Opportunities For The Enemy

Satan is the greatest intelligence agent in the world. He makes it his business to inquire into your inclinations, thoughts, affections, and plans.

Another of the enemy's methods is to spy on the saint's affairs. Satan is the greatest intelligence agent in the world. He makes it his business to inquire into your inclinations, thoughts, affections, and plans. Then he sets to work accordingly--finding which way the stream goes, opening the passage of temptation, and cutting the channel to the fall of your affections. You can scarcely stir out of the closet of your heart without Satan knowing your destination. Some corrupt passion or other will betray your soul and be the informer to Satan, saying to him, "If you want to surprise such a one, you will find him in the wood of worldly employment, up to his ears in the desires and cares of this life."

Is ambition the lust the heart favors? Such pleasing projects he will put that soul upon! How easily, having first blown him up with vain hopes, he draws him into horrid sins. This is how he hurried Haman, who was willing to do anything to become the prince's favorite, into that bloody plot against the Jews, fatal at last to himself (Esther 7:9-10).

In his approaches to a sensitive soul, Satan uses an especially subtle strategy. When he comes to tempt, he is modest and asks for just a little. He knows he may get through several askings what he would be denied if he asked all at once. This is how he wriggled into Eve's bosom. He did not dare her to eat the fruit at first. He knew she would probably be frightened away by such a bold challenge. Instead, he asked a provocative question which would set the stage for his debut as man's archenemy: "Hath God said?" In other words, "Are you sure you are not mistaken? You know how generous God is! He lets you eat everything else in the Garden; why would He deny you the best of all?" Thus he digs about and loosens the root of her faith, and then the tree falls more easily with the next gust of temptation.

-William Gurnall