The Desperation of Satan

Satan knows that those that seek God for pardon and grace will obtain it. Can you imagine this? Satan, the being that is the most sinful of all created beings, knows that our prayerful request for pardon and grace will be granted. God inspires the Spirit of Prophecy. It plainly says, “If we ask for pardon and grace we will obtain it.”


Blinding our Minds


How is it that the devil knows the truth, and we don’t understand it ourselves in our personal walk with God? “In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” 2 Corinthians 4:4.


In order for us not to understand the glorious gospel of Christ, the devil has to blind our minds. The devil knows the “goodness of God leadeth” us (Romans 2:4) to repentance because he has experienced the love of God. “Lucifer in heaven has sinned in the light of God’s glory. To him as no other created being was given a revelation of God’s love. If we really understood the goodness of God, we would run to Him.


How does Satan blind us? Satan is exultant when he can lead the children of God into unbelief and despondency. He delights to see us mistrusting God, doubting His willingness and power to save us. He loves to have us feel that the Lord will do harm by His providences. It is the work of Satan to represent the Lord as lacking any compassion and pity. He misstates the truth in regard to Him. He fills the imagination with false ideas concerning God; and instead of dwelling upon the truth in regard to our heavenly Father, we too often fix our minds upon the misrepresentations of Satan and dishonor God by distrusting Him and murmuring against Him.


Too often we are in danger of dwelling – not on the nature of Christ, but on the nature of Satan – every time we believe that God will not give us pardon and grace, for the devil “is a liar and the father of lies.” John 8:44. With his [Satan] own evil characteristics he sought to invest the loving Creator. Thus he deceived angels. Thus he deceived men.


Danger of Dwelling on Failure


How do misrepresentations of God cause us to fall? The adversary seeks continually to obstruct the way to the mercy seat, that we may not by earnest supplication and faith obtain grace and power to resist temptation. Any time we don’t believe that we can have God’s mercy, our way to the mercy seat is obstructed, and we become deceived. We have no power to resist temptation without God’s mercy and are led into sin. Satan “hopes” so to destroy their faith that they will yield fully to his temptations, and turn from their allegiance to God.


The Bible declares that God’s “mercy endureth for ever.” Psalms 107:1. If the Bible says that, how does the devil lead us to believe that we cannot obtain it?

When the mind dwells upon self, it is turned away from Christ, the source of strength and life. Hence it is Satan’s constant effort to keep the attention diverted from the Savior and thus prevents the union and communication of the soul with Christ.  Satan “endeavors to affright their souls with the thought that their case is hopeless, that the stain of defilement can never be washed away. Satan determined to put forth still further effort to weaken and discourage God’s people by holding before them their imperfections of character. When we believe that our sins can never be washed away, our faith is destroyed. When that is happening, what do we fail to do?


There is no danger that the Lord will neglect the prayers of His people. The danger is that temptation and trial they will become discouraged, and fail to persevere in prayer. Satan knows that those who ask God for pardon and grace will obtain it. But if we do not ask God for pardon and grace, we will never have victory. Therefore, the devil does his uttermost to keep our attention on misrepresentations of God so we will never overcome sin. Our strength lies in asking God for His pardon and grace. Tragically, though, Christ saw multitudes perishing within reach of abundant help. All power (Matthew 28:18) has been given unto Christ for us to subdue the devil, but we must simply ask for it in prayer.


The Power of Prayer


How powerful is prayer? Prayer has ‘subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire.’ The way we defeat Satan’s kingdom is through prevailing prayer. Pray in your closet as you go through your daily labor let your heart be often uplifted to God. These silent prayers rise like precious incense before the throne of grace. Satan cannot overcome him whose heart is thus stayed upon God.


As we have constant communication with God, Satan and his entire host are defeated foes. If Satan sees that he is in danger of losing one soul, he will exert himself to the utmost to keep that one. And when the individual is aroused to his danger, and, with distress and fervor, looks to Jesus for strength, Satan fears that he will lose a captive, and he calls a reinforcement of his angels to hedge in the poor soul, and form a wall of darkness around him, that heaven’s light may not reach him. But if the one in danger preserves, and his helplessness casts himself upon the merits of the blood of Christ, our savior listens to the earnest prayer of faith, and sends a reinforcement of those angels that excel in strength to deliver him. Satan cannot endure to have his powerful rival appealed to, for he fears and trembles before His strength and majesty. At the sound of fervent prayer, Satan’s whole host trembles. He continues to call legions of evil angels to accomplish his objective. And when angels, all-powerful, clothed with the armory of heaven, come to the help of the fainting, pursued soul, Satan and his host fall back, well knowing that their battle is lost.


