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Monday, October 5, 2009

When God Reins

“Thine, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, indeed everything that is in the heavens and the earth; Thine is the dominion, O Lord, and Thou dost exalt Thyself as head over all.” 1st Chronicles 29:11(NASB)

It was a perfect California evening. I went out for a walk one evening in a neighborhood I lived in back in the 1980s. The sun had set and the twilight was softening the shadows. There was a nice smell to the evening air as I walked, lost in thought. I’d taken this route numerous times with no difficulties. As I walked around a corner and headed up a street toward my house I noted a large black Rough Collie (bigger than Lassie) I’d not seen before sitting in an open garage watching my approach along the sidewalk. It waited until I was directly in front of the driveway and lunged snarling down the driveway toward me. All I saw was a 70 pound mass of black fur coming at me. The animal moved so quickly that all I could do was turn and face my attacker and hope I could keep from being mauled to badly. It took that big dog about 2 seconds to get within jumping range of me then it reared up, continuing to snarl but standing on its hind legs. The animal was on a 12 foot chain and had reached its limit and could go no further. When it saw I wasn’t about to run it stopped growling and went to all fours and stared at me. I’d not ever seen any animal give a “gotcha” look but that dog gave me one. I was visibly shaken as I turned to walk on. At one point I glanced over my shoulder to see what the dog was doing and it had trotted back up to the garage to await its next “victim.”

Satan is a lot like that. He works by intimidation and fear making you think he has more power and clout than he does but, like that collie, God has him on a very short leash. While as a created spiritual being he does have a lot more power than any human he’s no match for the Son of Man. He can growl and threaten all he wants but Christ’s restraining supremacy reins him in. There is ultimate power in the Name of Jesus and many of us have experienced it firsthand.

Satan uses situations and other people to try and gain victory over God’s people. Sometimes it seems like victory is a sure thing for him but if you wait long enough you can see him drawn up at the end of the line as God reins him in causing those he sends against us to fail. That big, black collie scared the daylights out of me on that calm evening and Satan works the same way-through dread and harassment. But when it comes to the restraining power of the Living God it is evident, like that big old black dog, Satan's bark is a lot worse than his bite. All praise to the God of heaven who upholds us with the right hand of His righteousness (Isaiah 41:10).