Food for Friday

Lest Satan should get an advantage of us, for we are not ignorant of his devices. 2 Corinthians 2:11

As a young Christian, I was part of a group of other young Christians in fellowship in the Assembly in Oxford, Nova Scotia. Some of the men who were there spent a great deal of time with us, coaching us, praying with us, taking us to places where we could hold an open-air Gospel meeting or distribute tracts, and passing on lessons they had learned from their years of experience. We were a pretty good bunch, and I am sure those older men enjoyed being in our company. But I am convinced that those older men had a deep interest in our spiritual well-being. They were also concerned about us, because they were not ignorant of Satan’s devices, and they knew that we were. And they were striving to make sure Satan did not get an advantage of us.

Paul knew some of the folks in Corinth had little experience in dealing with Satan’s wiles and devices. But he had a great deal of experience. Old Scratch had opposed and hindered his efforts in the Gospel ever since he had submitted himself to the will of His Lord on the Damascus road. He knew how the tempter worked, how the accuser roared, how the adversary opposed. He would also recall those times when Satan seemed to get the advantage of him, and those times when his Lord would give him victory over the evil one’s devices. That experience stood him in good stead when he was giving encouragement to young Christians in such Assemblies as Corinth. His experience also provides us with a good example.

Seasoned Christians do well to pass on their experience and wisdom concerning their struggles against the devil. Their efforts to combat discouragement and opposition can provide a valuable base from which younger Christians can learn and develop. Lessons that have been learned from others can be passed on to new generations of Saints. We all know how touching and powerful are the words of old preachers as they relate their experiences and encourage younger believers. There is a responsibility for the younger Christians as well. They need to recognize their lack of experience and lack of awareness of Satan’s devices. They need to listen to the advice and encouragement of the seasoned saints. By doing so, they can avoid some of the heartbreaks and shipwrecks that Satan tries to inflict on them.

Experience at combatting Satan’s devices needs to be shared with those who have not yet encountered them. And younger Christians need to heed the advice they receive, for their own preservation. – Jim MacIntosh

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