Fourth Sunday after Trinity – Wednesday
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. – I Peter 5:8-9.
There are also evil angels. They are the spirits who fell from God, though in the beginning they were created good and holy. They follow one evil angel as their leader; and usually the Scriptures mention him specifically when speaking of the evil angels. He, as you know, was the first one to sin (I John 3:8). These evil angels did not abide in the truth (John 8:44). They kept not their first glorious estate, but left their own habitation of blessedness. And God has rejected them forever: He has reserved them in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment on the Last Day (Jude 6; II Peter 2:4). Therefore they are God’s declared enemies. They endeavor to destroy and to ruin the works of God. And they are also our – man’s – declared enemies. Remember the temptation and the fall in Paradise (Genesis 3)!
Until Judgment Day, God in His holy counsel permits the devil and his evil spirits to roam about on earth and practice their evil designs. The devil has a kingdom here, a kingdom constituted of deep guile and great might. He is the prince of this world. He is the ruler of the darkness of this world (Ephesians 6:12). With this evil foe, with all these evil foes, we Christians must wrestle, as the Apostle writes. See how the Holy Ghost, in the text at the head of our devotion, warns us against our adversary, and admonishes us to be sober and vigilant, and steadfastly to resist him in faith. But “with might of ours can naught he done, soon were our loss effected” (TLH 262, 2). Christ, Christ, the Valiant One, whom the devil knows, and who has bruised the devil’s head, helps His own, those who abide in His Word and arm themselves with His Word. With them all the power of the devil can avail nothing.
My dear Christian, remain Christ’s own, steadfast in the faith!
PRAYER – My Lord and Savior, O great Conqueror, who hast overcome the devil and hell, guard me against carnal security, and grant me grace that I may at all times be watchful against the trickery of the devil, who is eager to devour me. Also help me to call upon Thee, and to arm myself with Thy Word, and so in Thy power successfully to withstand Satan, and having done all, to stand (Ephesians 6:11-17). Amen.
Abide, O dearest Jesus, among us with Thy grace
That Satan may not harm us nor we to sin give place.
Abide with Thy protection among us, Lord, our Strength,
Lest world and Satan fell us and overcome at length.
Hymn 53, 1. 5. (TLH)