When you look at the broad situation in which all Christians find themselves, you notice some common features of spiritual life. You see, for example, how, when the Lord is near, Satan is never far away. In fact, he dogs the steps of the saint and of the Saviour, looking for opportunities to bring both down. Admittedly, he finds it easy to bring the saints down, but impossible to bring the Saviour down. There is an impressive stubbornness about Christ when confronted by the devil that guarantees his defeat; and we can rest assured in that.
But he’s busy. Since soon after entering the Christian ministry, I became aware of two important things about the devil’s activities. First, he is dedicated to wrecking Christian ministries, and second, he is equally determined to wreck Christian marriages. Our experience teaches us that he has been busy in both arenas in our lives. The satanic attacks we experienced in the ministry were awful. He tried to discredit us, opposed everything we did in Christ’s service, disrupted the work of the church using republican terrorists, make us think we were going off our heads, encouraged us to doubt Christ, and so on.
He also tried to wreck our marriage through a wicked church elder who was supported by the denomination despite being told the facts; he nearly succeeded in bringing about my destruction on several occasions – through suicide, and the work of terrorists; then the terrorists had their helpers at hand who were church officers and who facilitated the terrorists by leaving me vulnerable to attack and without means of phoning for help and assistance. These failed attempts of Satan are part of who we are, and to which we give joyful testimony.
So Satan has been very, very busy. And he’s still busy today. Christian marriages and Christian ministries are still his targets. On the marriage issue, having failed with Margaret and me, he now thought it might work by bringing in a terminal illness, thus destroying our marriage. And to date he has failed, praise the Lord of heaven and earth.