A More Excellent Ministry 

I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes. (2 Corinthians 2:10; 11 NIV)

Perhaps one of the most significant things to any who are “not ignorant of his (Satan’s) devices” is that there never has been a specially spiritual movement of God in the earth, calculated to serve Him in a particularly useful way, but what Satan’s animosity thereto has been manifested along the line of division, schism, discord, separation, and a breaking down of fellowship. And how often has the real sting and stigma been modified by a feigning love unbroken and preserved, when the divided parties should have no association with each other in the things of God. Love, let us again say emphatically, is incumbent upon the Lord’s people toward “all men,” whether of the “household” or otherwise (Gal. 6:10), but fellowship is something more. It is the most spiritual things which suffer the greatest shocks in this matter, and again we say this carries its own satanic significance.

The methods of the enemy are numberless, the “wiles” unfathomable by human wit. A suggestion of suspicion, if it finds lodgment, is enough to completely paralyze the work of God and spiritual progress. Have a doubt and you are done. There never was a time when positive spiritual work was more jeopardized by suspicion than now. It would seem that hell is largely employed in issuing forth smoke, clouds, vapors, mists of suspicion, question, reservation, in order to infect with uncertainty, mystification, prejudice, fear, discrediting, distrust, aloofness. It is in the “heavenlies” that this is most registered; that is, the higher ranges of spiritual things. It is an atmosphere, and it is everywhere. You sense it wherever you go. In some places it is stifling - there is no clear breath of the Spirit, and a word of Life is almost choked back. Of course, this is no new thing, although now so intensified. The New Testament is full of it. The Lord Jesus met it - not in spiritual people, only in religious people. John met it. Paul met it in every direction. It was made to circle round his person, his methods, his character, and his message.

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