FOREVER TRIUMPHANT, Day 18—Lenten Devotionals
6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that in due time he may exalt you. 7 Cast all your anxieties on him, for he cares about you. 8 Be sober, be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking some one to devour. 9 Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experience of suffering is required of your brotherhood throughout the world. 1 Peter 5:6-9 (RSV)
Victory requires knowing who your enemy is. We have seen that there is are enemies within ourselves arising from our unredeemed natures (the flesh), that there are enemies outside ourselves that come from an unredeemed culture (the world), and now FJ Huegel drives us to consider a supernatural enemy from beyond.
FJ HUEGEL: Then, of course, there is, so to speak, the third person in the trinity of evil; namely, the Devil himself. The believer who is not willing to face squarely the fact of the evil one will never enter upon a full-orbed life of victory, for the reason that those who will not recognize the enemy, taking inventory of his powers and his wiles, can never hope to defeat him. He is a wily foe, quick to seize any advantage that might favor his cause. The greatest of all advantages would be found in going unrecognized.
Here is where many schools of thought regarding victorious Christian living fall short. They are not willing to call for an all-out offensive against the Prince of Darkness. One must be terribly naïve, they think, to take seriously the Bible teaching regarding the “powers of darkness” and all that is said of the Christian’s conflict with “the rulers of the darkness of this world.” But any prudery here is fatal. There is nothing to do but to die to our nice little concepts as to the universe and take God’s Word for it, hideous and revolting as it seems. The diagnosis may not be pretty nor attractive, but it will be correct; it will be exact.
PRAYER: Dear God,
Although my faith certainly does not demand that I believe in the devil (as though the devil were necessary to faith!), it is easy for me to recognize that there is something in the power of evil that goes way beyond mere human nature or human culture. I see it in the way even good intentions in one generation turn into shackles and chains in the next. O God! I do not want to be an instrument of Evil! Grant me to humble myself before you, and in that humility teach me to resist the evil one. I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.