God’s Invisible Fence
You are out for your daily jog in your neighborhood when a huge black and tan dog comes racing and roaring toward you off the porch of a house. Teeth bared, ears back, haunches flexing—you break into a sprint and prepare for the impact—which never happens. Two feet before the curb, the black and tan meat processor screeches to a stop. “Invisible fence”—wires buried along the perimeter of the yard which send signals to a receiver on the dog’s collar—has saved your day, and maybe your life.
The invisible fencing that defines a dog’s freedom in a yard is a picture of the limits that God puts on the activity of Satan in our world. When we read verses in the Bible like 1 John 5:19—“... the whole world is under the control of the evil one”—and 1 Peter 5:7—“Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour”—we might conclude that Satan is like an unleashed dog, free to roam and attack at will.
But another portion of Scripture helps us get a fuller picture. In Job 1-2 we read of Satan’s attempts to induce a righteous man named Job to blaspheme God. God wanted to demonstrate to Satan that Job would remain righteous even under the severest test, and so he gave Satan permission to attack him—but within well-defined limits.
First, Satan is allowed to attack only Job’s children and his property (Job 1:12). When Job remains righteous, God expands Satan’s boundaries to include Job’s person and his health (Job 2:6). In all this, however, “Job did not sin... ” (Job 2:10). The point is clear: Satan does have power in the earth, and he does roam on the earth with evil intent; but he is always constrained by God’s hand.
Children of God should not live in fear of Satan. He is not a free agent roaming the universe like a vicious dog escaped from his leash. He is our adversary, to be sure. While his bark is intimidating, his bite is constrained by the invisible fence of God’s perfect purposes.
God’s Promise to You: “Those who fear me have no reason at all to fear the devil.”
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