From: Francis Harper
If you are a dedicated Christian, Satan wants to destroy your effectiveness as a servant of the Lord. Jesus warned Simon Peter, and us, when he said, “Simon, Simon, Satan hath desired you, that he may sift the children of the kingdom as wheat, But I have prayed for you, that your faith fail not; and when you are converted strengthen your brethren” (Luke 22:31-32 IV).
Peter thought he was already converted and beyond the “fiery darts of the wicked one” and his cohorts! (Ephesians 6:16). None of us are totally immune to the wily ways of the devil. We need to heed the counsel of the Apostle Paul, “Finally my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil” (Ephesians 6:10-11).
Simon Peter was trusting in his own strength when he said, “Lord, I am ready to go with you, both into prison, and unto death. And the Lord said, I tell you, Peter, that the cock shall not crow this day, before that you will thrice deny that you know me” (Luke 22:33-34).
I love the words that Jesus spoke to Peter: “I have prayed for you, that your faith fail not . . .”
(Luke 22:32). Surely, as Jesus prayed for Peter, he will also pray for us! I have asked him to pray for me. “The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptation . . .” (2 Peter 2:9). “Be strong in the Lord,” rely on his strength.
Some may cause you to doubt the reality of Satan and sin. This pleases our adversary. I was amazed and disappointed when I discovered that all references to Satan had been removed from the hymnal; Hymns of the Saints, printed in 1981. When I complained, the response was, “We don’t have to sing about him, do we?” Denying the reality of Satan is denying our need to seriously heed the warning of Jesus that Satan desires to sift the children of the kingdom as wheat!
Satan wants us to deny his existence and the reality of sin. “And thus the devil cheateth their souls, and leadeth them away carefully down to hell. And behold, others he flattereth away, and telleth them there is no hell; and he saith unto them, I am no devil, for there is none: And thus he whispereth in their ears, until he grasps them with his awful chains, from whence there is no deliverance” (2 Nephi 12:26-28).
James counsels us, “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you, Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh unto you” (James 4:7-8). Tell the devil you belong to Jesus! Guard the doorways to your soul. “Be careful little eyes, what you see. Be careful little ears what you hear.” This is good advice for all of us.
Peter warned, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil as a roaring lion, walketh about seeking whom he may devour; whom resist steadfast in the faith . . .” (1 Peter 5:8-9). Joseph resisted the advances of Potiphar’s wife by fleeing from her!
In the revelation given to John, the woman “which was the church of God,” was at war with the dragon [Satan]. And John heard a voice saying, “Woe to the inhabiters of the earth . . . for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time . . . therefore, the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ” (Revelation 12:7, 12, 17).
Alma offers this final word of counsel, “Yea, and I also exhort you my brethren, that ye be watchful unto prayer continually, that ye be not led away by the temptations of the devil, that he may not overpower you, that ye may not become his subjects at the last day: for behold, he rewardeth you no good thing” (Alma 16:238).