Here's another thing I was reading today on sanctification.
Two Opposing Forces
Satan standing at his right hand to resist him.Zech. iii. 1.
Resist the devil and he will flee from you. James iv. 7.
By HELENA GARRATT
We read of two opposing forces in the above verses; the first shows us Satan resisting the child of God and the second the child of God resisting Satan.
Paul writes to the Corinthians: We are not ignorant of his (Satan's) devices. In the present time there is perhaps a greater need than ever before that we should understand Satan's devices; if God gives us light on this, we shall experience far greater victory in our lives, and things upon which we are in the dark will be cleared up.
[b]1. Satan resisting the Child of God.[/b]
This is indeed a great reality. Daniel experienced it when the answer to his prayer was delayed three weeks, when the prince of the Kingdom of Persia withstood him, and all over the world God's children are proving today the awful opposing power of the evil one; a recent extract from a magazine puts it thus: It is as though there is an unseen evil spirit force stubbornly at work to hinder our getting what the Lord has for us. Mr. J.B. Stoney put the same truth in different words when years go he remarked that living the Christian life was like climbing a ladder, and when, desiring to mount the ladder towards a higher life, we put our hands on the next rung, Satan comes long and knocks our hands off. Later on we come again to the ladder and seek to lay hold of a higher rung, and again Satan knocks our hands off.
Satan is a very persistent foe and works with all his power to hinder us getting God's best for spirit, soul and body. He even holds back the finances we are praying, for and opposes us on every side in aggressive soul winning work.
We notice in the third chapter of Zechariah that Satan was seeking to resist Joshua from getting the great blessing which God had for him. God desired to cleanse Joshua- His word was Take away the filthy garments from him. Satan is the same today and does all in his power to resist the Christian being cleansed from all sin. Satan is ever opposed to true Holiness. He hates a Mission or Church that stands for Holiness; he hates a saint who is sanctified and from first to last gives him a hard time.
It is no wonder Satan is opposed to Holiness, because He knows when a child of God is sanctified, his life, will be free from the failure and inconsistencies that bring such dishonor on the Lords name He knows also that when a Christian is cleansed and filled with the Spirit, he will be used to the salvation of souls, and can even be the means of a revival in the district where he lives. David prayed: Create in a clean heart, O God; then will I teach transgressors thy ways and sinners shall be converted unto Thee. Satan remembers this verse is in the Bible.
[b]How does Satan resist souls who are seeking Sanctification?[/b]
(a) To many he whispers: The cost is too great; if you are sanctified and give yourself wholly to God it will thwart all the ambitions of your life, you will lose friends, they will call you a sinless perfectionist, it will grieve the one you love best in the World.
[b]Satan is careful to point out all you will lose, but he says nothing about what you will gain. He does not remind you of the bliss and joy you will find by knowing you are in the centre of Gods will.[/b]
(b) To other seeking souls lie says: You are not good enough to get this great blessing. You need not think the fullness of the Holy Spirit is for you. The Christians you know who received this gift were more worthy of it. If such thoughts fill your mind must go back to the old verse-Ho every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters and he that hath no money come ye buy wine and milk: without money and without price. When we are thirsting for the living water of the Holy Ghost the only price God asks from us is the precious Blood of Christ. He does not require the money of our own merit, our own righteousness, He teaches us to pray:
All the worth I have before Thee
Is the merit of thy blood.
I once heard a young man pleading long and earnestly with God for the baptism of the Spirit-at last the light dawned as he pleaded the price of the blood of Calvary; he looked away from his own failures and worthlessness, and rose from his knees, having, received the precious gift.
(c) The evil one not only points the seeker for Holiness to his own failures or worthlessness, but he also resists him by saying: You have not faith, enough to get the blessing How often has Satan whispered this to the writer, and victory only comes over this temptation when we learn that faith is the gift of God and that we must not look for it in our own heart. Dr A.B. Simpson writes in connection with Divine Healing (but his words apply to whatever blessing, we are seeking): We can only experience Divine healing by having Divine faith as well as Divine Healing; only by counting yourself and your faith dead and insufficient and receiving Christ for this wholly, throwing yourself upon Him for it absolutely and claiming faith as perfect as God requires and gives.
