Free Bible Study Magazine
Thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies (Gen. 22:17).
How can one enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house (Matt. 12:29).
If as God’s servants we are only laboring for others we are missing God’s first aim in creation, which was to supply not merely man’s need but His own. For as we have said already, the creation of man was to meet the need of God. Thus if today we are going to meet God’s need we must go a step further and deal with Satan himself. We must steal back from him his power, evict him from his territory, spoil him of his goods, and set free his captives—for God. The question is not merely, “Of what account are we in the winning of souls?” Rather is it, “Of what account are we in the realm of principalities and powers?” And for that there is a price to pay. It is often possible to move men when it is quite impossible to move Satan. The plain fact is that it costs much more to deal with Satan than to win souls. It demands an utterness of spirit Godward that in itself effectually deprives Satan of any moral ground in us he may claim to possess. This is the costly thing. God in His merciful love for the lost can often bypass and overlook in His servants what one might justly feel to be appalling weakness and even failure. But while He may do this for the soul-winner, when it comes to our dealing with the devil it is another matter. Evil spirits can see right through the witness of man. They can tell when it is compromised by being half-hearted or insincere. They are aware when we are holding back a part of the price. Looking at us they are under no illusions as to whom they can safely defy or ignore; and conversely, they know perfectly well against whom they are powerless. “Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye?”(Acts 19:15).
Because they believe, they know when to tremble. And let me say this: since our most important task is their overthrow, it is better always that we should have the witness of evil powers than the praise of men. But the price of this witness to the principalities and powers is, I repeat, an utterness of allegiance to God that is unqualified. To entertain our own opinions or desires, to prefer our own variant and contrary choices, is simply to present the enemy with his advantage. It is, in short, to throw the game away. In any other sphere there may perhaps—I do not know—be room among our motives for something of self-interest, without appreciable loss. But never, and I repeat never, in this. Without such utterness for God nothing can be achieved, for without it we make even God powerless against His enemy. So I say it once again: the demand is very high. Are you and I here on earth, utterly committed, utterly given to God Himself? And because this is so, are we tasting even now the powers of that future glorious age? Are we reclaiming territory from the prince of this world for the One Whose alone it rightly is?—Watchman Nee.
I found that my own carnality and selfishness had given the ground they held to these monsters of hell. I myself had invited them in. I must get rid of “self” else there could be no hope of final victory. These powers of darkness (demons are as real to me now as God Himself) which were oppressing me to the point of despair, were standing on the very ground which secret selfishness had conceded to them. How was I to get rid of this “self-life” which had so long been standing out against Christ and making a way for the enemy to come in like a flood? Ah, had I but known of that “Standard,” the Cross, which must be lifted up against this prince of darkness! Such a struggle as mine would never issue in victory except the Cross be given the place of absolute supremacy in my life and ministry.—F. J. Huegel.