A Nugget from New Life Network
(by Dr. Larry Ollison)
Scripture for the Day – August 5, 2020
Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. (Romans 12:9)
“Is it God, or is it the devil?” As a pastor, I hear this question on a regular basis. All we have to do is look at the mission statement of God and the mission statement of the devil and then we can easily define the source. Both mission statements can be found in one verse: “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” I call John 10:10 the dividing line in the Word of God.
This scripture clearly defines what God does and what the devil does. It divides what they do into categories and everything that happens in life can be placed in one of these categories. Let me explain. The thief is not your friend. He is your enemy. The thief represents Satan and John 10:10 gives his mission statement — to steal, kill, and destroy. But who is it that he wants to steal from? It’s you! Who is it that he wants to kill? It’s you! Whose life does he want to destroy? It’s yours! And he wants to do the same thing to me and every other born-again believer. Satan is the prince of darkness, the father of lies, and the source of chaos, confusion, and destruction. Jesus said that he was a murderer and that there was no truth in him (John 8:44).
On the other hand, God sent His Son so that the world would not perish but have life, abundant and everlasting (John 3:16). After Jesus stated Satan’s mission statement, he proclaimed His own. The mission statements are completely opposite. While Satan’s purpose is death, destruction, and lack in our lives, Jesus came to bring life, restoration, and abundance.
A mission statement can be described as a guideline to keep members and users aware of an organization’s or leader’s purpose. Jesus clearly states His purpose. He came to give life. So the next time you hear someone say, “Is it God or is it the devil,” the answer will be clear. Which category does “it” come under? If it steals in any way, if it brings death or leads to death, if it destroys or brings destruction, it’s the devil. If it brings abundant life full of shalom, it’s Jesus. Jesus is not the thief. Jesus is not the one who brings death and destruction. Jesus is not the destroyer. Jesus brings life.
The Bible says that we must rightly divide the Word (2 Timothy 2:15). If we are told to rightly divide the Word, then that must mean that the Word can be wrongly divided. I believe that most wrong division of God’s Word is due to not understanding this simple truth – God is a good God and the devil is a bad devil.
James 1:17 says that every good and every perfect gift comes from the Father and then it goes on to say that God does not change. Jesus said in John 8:44 that Satan was a liar and a murderer and that there was no truth in him. And according to Jesus, Satan does not change. When someone says that sickness is of God, then they are attributing the work of the devil to our Heavenly Father. Isaiah 5:20 says, “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” Once after Jesus healed a man, the Pharisees attributed this work of the Holy Spirit to the devil and Jesus said that their accusation was blasphemy against the Holy Spirit and that it was unforgivable (Matthew 12:22-32). When a person attributes the work of God to the devil or a work of the devil to God, he is in very dangerous territory.
Recently a minister stated in a letter to the editor that sometimes healing is God’s will and sometimes sickness is His will. This man clearly does not know God’s heart. For if he did, he would know Satan is the destroyer, but God is the healer. Satan brings death. God brings life. The devil destroys and brings defeat. God brings recovery and restoration.