Saturday, May 20, 2017
The Ground Of Satan's Power-The World
You see it is a matter, in the first place, of the ground which is taken and occupied by the one concerned.
When Peter took heavenly ground - "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God" - he was in a very strong position.
The keys of the kingdom of heaven, binding on earth and binding in heaven, were his.
He was weak, and in a very weak position, when he took earthly ground, the ground of men, the ground of his own judgment and of his own selfhood.
The ground taken decided whether he was spiritually strong or weak, and whether Satan had power over him or not.
It would seem that, when the Lord was speaking to them about what was going to take place in Jerusalem as to His death, Simon just took Him apart quietly, and in a very kindly and consolatory way, and yet with a certain amount of patronage, one would feel, told the Lord that He must not be so depressed and gloomy, that He must take a brighter view of things, and that this sort of thing would certainly not happen to Him.
But in Peter's attitude, on Peter's ground, the Lord saw quite distinctly a recurrence of what He had met so terribly in the wilderness in His temptation, when Satan had offered Him the kingdoms of this world without the Cross - had sought, that is to say, to divert Him from the way to which He had committed Himself.
Peter became but the voice and instrument of that same arch-enemy to turn the Lord away from the Cross.
Hence the word following about saving the life.
But taking this ground of having the Kingdom and the Throne on any other line but God's ordained line, which is the way of the Cross, is alliance with Satan, and will put anyone in that alliance into the power of Satan and destroy them spiritually.
Firstly, then, it is very evident that any ground of the world, which in its nature is a kingdom without suffering, without the Cross, without the setting aside of natural life, is the realm of Satan's power and authority.
It is perfectly clear that, in the case of the Church, speaking fairly generally, and in the case of countless individual Christians, the weakness, defeat and dishonour which characterize them, and which became so manifest in Peter's case, are due to occupying the ground of Satan's strength.
That ground may be said to be compromise with the world in its principle.
~T. Austin Sparks~