This has nothing to do with permission. Satan is a thief. If the thief had permission he wouldn’t be a thief. Jesus is talking about Satan’s agenda. “Satan desires you in the way that sin desired Cain” (see Gen 4:7). In other words, “Wise up. There’s a war going on. On one side is your heavenly Father who loves you; on the other is Satan who hates you.” Now this is a very uneven war. Satan doesn’t stand a chance. In fact, he’s already been defeated and disarmed (Col 2:15). Thus the only way the enemy can win is through deceit, by getting you to believe lies about your Father and turning you against him.
If you believe a good God does evil, Satan wins. If you believe God is making you sick, perhaps to teach you character, Satan laughs. If you don’t resist the devil, because you think God has ordained whatever he is doing against you, the devil will not flee. “Ah, but God allows the devil to do his work because it suits the Lord’s purposes.” Which is bit like saying you allow your children to suffer. “I allowed my kid to get hit by that truck so I could show them my love.” No, no, and a thousand times no! God is never the author of evil.
It’s very important that we don’t confuse God with the devil. God is good; Satan is not. God’s will for your life is not Satan’s will for your life. What Satan wants is not what God wants.
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