Why did God give Satan power on earth?

Why do bad things happen? Why are we tempted to sin? Why doesn’t God simply send the devil away so we can all live in peace and happiness? It’s an interesting question, and one that many have wondered. Why does God allow the devil to have any power over us?

“How did this come about where Satan has control of the earth?” asked John when he called in to Relevant Radio®.

“We gave it to him. It was in the control of Adam and Eve – it was in our control. You remember those old vampire movies where the vampire is outside and he can only come in where you invite him in? This is true of the devil, too, that you invite him in in one way or another, with very rare exception,” explained Fr. Richard Simon, host of Father Simon SaysTM.

Humanity invited the devil in and gave him power on earth. “The devil only, in a certain sense, has the power we give him. And Adam and Eve, by switching their allegiance from God to the Devil, gave him the world that had been given them to live in.”

The same is true for each one of us. “And this idea that Jesus talks about, when a devil is cast forth, he comes back and finds the house swept, well that’s the house of my being. When we give what is ours over to the devil, it becomes his,” said Fr. Simon.

“Now when the unclean spirit goes out of a man, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and does not find it. Then it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came’; and when it comes, it finds it unoccupied, swept, and put in order. Then it goes and takes along with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there; and the last state of that man becomes worse than the first. That is the way it will also be with this evil generation.” – Matthew 12:43-45

How can we protect our hearts and lives from inviting the devil in? We need to build up a strong wall. Frequenting the Sacraments and lives of prayer and virtue help to strengthen our guard. Sin, even small sins, can weaken our wall, so it’s important to attend Confession often and do our very best to avoid letting sins into our life. When we allow Jesus to rule in our life, there is no room for evil!

Saint Joseph, Terror of Demons, pray for us! Saint Michael the Archangel, protect us!

Lindsey is a wife, mother, and contributing author at Relevant Radio. She holds a degree in Journalism and Advertising from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Lindsey enjoys writing, baking, and liturgical living with her young family.