XXXI. CRUSHING SATAN UNDER OUR FEET
Romans 16:20 says, "Now the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly." This word of God’s promise is spoken to those who are in the church life, because the preceding verses show the concern between the saints and the fellowship among the churches. Dealing with Satan is a Body matter, not an individual matter. It is only when we experience and enjoy the divine dispensing in the church life that we can overcome Satan and crush him under our feet. The church life is the strongest means by which God overcomes Satan, and it is also the secret of our victory. Whenever we are separated from the church, we become a prey for Satan, for it is impossible for us to fight Satan individually. But as long as we remain in the church and are one with the Body, Satan is under our feet, and we also enjoy God as the God of peace.
God’s crushing of Satan under our feet is not merely by the church, the Body of Christ, but also by the life that is in the Body. In this matter, the Body and life are equally important. Life is nothing less than the Triune God dispensed into us to constitute us the Body of Christ. Hence, life and the Body are one; they are inseparable. If there is no life, then there can be no Body. Life is the content, and the Body is the expression. God will crush Satan under our feet through life and the Body.
Here Paul calls God "the God of peace." This is very significant. The God of peace and the peace of God are one. Whenever God is dispensed into us, peace is dispensed into us. Hence, the true peace that we enjoy is God Himself. When God crushes Satan under our feet in the church life, we have the peace of God as a token of our victory. Thus, through the divine dispensing we experience the crushing of Satan and the peace of God in the church life.
XXXII. ANSWERING OUR CRY AND AVENGING US
We can also experience and enjoy God as the Father in God’s love by God’s answering our cry and avenging us. This matter is shown in Luke 18:1-8 in the parable in which the Lord taught the disciples concerning persistent prayer. The widow signifies the believers. The believers are a widow in the present age because their Husband, Christ, is absent from them. The believers also have an opponent, that is, Satan the devil, concerning whom they need God’s avenging.
This parable indicates that during the Lord’s apparent absence, we, the believers (a widow) in Christ, suffer because our opponent Satan is troubling us all the time. Furthermore, while we are suffering persecution, it seems that our God is not righteous, for He allows His children to be unrighteously persecuted. Throughout the centuries, thousands upon thousands of faithful followers of the Lord have suffered unrighteous persecution. Even today we are still undergoing unrighteous mistreatment, yet God does not come in immediately to judge and vindicate. Even so, we still must appeal to Him, pray persistently, bother Him again and again, and not lose heart. Eventually, He will answer our cry and avenge us. "And will not God by all means carry out the avenging of His chosen ones, who cry to Him day and night, though He is long-suffering over them? I tell you that He will carry out their avenging quickly" (vv. 7-8a).
On the one hand, this parable indicates that the Judge, the righteous God, is the sovereign Lord, who has the right to decide when He will avenge us and when He will execute His judgment. On the other hand, this parable indicates that we need to bother the Lord by praying persistently until He answers our cry and avenges us. In the process of His answering our cry and avenging us of our enemy, God dispenses Himself into us that we may experience and enjoy Him in His love.
(Truth Lessons, Level 2, Vol. 3, Chapter 5, by Witness Lee)