded of God’s faithfulness this week. We serve an all-powerful God who always has—and always will—use everything the Enemy throws our way to accomplish his ultimate purpose.

“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” ~Genesis 50.20

*The idea that Satan, or anyone for that matter, could have derailed even the slightest detail of the execution of God’s eternal plan of salvation is preposterous. Yea God!

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