As Christians, I think most of us have a mindset where we divide the world into two or three categories. The things of God and the things of the devil and/or the world. The problem with this sort of mindset is that we see this good thing that happens as coming from God and that bad thing that happens as coming from Satan. When we categorize events, we’re doing a disservice to God. We must stop giving credit to the devil.

Throughout the Bible, we see good and bad things happen. From Joseph, sold into slavery by his brothers, through the destruction of Jerusalem and exile to the crucifixion of Christ, the opportunity to give credit to the Enemy instead of giving glory to God is available. Yet, what did Joseph tell his brothers after their father Jacob died?

You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.

Genesis 5:20 (NIV)

When his wife encouraged Job to curse God, Job told her this.

He replied, “You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.

Job 2:10 (NIV)

Speaking through the prophet Isaiah, the Lord reminds the people of his sovereignty.

I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the Lord, do all these things.

Isaiah 45:7 (NIV)

Even the prophet Jeremiah had this to say about the source of all things.

Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that both calamities and good things come?

Lamentations 3:38 (NIV)

This doesn’t mean that the devil has no power or authority.

“I will give you the glory of these kingdoms and authority over them,” the devil said, “because they are mine to give to anyone I please.

Luke 4:6 (NLT)

Jesus was tempted by the devil, who had been given the authority to give all of the kingdoms of the earth to whomever he chose. Who gave the devil that authority? God.

It was given power to wage war against God’s holy people and to conquer them. And it was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation.

Revelation 13:7 (NIV)

In Revelation, when the beast is waging war against Christianity, we are told he was given the authority to do so. Who gave the beast that authority? God.

John reminds us of the temporal hierarchy that exists.

We know that we are of God, and that the whole world is under the power of the evil one.

1 John 5:19 (BSB)

Think of it like this. When we have problems with businesses, we take our complaints to a higher authority. If you’re at a restaurant, you’re more likely to complain to the manager if you want to see a situation rectified instead of complaining to the waiter. While we might complain to the waiter, and if the waiter doesn’t take care of it, we complain to the manager, we know that the waiter isn’t the highest authority. The waiter has no more power than what he has been given. Satan is no different.

While there’s God-given power, there’s also the power we give, not just to things like the devil, but to all things. Anything we allow ourselves to be influenced by is something we’ve given the power to. The irony is this. God has given us the ability to determine what we allow to influence us. It’s called “free will.”

This same expression of free will clouds our perception of reality. You see, how we perceive the world determines how we behave in the world. If you don’t believe me, think about the last time you were anxious. I’ve suffered through anxiety a lot in my life. Because of the power I’ve given to fear, I’ve stayed at home when I wanted to go out, missed visiting with friends, going to movies, concerts, etc. All because I had a false perception of reality created by the power I gave to anxiety.

I would love to tell you that all of my anxiety dropped away when I became a Christian. However, I cannot tell you this because it’s not true. I can tell you that my acknowledgment of where the true power in my life lies, not in fear or anxiety but in the name of Christ, has delivered me from the paralyzing dread of anxiety. What does Scripture tell us about the name of Jesus?

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Philippians 2:9-11 (NIV)

These verses are about authority and assure us that there is no higher authority than Christ.

Now, remember what I said about the power and authority we give to things? And how if we give the devil credit for something, it is a disservice to God and ourselves because it can change how we perceive the world? Jesus knew that we were prone to doing things like this, so before he was crucified, he made it clear to everyone whose choice it was to die on that cross.

The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”

John 10:17-18 (NIV)

Therefore, the next time you are tempted to give credit to the devil for that bad thing, do something different. Give the glory to God because he deserves it because “we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28 NIV).

Do you know God? God knows you, and he loves you. He sees you as significant because you are. No one is insignificant to Him. He’s with you today, and he wants you to know him. Jesus died for your sins and mine so we could be free of guilt, freed from death, and live eternally with him. Eternal salvation is just a prayer away.

Pray this prayer with me to accept the gift of salvation:

Lord Jesus, forgive me for all my sins. I repent from my ways. Wash me in your blood and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. I believe that you died on the cross, were buried, and on the third day, God the Father raised you from the dead. Right now, Lord Jesus, I open the door to my heart and receive you into my heart as my Lord and personal Savior. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer, then congratulations! You are on the first step of a brand new life. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to my family, the family of God. There are abundant resources available online for new Christians. You can visit here for more information on what to do next. You can also leave me a comment, and I’ll do my best to help you on the next step of this incredible journey.