Is it God? Or is it Satan?

Walk in Wisdom - Gleanings in Scripture

Deut. 13.1-3 If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams 
arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, 
and the sign or winder that he tells you comes to
pass, and if he says, "Let us go after other gods,
which you have not known, and let us serve them,"
you shall not listen to the words of that prophet
or that dreamer of dreams. For the Lord your God
is testing you, to know whether you love the Lord
your God with all your heart and with all your 

One reads the above, then muses on the likes of 
James 1.13 (Let no one say when he is tempted, "I 
am being tempted by God," for God cannot be tempted 
with evil, and he himself tempts no one) and then
says - "huh?" Which passages, at first blush DO 
appear to be contradictory. And if it were not so 
that we know full well that there is no darkness in 
God whatever, no sin, only perfect good and holiness,
it might send us packing. Nevertheless, we are
still left with somewhat of a conundrum in trying
to sort it all out. Hence we stumble into the 
mystery of God's sovereignty and His creature's
(human or otherwise) personal responsibility. The
consideration of which nearly always finds us 
wanting to figure our where the one begins and
the other leaves off. How to reconcile the two. 
How to strike a right balance. Which balance can
only be arrived at in backing up one layer and
looking behind the outward phenomena in each case,
to the purposes behind each of the agents. In
other words - and this is the vital principle we
must come to grips with - In such times (as cited
in our text above), the Lord is proving us, seeking
to see us rise to the occasion. While, at the very
same time and in the very same circumstance, Satan
seeks our overthrow. Both are inevitably at play.
We dare not imagine only one dynamic or the other
is at work. In every trial and tribulation you and
I face beloved, God is working and delighting to
prove out our genuineness, while the Devil is
attempting to use the very same events, situations,
circumstances, personalities etc., as an opportunity
to wreak havoc upon us. So it is we see the Holy 
Spirit "driving" Jesus into the wilderness to be
tempted of the Devil (Matt. 4.1 / Mark 1.13). 
Which is it? Both. Christ is driven by the Spirit
to triumph on our behalf, while Satan is attacking
to try any destroy our hope of salvation. So it is
we sometimes feel most conflicted in our trials.
Often, exhausting ourselves trying to discern "is
this God, or is this the Enemy?", when it is 
almost certainly - both. But know this Christian, 
while the Devil designs your destruction, God
designs your triumph through Him. Don't fear
the Enemy, trust God. Trust Him IN and FOR the
trial. He's in it, even though you may only
perceive the hand of your adversary.

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