September 16, 2008
THE UNSEEN ENEMY
by Charles R. Swindoll
Job does not deserve even the suggestion of mistreatment. He has walked faithfully with God, certainly in his adult years. He is now the best of the best, "greatest of all the men of the east." On top of all that, he is a humble servant of God. But none of that impresses Satan. Evil suspicions prompt his insidious plot: "You want to know what he's really made of, remove all that indulged treatment and pervasive protection. Strip away the veneer of the man's comfort, and You'll see right away, he'll turn on You. 'He will surely curse You to Your face' " (Job 1:11). His point is clear: Job is worshiping God because of what he gets out of it, not because the Lord is truly first in his life.
There is an enemy who we encounter that we cannot see, but he is real. We have a supernatural enemy, and we encounter him or one of his emissaries regularly. And never doubt it---all of that is real. He hopes that his deceptive strategy will play tricks on your mind and will weaken you and ultimately bring you down. The Accuser's desire is to ruin your testimony as he destroys your life. In the process, if it means ruining your family relationships, he'll go there. If it takes tempting you to secretly cut a few corners in your business, which you would not have done in earlier days, he'll go there. Whatever it takes to bring you down, he will try. Because we have an enemy we cannot see does not mean he is not real.
There are trials we endure that we don't deserve, but they are permitted. You read that correctly. Life includes trials that we do not deserve, but they must, nevertheless, be endured. In the mystery of God's unfathomable will, there are elements we can never explain or fully understand. Don't try to grasp each thread of His profound plan. If you resist my counsel here, you'll become increasingly more confused, ultimately resentful, and finally bitter. At that point, Satan will have won the day. Accept it. Endure the trial that has been permitted by God. Nothing touches your life that has not first passed through the hands of God. He is in full control, and because He is, He has the sovereign right to permit trials that we don't deserve.
We do have an unseen enemy, but we have an even more powerful, unseen Defender.
Reprinted by permission. Day by Day, Charles Swindoll, July 2005, Thomas Nelson, inc., Nashville, Tennessee. All rights reserved. Purchase "Day by Day" here.