Since Satan is the ruler of this world, is it possible for
him to take the life of an active Christian sooner than God
The answer is no!
Example of Job.
In the book of Job, we discover an amazing truth. God has limited
Satan's freedom. Satan is not all powerful, and he does not
have complete freedom. The book of Job starts with Satan speaking
with God. Satan told God that Job was not very faithful. If
God would allow Satan to cause Job suffering and pain, then
Job would curse Him (Job 1:9-11).
So God gave Satan permission to test Job.
Then the LORD said to Satan, “Behold, all that
he has is in your power, only do not put forth your hand
on him.” So Satan departed from the presence of
the LORD. (NASB) Job 1:12
Job 1:13-19 says that Satan then destroyed Job's herds,
and killed his servants and children. When Satan destroyed
Job's sheep, camels, oxen, and female donkeys, he destroyed
Job's employment. How did Job respond? He remained faithful
even though he suffered (Job 2:1-3).
Satan returns to God with another request. This time, Satan
wants to kill Job or make him sick.
And Satan answered the LORD and said, “Skin for
skin! Yes, all that a man has he will give for his life.
However, put forth Thy hand, now, and touch his bone
and his flesh; he will curse Thee to Thy face.” So
the LORD said to Satan, “Behold, he is in your
only spare his life
.” (NASB) Job 2:4-6
But God only allowed him to make Job sick. Satan could
not take Job's life. This is a great truth. Satan is not completely
free. God is watching out for us.
Example of Peter.
There is another example of God limiting Satan in the New Testament.
Jesus tells us that Satan wanted "to sift" Peter
Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to
sift you like wheat; but I have prayed for you, that
your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have
turned again, strengthen your brothers.” (NASB)
Notice that Satan had to ask for permission. God allowed
him to go after Peter. So, Jesus prayed for Peter that his
faith would not fail. Satan is not free to cause us pain, suffering,
or death. Satan is not free to decide on his own if and when
we lose our jobs, possessions, loved ones, and/or life.
Trials are the greatest test of our faith. Do you think that
you are a strong Christian? Do you believe that you have
a special relationship with God? Remember that God said that
Job was "blameless and upright . . . fearing God and
turning away from evil" (Job 2:3). Trials will reveal
the truth about your faith.
Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter
various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith
produces endurance. (NASB) James 1:2-3