"Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus."
Jesus said to him, "Away from me, Satan!"—Matt. 4:10.
There is an dreadful intensity of meaning in the words, as
applied to Jesus, "He suffered, being tempted!" Though incapable of
sin, there was, in the refined sensibilities of His holy nature, that which
made temptation unspeakably fearful. What must it have been to confront the
Arch-traitor?—to stand face to face with the foe of His throne, and His
universe? But the "prince of this world" came, and found "nothing in Him."
Billow after billow of Satanic violence spent their fury, in vain, on the
Reader! you have still the same malignant enemy to contend
with; assailing you in a thousand insidious forms; astonishingly adapting his
assaults to your circumstances, your temperament, your mental bias, your
master passion! There is no place, where "Satan's seat" is not; The whole
world lies in the Wicked one.—(1 John 5:19) He has his whispers for the ear of
childhood; hoary age is not inaccessible to his wiles. "All this will I
give you"—is still his bribe to deny Jesus and to "mind earthly things."
He will meet you in the crowd; he will follow you to the solitude; his is a
Are you bold in repelling him as your Master was? Are you
ready with the retort to every foul suggestion, "Away from me, Satan!"
Cultivate a tender sensitiveness about sin. The finest barometers are the most
sensitive. Whatever be your besetting frailty—whatever bitter or baleful
passion you are conscious aspires to the mastery—watch it, crucify it, "Nail
it to your Lord's cross." You may despise "the day of small things"—the
Great Adversary does not. He knows the power of littles—that
little by little consumes and eats out the vigor of the soul. And once the
downwards movement in the spiritual life begins, who can predict where it may
end?—the going on "from weakness to weakness," instead of "from strength to
strength." Make no compromises; never join in the ungodly amusement, or
venture on the questionable path, with the plea, "It does me no harm." The
Israelites, on entering Canaan, instead of obeying the Divine injunction of
extirpating their enemies, made a hollow truce with them.—What was the result?
Years upon years of tedious warfare. "They were scourges in their sides and
thorns in their eyes!" It is quaintly, but truthfully said by an old writer,
"Sin indulged, in the conscience, is like Jonah in the ship, which causes such
a tempest, that the conscience is like a troubled sea, whose waters cannot
"Keep," then, "your heart with all diligence," or, (as it
is in the forcible original Hebrew,) "keep your heart above all keeping,"
"for out of it are the issues of life" (Prov. 4:23). Let this ever be our
preservative against temptation, "How would Jesus have acted here?
would He not have recoiled, like the sensitive plant, from the remotest
contact with sin? Can I think of dishonoring Him by tampering with His
enemy—incurring from His own lips the bitter reflection of injured love,
'I am wounded in the house of my friends'?"
He tells us the secret of our preservation and safety,
"Simon! Simon! Satan has desired to have you, that he might sift you as wheat;
but I have prayed for you that your faith fail not!"
"Arm yourselves likewise with the same mind."