The worst enemy I have!
(Thomas Reade, "Christian Meditations")
Strange to tell, yet, no less strange than true, the worst enemy I have is MYSELF!
I may flee from other enemies, but from this I cannot escape.
Wherever I go, SELF still is there.
The inbred evil travels with me.
I may cross mighty oceans, traverse extensive deserts, plunge into the deepest recesses of the tangled forest, or the caverned earth, yet, in the profoundest solitude, SELF is there!
None but the true believer knows the dreadful conflicts between the flesh and the Spirit.
His cry is; "Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I flee away and be at rest!"
But soon he feels the vanity of this wish; for even if could he fly on eagle's wings to the earth's remotest bounds, he would carry with him all the evil he deplores.
He therefore prays for present grace and strength, for present power to conquer sin, and glorify his Savior in the place divine wisdom has appointed for him.
Lord Jesus, you alone can enable me . . .
to vanquish the powers of darkness,
to overcome the corruptions of my heart,
to crucify the lustings of the flesh.