God Delights to Save


When we come to God in prayer, we “must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” Hebrews 11:6. What is the character of God? “Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? He retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy.”  Micah 7:18. God wants us to know that He delights in saving our souls. It is God’s to encircle sinful repentant human beings in the arms of His love, to bind up our wounds, to cleanse them with the garments of salvation. What is our reward? The children of God are amply recompensed. ‘They shall see his face; and His name shall be in their foreheads.’ Revelation 22:4.


Who are the only ones to see God’s face? “Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? Or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart…” Psalms 24:3,4. God’s word gives us the assurance that He will give us His character as we present our supplications to Him. Prayer is heaven’s ordained means of success in the conflict with sin and with the development of Christian character. The divine influences that come in answer to the prayer of faith will accomplish in the soul of the suppliant all for which he pleads. For the pardon of sin, for the Holy Spirit, for a Christ like temper, for wisdom and strength to do His work, for any gift He has promised, we may ask; and the promise is, ‘Ye shall receive.’


Why Don’t We Ask?


If prayer is this powerful, why don’t we pray to God and receive the promises? “Why are thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted within me? Hope thou in God…” Psalms 42:11. Satan is ready to steal away the blessed assurances of God. He desires to take every glimmer of hope and every ray of light from the soul. If we don’t hope in God’s mercy, then we’ll not receive His promises “for we are saved by hope…” Romans 8:24. “Let thy mercy, O LORD, be upon us, according as we hope in thee.” Psalms 33:22. This hope is a sure hope because “hope maketh not ashamed.” Romans 5:5.    


But if Satan rightly points out our defects and faults, how can we have the hope of salvation? “Christ in you” is “the hope of glory.” Colossians 1:27. Christ is our only hope of salvation. When Satan seeks to cover the people of God with blackness, and ruin them, Christ interposes. Although they have sinned, Christ has taken the guilt of their sins upon His own soul. Christ saves us not on our own merit; we’re not saved by our own righteousness, but His righteousness. God “hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness…” Isaiah 61:10. 


We obtain His righteousness through His mercy. “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us.” Titus 3:5. Their only hope is in the mercy of God; their only defense will be prayer. We can boldly come to God and ask for pardon and grace. “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.” Isaiah 55:7.


If we ever want to realize Christ in us, we must banish every misrepresentation of God from our thoughts each day. With the rich promises of the bible before you, can you give place to doubt? Can you believe that when the poor sinner longs to return, longs to forsake his sins, the Lord sternly withholds him from coming to His feet in repentance? Away with such thoughts! Nothing can hurt your soul more than to entertain such a conception of our heavenly Father.


The Evidence of His Love


Let us group together the blessed assurances of His love, that we may look upon them continually: The Son of God leaving His Father’s throne, clothing His divinity with humanity, that He might rescue man from the power of Satan; His triumph in our behalf, opening heaven to men, revealing to human vision the presence chamber where the Deity unveils His glory; the fallen race uplifted from the pit of ruin into which sin had plunged it, and brought again the connection with the infinite God, and having endured the divine test through faith in our Redeemer, clothed in the righteousness of Christ, and exalted to His throne – these are the pictures which God would have us contemplate.


Christ’s great love for us is His assurance that our prayers for pardon and grace will be answered. But while the followers of Christ have sinned, they have not given themselves up to be controlled by the satanic agencies. They have repented of their sins and have sought the Lord in humility and contrition, and the divine Advocate pleads in their behalf.   

He who has been abused by their ingratitude, who knows their sin and also their penitence, declares: ‘The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan, I gave my life for these souls. They are graven upon the palms of My hands. They may have imperfections of character, they may have failed in their endeavors; but they repented, and I have forgiven and accepted them.  


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