Our Great Adversary

“Your adversary the devil.” 1 Peter 5:8

The conversation, at our midday meal, turned upon the dread subject of Satan’s rule and reign in the world. Someone remarked on the significance of the title given to him in the Epistle to the Ephesians, “the prince of the power of the air,” and said that, if Christians could only know the awful strength and might of their arch-enemy, they would be more vigilant, more constant in prayer, more unceasingly intent on abiding in Christ. We spoke softly and with bated breath, as soldiers in ambush might, who feared to be overheard; and each one had some terrible experience to relate of the craftiness and malice of “the accuser of the brethren.” The impression made was a solemn one, and did not lightly pass away.

There are many instances in which God’s Word recognizes the power and malignity of the devil; but they are sufficient to prove the necessity of stern watchfulness against so powerful and insidious a foe. If we are not ignorant of his devices, it behooves us to be prepared against his attacks.

Feeling somewhat downcast at the prospect of the ceaseless war which must be waged, and the constant precautions which must be taken against the enemy—knowing, moreover, by sad experience, that the same dreadful power had a too-willing ally within me, and so could the more easily tempt and deceive my soul—with a cry to God for help, I turned to the following quotation from Dr. Saphir:

“Although we trust in the power of the death of Jesus to cancel the guilt of sin, we do not exercise a reliant and appropriating faith in the omnipotence of the living Savior to deliver us from the bondage of sin and the power of Satan in our daily life. We forget that Christ works in us mightily, and that, one with Him, we possess strength sufficient to overcome every temptation.”

Here was just the word of gracious strengthening which I needed, and truly my heart did bless God for it. Yes, Satan is strong; but my Lord Jesus is stronger than he. The devil may hate me with all the vehemence of his malicious nature; but “love is strong as death,” and the love of God in Christ is my everlasting safeguard.

How blessed it was to roll this burden upon the Lord, and feel even this care lifted from my heart by faith in the faithfulness of Him who cares for me! “In the shadow of His hand has He hid me.” I am securely kept. All the rage of hell cannot reach me there. The united forces of evil, are unequal to the task of destroying one of the weakest of the Lord’s own sheep. “No one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.” Blissful confidence! It sends me on my way singing Toplady’s fearless song—

“Yes, I to the end shall endure,
As sure as the earnest is given;
More happy, but not more secure,
The glorified spirits in Heaven.”

~ Susannah Spurgeon, A Basket of Summer Fruit

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