Thus far we have already proceeded. Now,
“WHEREFORE TAKE UNTO YOU.”
Wherefore; that is to say, because the conflict is what it is, and because it is what has been described, because we do not fight against man, or against flesh and blood, but against the powers of darkness, and against spiritual evil powers, “Take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” For this very purpose the armour is provided for us, that we may be able to withstand and finally to overcome.
Now let not any dear child of God suppose, as there is at times a danger of supposing, that because the conflict is what it is—because it is spiritual, and because our enemies are so many and so mighty, that, therefore, it is utterly useless to attempt to fight against the powers of darkness. Not so. Let us go with good courage to the conflict. The will of the Lord is that we should
“BE OF GOOD COURAGE”;
and under whatever circumstances of danger, perplexity, or of trial, the child of God may be placed, let him always be of “good courage.” Who shall harm us, if God is for us? If He is on our side, who shall then withstand us?
But let us never trust in self, else we shall quickly find how weak we are. Especially let us never begin to reason with the devil; he is too much for us. The will of God is, never, never, never, under any circumstance, to reason with the tempter. He who begins to reason, is certain to fall; because we have ever to keep before us who the devil is, and what power he has; and, therefore, if we begin to reason, we are sure to be overcome.
THAT OLD SERPENT WHICH IS THE DEVIL.
We know not how long the chief of the evil spirits has been in existence; but we know that he was in existence at the creation of the world, and was the originator of evil.
Therefore, from the time he deceived our first parents, he has reasoned with a great number of people, and has thus gained a vast experience. Think of all this vast experience, and of all the wiles he has learned, and you will see how absurd it is to attempt to reason with Satan. God’s blessed Word is enough, and that is the only thing he cannot stand against. But if you begin to reason with the devil, it is certain that you cannot stand.
Never, then, attempt to reason; especially you, my younger brethren and sisters in Christ. Learn at the outset of the divine life that you most not reason, and that, if you do, you will fall. When tempted, take the blessed book, and say, “My Lord says so-and-so, and I believe it;” and in child-like simplicity rest upon it, Satan cannot stand against that.
“Take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all to stand.”
Notice further that word
What is particularly meant is the day of temptation; that is the evil day. And on that day we are to take comfort in the knowledge that God is our helper. But in a certain sense the whole of this life is an evil day, because of the power of Satan, and because of the world which surrounds us. The devil is ever on the watch to get at us, and therefore in a certain sense the whole time were are in the body is the evil day. The whole armour of God is given to us, not to be used on this particular day, or that, but to be worn during the whole pilgrimage of this life. We may have fought very successfully for a time, but still we are to keep it on.
In the armies of this world, you all know how it is—battle after battle has been fought, and success has been gained. Whet then? The armour is put off and now, the soldiers rest. But not thus with the armour of God. The whole pilgrimage is a time of war; the conflict ceases not, but must he maintained throughout life.