Satan, Sin and Uncontrollable
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Amongst all the devices that Satan makes use of, there is none by which he grieves the children of God worse, than his troubling you with blasphemous, profane, unbelieving thoughts; and sometimes to such a degree, that they are as tormenting as it is to be physically tortured.
You that have felt his fiery darts, can tell by fatal experience how often the devil has bid you, “curse God and die,” and darted into your thoughts a thousand blasphemous suggestions, even in your most secret and solemn times; looking back on which makes your very hearts to tremble.
Have not some of you, when you have been lifting up holy hands in prayer, been pestered with such a crowd of the most horrid insinuations, that you have often been made to believe your prayers were an abomination to the Lord? Nay, when, with the rest of your Christian brethren, you have crowded round the holy table, and taken the sacred symbols of Christ’s most blessed body and blood into your hands, and instead of remembering the death of your Savior, have you not been employed in driving out evil thoughts, and thereby have been terrified, lest you have eaten and drank your own damnation?
But marvel not, as though some strange thing happened to you; for this has been the common lot of all God’s children. We read, even in Job’s time, “That when the sons of God came to appear before their Maker, (at public worship) Satan also came amongst them,” to disturb their devotions.
And think not that God is angry with you for these distracting, though ever so blasphemous thoughts: No, he knows it is not you, but Satan working in you; and therefore, though God will certainly punish him; yet he will both pity and reward you. And though it is difficult to make persons in your circumstances to believe so; yet I do not doubt that you are more acceptable to God when performing your holy duties in the midst of such involuntary distractions, than when you are wrapped up by devotion, as it were, into the third heavens; for when the unwanted thoughts come you are suffering, as well as doing the will of God.
This ends the part that specifically addresses blasphemous thoughts. Below are George Whitefield’s helpful insights into Satan and temptation. You may read them or go straight to the next testimony: Condemned and Rejected by God: An Inspiring Testimony of Faith.
Satan’s quiver is full of poisonous darts.
He is an enemy to God and goodness; he is a hater of all truth. Why else did he slander God in paradise? Why did he tell Eve, “You shall not surely die?” And why did he promise to give all the kingdoms of the world, and the glories of them, to Jesus Christ, if he would fall down and worship him?
He is full of malice, envy, and revenge: For what other motives could induce him to molest innocent man in paradise? And why is he still so restless in his attempts to destroy us, who have done him no wrong?
He is a being of great power, as demonstrated when he acted on the imagination of our blessed Lord, so as to show him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glories of them, in a moment of time. As also in carrying his sacred body through the air up to a pinnacle of the temple; and driving a herd of swine so furiously into the deep. Nay, so great is his might, that, I doubt not, was God to let him use his full strength, but he could turn the earth upside down, or pull the sun from its position.
But he is most remarkable for his subtlety. Not having power given him from above to take us by force, he is obliged to wait for opportunities to betray us, and to catch us by guile.
But the justice of God in suffering us to be tempted is vindicated from the following considerations: That this present world is a state of disorder; that he has promised not to suffer us to be tempted above what we are able to bear; and not only so, but to him that overcometh he will give a crown of life.
The holy angels themselves, it should seem, were once put to a trial whether they would be faithful or not. The first Adam was tempted, even in paradise. And Jesus Christ, that second Adam, though he was a son, yet was carried, as our representative, by the Holy Spirit, into the wilderness, to be tempted of the devil. And there is not one single saint in paradise, amongst the goodly fellowship of the prophets, the glorious company of the apostles, the noble army of martyrs, and the spirits of just men made perfect, who, when on earth, was not assaulted by the fiery darts of that wicked one, the devil.
What then has been the common lot of all God’s children, and of the angels, nay, of the eternal Son of God himself, we must not think to be exempted from: No, it is sufficient if we are made perfect through temptations, as they were.
We must expect to be tempted by him, in some degree or other, all our lives long. For this life being a continual warfare, we must never expect to have rest from our spiritual adversary the devil, or to say our combat with him is finished, until, with our blessed master, we bow down our heads and give up the ghost.
One of Satan’s devices is to drive us to despair.
When God the Father awakens a sinner by the terrors of the law, and by his Holy Spirit convinces him of sin, in order to lead him to Christ, and show him the necessity of a Redeemer; then Satan generally strikes in, and aggravates those convictions to such a degree, as to make the sinner doubt of finding mercy through the Mediator.
Thus, in all his temptations of the Holy Jesus, Satan chiefly aimed to make him question whether he was the Son of God.
But let not any of you be influenced by him, to despair of finding mercy. For it is not the greatness or number of our crimes, but only impenitence and unbelief, that will prove our ruin. Were our sins more in number than the hairs of our head, or of a deeper dye than the brightest scarlet; yet the merits of the death of Jesus Chris are infinitely greater, and faith in his blood shall make them white as snow.
Answer always, therefore, the Tempter’s despairing suggestions, as your Blessed Lord did, with an “It is written.” Tell him, you know that your Redeemer lives ever to make intercession for you; that the Lord has received from Christ Jesus double for all your crimes: And though you have sinned much, that is no reason why you should despair, but only why you should love much, having so much forgiven.
Another device I shall mention, which Satan generally makes use of, “to get an advantage over us,” is to tempt us to have hard thoughts of God, when we are dead and barren in prayer.
