Although Satan is alive and well on planet Earth, he cannot rule us at his will. An old mistranslation says the devil has taken some captive “at his will” (2 Tim. 2:26). Satan is the deceiver and the tempter. He lures us and entices us, but he controls no one without their cooperation. Satan is called the “Prince of the power of the air,” indicating his desire to rule us (Eph. 2:2). John says the whole world lies in the power of the evil one (1 John 5:19), but that is by its choice. We should give Satan no power over us but resist him on every hand. “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). Satan cannot control those who wish to serve God. “Resist him, standing firm in the faith” (1 Pet. 5:9).
Although God could choose to exercise complete power over us, he does not choose to do so. God loves us and has invested the best of everything in us. He does not want puppets, but people who choose to serve him from free will. There is no limit to what God can do, but there are limits as to what he will do. He is Lord of all and his will shall be done. But shall we choose personally to do his will? If so the Lord will empower us to resist evil and do good (Phil. 4:13). God has not given us appetites which we cannot control. He has not set us up to fail. We must exercise self-control (2 Pet. 1:6).
To be a child of God is the greatest privilege we have, but we also have responsibility. May God bless us all as we work with his Spirit to develop the character the Father expects of his children. TC