I read this story, and it strikes me as remarkable that Jesus had allowed a betrayer to grow up in the midst of His close, intimate circle. The Word tells us that He knew what was in the hearts of all men around Him. This means that He knew from the start that Judas had a dangerous crack in his foundation. Even when He called him as a disciple in the first place, He knew He was choosing a man with a propensity for evil.
As Jesus mentored His twelve and watched eleven of them grow steadily in spiritual stature, I am confident that He was fully aware of the opposite happening in Judas. His keen sense of discernment kept Him in tune with the seeds of greed, pride, selfishness, and deceit that were deepening their roots and taking over this man’s heart. Jesus anticipated what would happen when He reproved Judas for criticizing the woman who anointed Him. He knew it would provoke him to anger – anger that would bring the wickedness growing inside of him to full maturity… and betrayal unto death.
And yet, all that time, He let him remain.
In like manner, God foresaw what would transpire when He allowed that person to be a part of your life who ended up hurting you. Although you felt blindsided by what happened, He had a plan from the very beginning. Yes, He allowed a weed to grow up next to you, His carefully tended, precious plant. Let me suggest to you with profound love: He knew exactly what He was doing.
The devil thought he was being cunningly strategic, finding a way into Jesus’ inner circle. He no doubt cackled gleefully, watching bitterness and hatred develop inside of Judas, taking more and more control of his soul. The enemy actually thought his machinations were so astute, so wily, that they were trumping God’s sovereign working. He really believed he had come up with a brilliant plan. He was dead wrong. All along, Judas’ weakness was a chess piece in the hand of the Master.
Holy Spirit explains it to us this way: “…We speak of God’s secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory” (1 Cor. 2:7-8, NIV).
“The rulers of this age” refers to the enemy and his high-ranking demons. Here we learn that they had no idea that their malicious, murderous scheming was actually playing right into what God had purposed all along. They were utterly in the dark about how ingeniously He had set into place all the preordained components of His redemption plan.
Let this encourage your heart today! No matter what the enemy is attempting to bring against you, understand that he is a pawn in God’s hand. He is clueless about what the Lord of glory is up to. He is on the outside, trying frantically to catch at least the tiniest glimpse of how the Supreme Ruler of the universe is masterfully, sovereignly, strategically maneuvering His pieces. These desperate attempts of his are entirely unsuccessful. He remains forever blocked out, destined to grope about, taking blindfolded swings in the inky blackness.
All the while, God is steadily, purposefully moving forward each element of His blueprints. Without faltering or pausing, He is bringing His creation towards the magnificent culmination He has destined for it since the beginning of time. This includes your precious life and every huge and tiny detail that pertains to it. The enemy can do nothing about God’s majestic march towards the glorious end, all the while cradling you safely in His bosom as He strides confidently onward!
This is the perspective Holy Spirit desires to give you about the current challenges you are facing. In the midst of them, He wants to bring home to you how oblivious the devil is to God’s movements… and how utterly powerless he is to derail His purposes. When you come to grasp this, then even the worst fiery dart that he can shoot at you will bounce off your shield of faith and fall helplessly to the ground, extinguished.
Take heart! The rulers of this age are “coming to nothing” (v. 6). An alternate translation of this phrase refers to them as “the nullified overlords of this present age” (TPT footnote). They are already null and void. They were disarmed and humiliated at the cross. They are destined to nothingness.
You, on the other hand, were created to soar! You have been raised with Christ and are seated at His right hand! Rejoice, my friend! Daddy God will take everything the enemy ever tries against you and turn it into something so mind-bogglingly good that it will stun you. Nothing can stop the breathtaking plans He has for your life!
Do you remember a time when God turned a vicious strategy the enemy brought against you into something beautiful?