If God has all power, then why does Satan have power over our spirit? Why do we have to battle evil?
Ultimately, the devil—or Satan—will not have power over our spirits. His eventual fate is eternal banishment. God does have absolute power, and there is no room for Satan in the Kingdom of God. In this sense we might regard the master of evil as an illusion, because he is already defeated by the power of Christ.
But why does evil exist at all? The answer is that our spirits grow faster and stronger through adversity. The pain of experiencing wrong doing and loss burns into our souls and encodes itself into our cells and our energy. The lessons we learn from our troubles become part of our very essence. Negative experiences also grant us the power of empathy, to see others as we see ourselves, to comprehend joys and sorrows and all the human impulses. As our eyes are opened and we grow in empathy, our ability to love unconditionally increases. To develop our highest potential, to become like God, we need to gain that love which only opposition allows us to gain. Without an opposing energy, our power to love would never be strengthened sufficiently to allow us to progress in the eternities. –The Ripple Effect, pp. 81-82
The adversary uses our fears, the opposite of love, to draw us away from God’s light and love. I talk about this in depth in the chapter “The Problem of Evil” in my book The Ripple Effect. We can discern his influence by looking prayerfully at the fruit that grows from his sway. Continuing on page 82:
Satan can disguise himself as an angel of light, appearing to be the answer when in fact he is the problem. Fortunately, a false spirit posing as an angel of light casts a long, dark shadow. That is the nature of evil. It is a tree that bears bitter fruit that can always be detected over time.
It is important to recognize that Satan, the Deceiver, masterfully uses our own fears to hold us captive. Fear is the opposite of love. It warps and destroys love’s power to heal and to expand us. Some of us in this life and in the world to come are afraid to go to the Light and accept Christ’s love. And Christ will not force us; rather, he gently and ever so patiently guides us along. During my near-death experience, my transformation by his healing love began in the darkness before I ever saw him. This love grew in me until my fears departed and I believed I was accepted of him. Then I couldn’t be held from him and went to his light. While in darkness, each of us has the right to feel God’s love. But we must accept it. Light and darkness cannot occupy the same space; it is an impossibility.
We hold the keys that lead in and out of Satan’s realm. The Heavenly Father has given each of us all that we need to withstand and overcome adversity, and he will not give us more than we can bear. “God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13
A great enemy is often our own thoughts and words. Jesus taught that it is what comes from our own being that “defiles” us.
To dwell upon a thought is to give it energy. To act upon a thought is to give it life. The Lord discusses this principle in Mark 7:15. “There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him; but the things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man.” When we give something place within our nature, it manifests itself physically and spiritually. Giving place to negative thoughts by repeating them, pondering them, gnawing on them, gives them energy and thus the power to transform...
God does have absolute power and allows evil for our benefit so that we can have greater joy as we learn to choose the right in all that we do; and we do live in troubled and trying times. Evil seems to be reaching new depths and broader acceptance in the lives of many. We must remember that at the same time, truth is expanding also, blessing us with new opportunity as we face our challenges.
–The Ripple Effect, pp. 81-82
I know the endless love of God, and I know that if there is a way to reach any soul, he will find it and use it—for eternity if need be. Every spirit has the seed of God in it, a seed that only he knows the greatness of, and we cannot judge. –The Ripple Effect, page 87
Evil exists for a divine purpose. Because of it we become aware of our weaknesses. As we gain control of appetites and desires, we begin to see how the influence of evil has strengthened us. The force of opposition can actually propel us forward. When we see it for what it is , we become less susceptible to its negative influence, more able to let our spirits take command of our bodies. We become free from ignorance and fear and therefore more wise in choosing our course down the river of life. Moreover, we are awakened to the multifaceted nature of God’s love for his children.
Know that we can and will see our world cleansed of all evil. Our earth will be blanketed with a greater glory, even the glory and love of God. But we must each believe and act in that faith.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believe in him should not perish but have everlasting life.”