THE PRESSURE OF THE ENEMY
At present many believers do not know the pressure of Satan. The enemy can do many works in our living, environment, and life. Unfortunately, we do not know this. We do not realize why we have many confused thoughts and why there are so many turmoils in our environment. Actually, some of them are allowed by God, while others are the work of the enemy. There was a brother who always had a wandering mind and found it hard to concentrate. He once was tempted to cut his throat and kill himself. When he told me about this, I said to him, "Where does this thought come from? Is it yours? Is it from God? Or is it from the enemy? Surely it is not from God. Therefore, this thought can only come from two sources. If it is not from you, it must be from the enemy. How can you differentiate your thought from that of the enemy? If it is your thought, you must have thought about this matter before." So I asked him loudly, "Have you ever thought about these things? Is the thought yours? Or is there anyone else who thought about it for you and put the thought into your mind? This is a very important principle. Did you think of it yourself, or did anyone think it for you and then put this thought into your mind? Whatever you have thought by yourself is your thought. Otherwise, it is from the enemy." He said, "I have never thought in this way." I said, "Then it must be from Satan."
We can never be nice in dealing with the enemy. The first one in the world who was nice to the enemy was Eve, the one who brought sin into this world. Some Christians think that we should reason with the enemy. When the Lord Jesus was on this earth, the enemy even testified for Him and said, "Jesus, Son of the Most High God." What did the Lord do? He shut the enemy’s mouth. Ordinary believers think that one or two thoughts coming from the enemy do not matter. It is a pity, however, that with many believers, all of their thoughts come from the enemy. Their minds are the thinking machine of Satan; they have been used by the enemy who keeps them thinking all the time. Some believers never learn to discipline their own thoughts. Once we try to learn to control our thoughts, we will realize how hard it is to discipline our mind.
Concerning our sicknesses, we have to admit that many sicknesses result from breaking the natural laws. However, there are some sicknesses that are from the enemy. Job’s sore boils were from the enemy; they did not come because Job neglected hygiene or because he was infected by some uncleanness. I do not mean that all sicknesses come from the enemy. I am saying that some sicknesses do come from the enemy.
Some people consider everything that a man encounters as from the natural realm. But when Job’s house fell upon his children and they were crushed to death, when the oxen and the asses were taken away by someone, and when the sheep were consumed by fire from heaven, were these things accidents? They were all works of the enemy. Therefore, there are many things in our daily life which are oppressions from the enemy. Unfortunately, there are some people who foolishly live with these things and never place a question mark on them.
Several brothers were passing out gospel tracts on the train one day, and they met a Christian. They began to converse with him. Seeing that his face was filled with sorrow, they asked him why he was so sorrowful. He said, "I am a businessman and have encountered many misfortunes during these few years. Either something happened to my family or something happened to my business. I am really in a terrible state. My situation has gone from bad to worse. I have no way out. So I am prepared to commit suicide. I am taking the train to another place to kill myself." The brothers knew that this was the work of the enemy and said to him, "Do you think that all the things that happened to you during these few years happened accidentally? Or is there someone who secretly arranged these things for you?" He thought and then said, "It seems that someone has arranged all these things behind my back. It seems that there is a hand behind the chessboard moving the pieces step by step." My friends told him that this was the work of the enemy. They told him to resist the enemy, and they prayed together with him. Then he went home peacefully. Later on he wrote my friends a letter, saying, "After I went home, I resisted the enemy daily. I rejected and resisted any work that was from the enemy. Now the situation is being recovered little by little. Thank God that even though I have not obtained complete recovery, I have obtained deliverance."
I am concerned about the fact that many of us do not resist the enemy. At first the enemy gives us one or two thoughts, but in the end, our whole being, family, and environment will be destroyed by Satan. It is wrong for us to be oppressed and not to resist. We should turn our oppression into a kind of power of resistance. Whenever we find that we can bear it no longer, we should resist then and there, and soon there will be a way out. Many times we find that we have no strength to resist. When we are so pressed that we cannot bear it any longer, a power wells up within us to resist. Therefore, when we are oppressed, we should never consider such oppression to be useless. On the contrary, we should utilize the pressure, knowing that pressure produces power. Let us keep in mind that if we know how to utilize pressure, it will not become an obstacle. In fact, the stronger the pressure, the greater will be the power of resistance.
(Collected Works of Watchman Nee, The (Set 1) Vol. 10: The Present Testimony (3), Chapter 21, by Watchman Nee)