One of the dangers amid the exiled life is to misidentify our true enemy. When faced with persecution from an oppressive ruler, an ungodly spouse or people who ridicule our lifestyle, it is easy to see them as the enemy. However, our enemy is the devil himself.
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
1 Peter 5:8
The one who ultimately wants to destroy an exile’s witness in the world is Satan himself. As the Apostle Paul reminds us, we do not wrestle against flesh and blood but against cosmic powers, the present darkness and the spiritual forces of evil that Satan uses to attack those who claim Christ (Eph. 6:12,13). Yet, these forces of darkness are not always easy to identify. Satan does not come at us with horns and a red cape, but rather in flattery from friends, pride in our possessions and “little” lies about God. Jesus calls him the father of lies and he looking for all who might be taken captive by his tactics.
Thomas Brooks, an English Puritan in the 17th century, recognized that in order to resist the devil and his schemes we must understand our enemy’s plans and know God’s truth. In his classic work, Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices1, Brooks exposes how the devil schemes to draw our souls to sin, to keep us from our spiritual disciplines, and prevents us from enjoying the comfort and peace God freely provides to his children.
Brooks warns us that Satan will draw us to sin by presenting the bait but hiding the hook. He will keep us from praying by reminding us of all the times we’ve failed to go to God in prayer. Our spirit remains joyless because he encourages us to dwell on our past sin so much so that we fail to see the clear remedy of the cross.
With every scheme uncovered, Brooks graciously points his readers to the many paths Christians may walk to resist the devil and his lies. Throughout this practical work, Brooks repeatedly instructs his readers to take hold of the sword of the Spirit and wield it against the attacks of Satan and expose the many ways we have deceived ourselves.
The nearer we draw to God and his Word the more rottenness we shall find in our bones…It is said of the basilisk, that if he looks into a mirror he presently dies; so will sin in a sinner when the soul looks into the Word, which is God’s mirror.2
Time and time again Brooks takes his readers back to the Scriptures and helps them practically apply biblical wisdom to everyday spiritual battles. Precious Remedies acts as a biblical playbook for the church as we stand fast against the wiles of the devil. If we desire to remain faithful to Christ throughout the time of our exile we must be watchful, for our great adversary is prowling around seeking someone to devour. Precious Remedies is the perfect book to keep us alert in our exile.
Limited quantities of Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices are currently available in the North Indy Resource Area for $5.
1 Brooks, T. (1984). Precious remedies against Satan’s devices. Edinburgh: Banner Of Truth Trust.