Wrestlers for Christ (continued)
This is where you and I come into this warfare. When Jesus Christ was upon earth every attack was against that precious physical body of His, the body He took upon Him in order that He might lay it down in death upon the Cross as your Saviour and mine. He rose out of the tomb with that same body, but a spiritual body. He is today at the right hand of the Father in that body; He is there as the God-man, as your High Priest and as mine. Now we are His mystical body; we are the only part of Christ that the devil can now touch. We are the visible part of Him on earth. That is why you and I come into this awful warfare; your life and mine are a part of that battlefield on which this spiritual warfare is being conducted.
How does satan work in this warfare? Our first necessity is to know the enemy's position, and the second is to know the enemy's tactics.
"Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil" (Ephesians 6:11).
We must understand satan's objective. The Lord tells us what it is. He said to Peter, "Simon, Simon ... satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat." satan is hell's head gangster. He is in this world seeking to steal that pearl of great price that belongs only to the Lord Jesus Christ. And every bit of his work is done as a gangster of the underworld, one whose work is done through deception and subtlety. There is no mean and despicable trick he will not employ. He reveals in the torment of the saints. He bores his way trough into your life and mine in order to get control of them. He comes in, mainly through our imaginations, our thoughts, our attitudes. He comes into that innermost part of our being so silently and so subtly that we hardly know it is he, and we hardly know he is there. Then, once he is there, he attempts to overthrow and overcome us by the invasion of a sudden temptation at a time when he is likely to find us unsuspecting and unprepared.
Notice that God does not tell us to put on that armor of His in order to stand against the strength of the devil, but in order to stand against the "wiles" of the devil. That is what you and I need to guard against: the wiles of the devil. How does he get in through these wiles? I want to mention a few of the ways in which he is working today in us personally.
Through Depression of Spirit
Oh, the number of saints today in whom the devil not only has a place but has control through depression! He brings to them doubts and discouragements regarding their spiritual condition. Whenever such doubts and discouragements assail you, you may know that it is of the devil. God never torments one of His children. And when this depression of spirit means torment and torture for you and me, we may know that it is the devil at work in our hearts. It is his mark.
All he wants is that we should get our eyes off Christ. If he can do that through this concern about our spiritual condition, he has won his first victory in your life and mine. He will lead us on to morbid introspection and to a deadly dissection and analysis of our spiritual condition. This is fatal! The moment we find ourselves doing this, we should be on our guard. satan never asks for the control of your life and mine at the first. All he asks is for a place there. We have that command so simple and definite, "Neither give place to the devil." All he wants, first of all, in your life is standing room, and he knows if he can get standing room he will soon get control; and he can get that standing room through depression of spirit.
(continued with # 25 - "Through Delusion of Mind")