I am always wondering what God is doing. Daily, headlines in the news inform us of events that threaten or dismay. Whether on computer or TV screen, or on the printed pages of magazines, books & newspapers, we are constantly confronted with disturbing, often perplexing realities.
I also wonder about more normal, work-a-day happenings – like, why does it start raining the moment I step out the door? Why do I keep getting ‘set back’ in certain endeavors? I wonder about decisions that must be made that are not of life-or-death significance but will have an impact. I wonder why, when I take every precaution against a specific outcome, it happens anyway. These kinds of events, that happen to us all, constantly give me pause. Because I do not believe in coincidence and I do believe in a sovereign Lord.
Yes, there is plenty to wonder about, if you have that kind of mindset & disposition.
Pain – any kind of pain – will motivate most of us to do more than wonder. We will look for a solution. We want relief. If an answer can be found, we will most likely give it a try.
The pain of frustration presents a sore dilemma. Frustration exists in & because of a multitude of circumstances, and if any of them can be changed, we may find relief. But is there a root problem that needs to be addressed? Many years ago, British preacher Derek Prince was speaking on his radio broadcast about being under a curse. I hadn’t planned on listening, but ‘unaccountably’ woke up early one morning, turned on the radio, and heard him stating that a key symptom of being under a curse was frustration. Intrigued, I listened. Prince listed constant frustration in money matters, relationships and career progress as results of a possible curse at work in one’s life. It was a short broadcast, and to this day, I remember it.
You may or may not believe that a person can come under a curse. I know that the New Testament Scripture tells believers in Jesus Christ that they have been redeemed from the curse (of the law), because He became a curse for them, when He hung on the cross (Galatians 3:13). It would seem to me that any kind of curse must be rooted, somehow, in this, and should now be neutralized – yet, according to Derek Prince, Christians still can be affected by them. Plus, I’ve been baffled & exasperated by happenings in my own life that…well, if it looks like a duck… Combine these two, and I have to question my own understanding of frustration and its possible causes.
…here are some thoughts…
Before Satan, we read of Lucifer, purportedly the most beautiful & magnificent of all of God’s created beings. (I say ‘purportedly’ because the actual name Lucifer only appears one time throughout the whole of Scripture, in Isaiah 14:11. Other conclusions about this being are drawn from statements & judgements made about another, the king of Tyre, who seems to be a representation of Lucifer at a later date in time). Scripture tells us that when Lucifer walked, music emanated from him (Ezekiel 28:13). He is described as “…full of wisdom and perfect in beauty” (v.11) Though his name means “morning star”, he is identified as having been “the anointed cherub that covereth” (v.14). (Think about that, if you’re looking for deep…)
We know that at some point, he turned against his Creator. Seems like his own excellence ensnared him, because he decided that he would be like the Most High (Isaiah 14: 12-14). Lucifer actually believed he could usurp the Mighty God, which must be the original ‘being full of one’s self’! In addition, he recruited others. The coup was complete.
God had to act.
(Bible scholars believe that His actions at this point took place in a time interval between verses 1 and 2 of Genesis. This second verse tells us that the earth was without form, and void. But God did not create the earth without form (Isaiah 45:18). Something seems to have happened to make it become so.)
I can not imagine, though I try, the scene of this judgment. Scripture alludes to it, but barely and in places you might not suspect. But, there is a Biblical record of cataclysmic judgment on the once glorious Lucifer. In Isaiah 14, we read: “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cast down to the ground…thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit…” Ezekiel tells us, once iniquity was found in Lucifer, that the Lord GOD said, “I will cast you…out of the mountain of God…”(v.16)
And what has never occurred to me, though I knew about the judgment, was one eternally significant result of it. It should’ve been obvious, but it wasn’t. I knew that Lucifer – now Satan (it is presumed) – hated Christ and all who believe in Him, with a malevolent hatred. But exactly why? Well, I assumed, because Satan is just…evil…and Christ is not. Because he is evil, he wants to destroy. But I never connected some of the dots…
…but try to put yourself in Lucifer’s place, once high & exalted in a glorious splendor of existence, in perhaps moments or less finding himself roaming helplessly, stunned…through dark, violent chaos & void…and unable to do anything about it. Not one single thing. Ever. No matter what he tried or how hard he tried it, he had no power to RESTORE ANYTHING. Ever.
He had lost it all.
And so I wonder, as we walk through time & history, if much of what we see happening in empires & governments, even in technological progress & global humanitarian ‘unity’, has its roots in endless Satanic attempts to regain his lost glory as Lucifer. In The Invisible War, Donald Barnhouse declares that Satan is still “thinking he can yet do something to restore order and peace within the borders of his chaotic realm.” To somehow regain influence over his environment, to restore it (if even for purely prideful & selfish reasons.) Powerless to do so, Lucifer/Satan reaped only frustration. Unabated, without reprieve, frustration can escalate to fury & destruction. And finally, jealous hatred – ever increasing – towards the One who can restore, and does, and will. Towards the One through Whom all creation will ultimately be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. (Romans 8:21)