Satan does not like our preaching of the cross at all. When we are faithful in speaking about the cross of the Lord, he surely will raise up many oppositions. He can frequently initiate the following attacks against the messengers of the cross.
Satan attacks the messengers of the cross by causing them to be ill or to lose their voice in the course of giving a message. He may put them in dangers, cause them to be depressed in their spirit and to lose their freedom, and suffocate them. He can also work in the environment to stir up misunderstandings, oppositions, and sometimes even persecutions. He can bring in bad weather to discourage people from coming to the meetings. He can cause a sudden disturbance or confusion in the meetings. He can bring in animal noises and baby cries. Sometimes he works in the meeting atmosphere, making it heavy and suffocating and bringing in drowsiness and darkness. All these are works of the enemy. The preacher of the cross should be well aware of these things.
Since we have such an adversary and such oppositions, it becomes necessary for us to know the victory of the cross. The Lord’s accomplishment on the cross not only solved the problem of the sinners, it also pronounced the judgment on Satan. The Lord has defeated Satan on the cross already. Hebrews 2:14-15 says, "That through death He might destroy him who has the might of death, that is, the devil, and might release those who because of the fear of death through all their life were held in slavery." Colossians 2:15 says, "Stripping off the rulers and the authorities, He made a display of them openly, triumphing over them in it." The cross is the place where Satan is overcome. Satan received his death wound on the cross. We know that "the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil" (1 John 3:8), but where were the works of the devil undone? The obvious answer is, "at the cross." We also know that the Lord Jesus came to bind "the strong man" (Matt. 12:29), but where did He do this? Naturally, it was also at the cross of Golgotha. We need to know that the Lord Jesus has won the victory on the cross.
We should know that Satan is already a defeated enemy. For this reason, we should not be defeated anymore. The enemy should not be able to claim victory over us anymore. He has no right to be victorious anymore! He can have no claim to anything except total defeat. Hence, both before we see Satan’s work and after we see his work, we should lift up the victory of the cross. We should praise the victory of Christ with our voice. Before we begin our work, we should say before the Lord, "Praise the Lord, for He is victorious! Christ is the Victor! Satan has been defeated! The enemy has been destroyed! Golgotha means victory! The cross means victory!" We can declare this continually until we are assured in our spirit that the Lord will win the victory this time. We should stand on the ground of the cross and pray for God’s victory. We should ask God to defeat all the works of the devil. Both for ourselves as well as for those coming to the meeting, we should beseech God to cover us with the precious blood of the Lord Jesus so that we will not come under the attack of Satan but will overcome him instead. "And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb" (Rev. 12:11). This time while I was working in south Fukien province, Satan came to oppress and attack me many times. What the Lord showed me was that I should stand on the ground of the cross and should praise Him. Sometimes my spirit felt a great oppression; I could not be free. It was as if a thousand tons of weight were on my heart. A few times when I entered the meeting hall I could feel the atmosphere polluted; the devil was busily working. Under such circumstances I prayed much, but to no avail. However, the minute I began praising Christ’s victory on the cross, boasted in the cross, and scorned the enemy, telling him that he could no longer work and that he was doomed for failure, I felt a genuine release, and the atmosphere of the meeting hall was changed. Praise the Lord! The cross is victorious! Praise the Lord! Satan is defeated! We should learn to apply the manifold victory of the cross through our prayer to oppose the wiles, the power, and the attacks of the enemy. Should oppositions and confusion arise, we can call upon the victory of the cross at Golgotha. Although we may not feel anything, we should believe that as soon as we invoke the victory of the cross, the enemy is defeated.
If we are truly identified with the cross in this way, if we allow the cross to do a deeper work in our lives and our work, and if we fully trust in the victory of the cross, God will grant us the victory everywhere we go. May God make us, the useless servants, His blameless workers.
(The Messenger of the Cross, Chapter 1, by Watchman Nee)