The first week of study is about Satan and why he chooses to attack believers. She makes a statement in the member workbook "The archdemon knows his time of trying to undermine [Christ's kingdom] is coming to a close, so he furiously unleashes his power to the full extent of God's permissive will."
What? Permissive will? God lets him do this??? Which got me to remembering the story of Job. (All scriptures taken from New International Version, linked to BibleGateway.com.)
12 The LORD said to Satan, "Very well, then, everything he has is in your hands, but on the man himself do not lay a finger." Then Satan went out from the presence of the LORD.
6 The LORD said to Satan, "Very well, then, he is in your hands; but you must spare his life."
And after remembering about Job, I remembered this passage from 1 Corinthians 10:13 that my mother and I once had a good long discussion about. (But I can't remember the discussion anymore; only that it was good.)
13No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.
It seems as if this is connecting for some reason. God allows Satan to tempt us. But He also helps us get through those temptations.
The really important thing to understand about my thinking is that I had fallen into the trap of making Satan equal to God, sort of the whole black vs white, good vs evil type of thinking. But that's not true. Satan is a created being. How can a created being be equal to the creator?
Okay, so that in itself is enough to topple my thinking for one day. So imagine my surprise when Beth throws in this other verse.
1 John 5:18
18We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the one who was born of God keeps him safe, and the evil one cannot harm him. (NIV)
18We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not. (KJV)
Or how about the Amplified Bible, just to clarify.
18We know [absolutely] that anyone born of God does not [deliberately and knowingly] practice committing sin, but the One Who was begotten of God carefully watches over and protects him [Christ's divine presence within him preserves him against the evil], and the wicked one does not lay hold (get a grip) on him or touch [him].
Are you getting this? Do you see it? God loves us SO much. He will allow Satan to tempt us, because he wants us to have free will, but he also loves us so much that he will not allow Satan to hold us down!
Picture this.... The school yard bully walks up to you, and starts poking you. Then he slaps you. Then he flat out hits you and knocks you down. Guess what? He can not keep you on the ground. God will help you get up. God will brush you off, and God will keep you in the palm of his hand, because He is good.
That's all I have to say for now. It was on my heart to share, and I hope that of the 5 people who read my blog, that it will help one person.