How do we know that God has answered our questions? How do we know it is not the Devil?
God answers all of our prayers in a variety of ways. Sometimes His answer is “yes,” and other times it is “no.” When God does answer with a “yes” He may or may not use Satan to accomplish His purpose. God may use people, natural events, or direct intervention to accomplish His will. It is important to remember that when God does use Satan, God is in control. Satan is not in control. Satan does not have the freedom to do anything that God does not allow. Job 1-2 is a great example of this. Listen to this conversation between God and Satan.
Then Satan answered the LORD, “Does Job fear God for nothing? Hast Thou not made a hedge about him and his house and all that he has, on every side? Thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. (NASB) Job 1:9-10
Satan had to ask God for permission to afflict Job. Satan was not free to do as he wished. After listening to Satan, God allowed Satan to afflict Job because God wanted to accomplish something important in Job’s life. That is what the book of Job is all about..
When God answers with “yes,” He sometimes acts directly. A wonderful example of this is in the life of King Hezekiah. The king became sick. He was going to take his own life. So he asked God to heal him and extend his life.
Return and say to Hezekiah the leader of My people, “Thus says the LORD, the God of your father David, “I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; behold, I will heal you. On the third day you shall go up to the house of the LORD. And I will add fifteen years to your life, and I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria; and I will defend this city for My own sake and for My servant David’s sake.” (NASB) 2 Kings 20:5-6
God did. He healed him and added years to his life. That was an act of God. Only God can give life.
On other occasions God uses angels to answer our prayers. The prophet Daniel had a prayer answered by an angel.
Now while I was speaking and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the LORD my God in behalf of the holy mountain of my God, while I was still speaking in prayer, then the man Gabriel . . . came to me . . . and said, “O Daniel, I have now come forth to give you insight with understanding. At the beginning of your supplications the command was issued, and I have come to tell you, for you are highly esteemed . . . (NASB) Daniel 9:20-23
God sent an angel to give Daniel the answer he was looking for.
God will also work through natural phenomena sometimes.
But Moses said to the people, “Do not fear! Stand by and see the salvation of the LORD which He will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians whom you have seen today, you will never see them again forever. The LORD will fight for you while you keep silent.” Then the LORD said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to Me? Tell the sons of Israel to go forward. And as for you, lift up your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it, and the sons of Israel shall go through the midst of the sea on dry land. . . (NASB) Exodus 14:13-16
God controls everything that He made: plants, rocks. fish, water, angels, people, and even Satan. Satan is not totally free. He has boundaries. The Devil is subject to God’s wishes and desires. One great truth we want to remember is that God has promised to be the One who answers our prayers.
But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees in secret will repay you. (NASB) Matt. 6:6
This is a promise to answer us. But He also says that He is the One who make it happen. He may move people, mountains, or use Satan. But it is God who is answering your prayers. He is in control of the answer. He did not say that He would try to answer. He did not say that He would fight with Satan for the right to answer. He did not say that He did not care if Satan answered your prayer. He said that He would answer. Our prayers are answered by our Creator – God the Father!