When persons are first awakened to the divine life, because grace is weak and the old nature is strong, God is often pleased to bless them with extraordinary illuminations of his Holy Spirit; but when they are grown to be more perfect in Christ, then he frequently seems to leave them to themselves; and not only so, but permits a horrible deadness and dread to overwhelm them; at which times Satan will vex and tempt them to impatience, to the great discomfort of their souls.
But be not afraid; for this is no more than what your blessed Redeemer, that spotless Lamb of God, has undergone before you: witness his bitter agony in the garden, when his soul was exceeding sorrowful, even unto death. When he sweat great drops of blood, falling on the ground; when the sense of the Divinity was drawn from him; and Satan, in all probability, was permitted to set all his terrors in array before him.
Rejoice, therefore, my brethren, when you fall into similar circumstances; knowing that by this you are partakers of the sufferings of Jesus Christ. Consider, that it is necessary that such inward trials should come, to wean us from being too dependent upon feelings, and teach us to follow Christ, not merely for his blessings, but out of a principle of love and obedience.
In patience, therefore, possess your souls, and be not terrified by Satan’s suggestions. Still persevere in seeking Jesus, though it be sorrowing; and though through barrenness of soul, you may go mourning all the day long. Consider that Christ is with you, though behind the curtain; as he was with Mary, at the tomb, though she knew it not. That he was withdrawn but for a little while, to make his next visit more welcome. That though he may now seem to frown and look back on you, as he did on the Syrophonecian woman; yet if you, like her, or blind Bartimeus, cry out so much the more earnestly, “Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on us;” he will be made known unto you again, either in the temple, by breaking of bread, or some other way.
Let me exhort my young fellow-soldiers, not to be discouraged at the fiery trial wherewith they must be tried, if they would be found faithful servants of Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ, that great captain of our salvation, has in our stead, and as our representative, baffled the grand enemy of mankind, and we have nothing to do, but manfully to fight under his banner, and to go on from conquering to conquer.
Our glory does not consist in being exempted from, but in enduring temptations. “Blessed is the man, (says the apostle) that endureth temptation;” and again, “Brethren, count it all joy, when you fall into divers temptations.” In his model prayer, our blessed Lord taught to pray, not so much to be delivered from all temptation, as “from the evil” of it. Whilst we are on this side eternity, it must needs be that temptations come; and, no doubt, “Satan has desired to have all of us, to sift us as wheat.” But wherefore should we fear? For he that is for us, is by far more powerful, than all that are against us. Jesus Christ, our great High-priest, is exalted to the right hand of God, and there sitteth to make intercession for us, that our faith fail not.
Since then Christ is praying, whom should we fear? And since he has promised to make us more than conquerors, of whom should we be afraid? No, though a host of devils are set in array against us, let us not be afraid; though there should rise up the hottest persecution against us, yet let us put our trust in God.
What though Satan, and the rest of his apostate spirits, are powerful, when compared with us; yet, if put in competition with the Almighty, they are as weak as the meanest worms. God has them all reserved in chains of darkness unto the judgment of the great day. So far as he permits them, they shall go, but no farther; and where he pleases, there shall their proud malicious designs be stopped.
We read in the gospel, that though a legion of them possessed one man, yet they could not destroy him; nor could they so much as enter into a swine, without first receiving permission from above.
It is true, we often find they foil us, when we are assaulted by them; but let us be strong, and very courageous; for, though they bruise our heels, we shall, at length, bruise their heads. Yet a little while, and he that shall come, will come; and then we shall see all our spiritual enemies put under our feet. What if they do come out against us, like so many great Goliaths; yet, if we can go forth, as the stripling David, in the name and strength of the Lord of hosts, we may say, O Satan, where is thy power? O fallen spirits, where is your victory?
In the above, I edited George Whitefield’s sermon to make it easier and quicker for you. If you feel the need to check, you can view the original. If, however, you chose to read it and then begin to tire of it, please do not leave the site, but click on a link. There are other pages on this site that you need. The original text.
The Support you Need
As a doctor prescribes daily medication, I prescribe daily reading of these webpages. Ensure that your reading includes Scrupulosity: Serious Help When Worried about Salvation, Blasphemous Thoughts or Persistent Guilt Feelings and all the pages it leads to, but there is much more listed Condemned? How to Cope When Riddled with Guilt and How Much does God Love Me? Receiving a Personal Revelation of God’s Love for You.
Condemned and Rejected by God:
An Inspiring Testimony of Faith
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I suggest you follow the above link but if you want a change of pace, the following is here for you.
The Beginning The only way to not miss any of this feast of uplifting webpages about false guilt is to start at Feeling Condemned? There’s Hope! and follow each link. You won’t regret it!
Feeling Rejected by God An important part of this series of webpages
Unforgivable? The part of the series that deals with the unforgivable sin
Testimonies They thought they were unforgivable
Scriptures Some of the vast number of Scriptures proving that you can be forgiven
God Loves Me! Receive Your Personal Revelation of God’s Love A separate, very important series
Demons The beginning of a series of webpages
Dealing with Depression and Discouragement
God & Suffering Coping with fears that God might be harsh and unloving
Becoming a Winner Breaking addictions and besetting sins
Encouragement When You Feel Defeated
Index to Entire Site A treasure trove of stimulating, compassionate, often humorous, webpages for Christians by the same author on a vast number of topics. This website is enormous!Scripture quotations are from the New International Version © Copyright, 1978 by New York International Bible Society
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