(d) Hundreds of souls seeking sanctification are thrown back by waiting for feelings. Satan keeps saying to them, If you were sanctified you would experience a great change in your emotions, a sudden rush of peace and joy would flood your heart, but you are just the same as before you trusted God for the blessing. A Christian worker, whose, life and work testified to the reality of his sanctification, once told me he had never experienced any change in his feelings after he received the blessing, yet he was far more truly filled with the Spirit than others I have known who shouted loud Hallelujahs of joy and praise when they were sanctified.
In reading the portion from which our text is taken, it is beautiful to see Joshua did not try to rebuke Satan, he did nothing; he was speechless, but we read, The Lord said unto Satan, the Lord rebuke thee, O Satan.
[b]II.The Child of God resisting Satan.[/b]
In two passages of Scripture that speak of warfare with our great enemy we learn that we withstand him by faith. Eph. vi. 16¬ "Above all taking the shield of faith wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one." 1 Peter v. 8-The devil "walketh about, seeking whom he may devour; whom withstand steadfast in your faith" (R.V.). "What hinders faith more than anything else?" I once asked a dear old saint of God, and he replied to my query with one word-"Sight." It was sight which hindered the children of Israel entering Canaan. They saw the giants and they doubted God's power to bring them into the land. It was sight made Peter's faith fail when walking on the waters-when he saw the wind boisterous, he began to sink. If we are to know real victory in conflict with Satan, we must "walk by faith, not by sight" for "what we see and feel will never conquer Satan."
We must come to the place where we will utterly disregard feelings and sight and like Abraham live "looking unto the promise of God." In the words of another : "We will never remain victorious in the wear and tear of life by the buffetings of the adversary, unless we take a fresh start daily, solemnly determining to stand upon and keep the Word between us and Satan."
There are other things besides faith which are necessary if we would successfully withstand the enemy. We must by God's grace resist unbelieving and discouraging thoughts." Satan "devours" souls by discouragement when all his other methods have failed. Souls have been wrecked spiritually and physically by listening to Satan's suggestions, they have been plunged into soul darkness and lost their testimony for God. Darkness and discouragement come from Satan and encouragement and hope come from God. "Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing"-Rom. xv. 13. My sister next to this verse in her Bible has written this note "No one living beside some Christians would guess that there was a text which speaks of `joy and peace in believing.' May we not be found among such Christians.
When St. Peter told those to whom he wrote to resist the enemy, he had previously enjoined them to cast all their care upon God, and these two things are closely connected. If we carry our own burdens we will soon lose the power to resist Satan. If we worry we grieve the Holy Spirit and so have no longer His power enabling us to conquer Satan. Personally I wondered recently why Satan was not conquered when I sought to resist him, and soon I found that a care that should have been cast on Jesus had come between my soul and Him.
We resist the enemy also by refusing to pity ourselves. Many people do not see that self-pity comes from Satan, but when Peter said to Jesus "Pity Thyself," Jesus replied "Get thee behind me Satan." Satan is most successful in causing us to pity ourselves. He points out how weak we are, how pale we look, that too much work has been put on us. He reminds us how we have been slighted and neglected and not given our right place, etc. But when self-pity comes into our hearts, faith goes out, for it is impossible for a sunny trust in God to live in the atmosphere of self-love.
[b]Our last point is the most important of all. We -resist the enemy through the power of the blood of the Lamb." "They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb." "The blood is the only weapon that Satan is afraid of" and we are only safe when our whole dependence is upon the precious blood. As Mr. A. Sparks writes: "The moment we are found away from the protection of Calvary's victory, we shall surely fail," so "Victory is of the Lord." "We are more than conquerors through Him that loved us."[/b]