Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Day 31 of Lent :: Satan's domain

“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat.”
(Luke 22:31)

As far as we know, Simon (also known as Peter) had not gone out and initiated a fight against Satan.  Jesus indicated that in some form or fashion, Satan had initiated an attack, or at least had permission to do so against Peter.  The Bible does not give us details of this exchange between Jesus and Satan.  Jesus does not say that He rebuked Satan or denied Satan access to “sift” Peter, but rather it says Jesus prayed for Peter.   Jesus did not refuse Satan’s request.  Why?  Did Jesus see a greater purpose in allowing Satan access to Peter?  Was there something going on within Peter that Satan saw as an entry point of attack?

To this day, Biblical scholars debate whether Satan is on earth or in hell.  Can he dwell in people or only in the world?  As inconclusive as some of these arguments may be, one thing seems to be agreed upon: Satan, the devil, is darkness. Therefore, we can rest assured, wherever spiritual darkness exists, there the devil is.
“If we tolerate darkness through tolerance of sin,” writes Francis Frangipane, “we leave ourselves vulnerable for santanic assault.  For wherever there is willful disobedience to the Word of God, there is spiritual darkness and the potential for demonic activity… Satan has legal access, given to him by God, to dwell in the domain of darkness. We must grasp this point: The devil can traffic in any area of darkness, even the darkness that still exists in a Christian’s heart… Let us recognize, that the areas we hide in darkness are the very areas of our future defeat.”[i]

Reflections: Do you know the areas where you are vulnerable to Satan’s attacks?  Is there an area of your life that is hidden in darkness?  If so, are you willing to ask for forgiveness and rid yourself of that darkness?

The greatest defense we can have against Satan
is to maintain an honest heart before God.
Francis Frangipane

[i] Francis Frangipane, The Three Battlegrounds, 6-7.

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