by A.W. Tozer
Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. First Peter 5:8–9
For the Word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ the Apostle John was exiled to the lonely isle that is called Patmos and, if tradition may be believed, was sent to work in the mines. But from his mine John saw farther than any king ever saw from his throne; he saw more from his mine than any astronaut ever saw from his orbit, for the scroll of unborn history was spread out before him and he was permitted to see the unfolding of the purposes of God onward to the time when the New Jerusalem will descend out of heaven from God.
John would have been less trouble to the devil back in Ephesus. Had he been permitted to go quietly about his church duties he might have gotten comfortably old without giving the world a preview of the downfall of Satan’s empire and his incarceration in the lake of fire. We can only conclude that Satan did not know how things would develop when he attacked John, and that he is therefore not as shrewd as he is supposed to be.
From Satan’s standpoint the slaying of the Man Christ Jesus was another huge blunder. In his hatred he carried his persecution to the point where Jew and Gentile united to destroy this Man whose very presence was a rebuke and a judgment to them and to him. But God turned the cross into an altar, and while wicked men watched Jesus die in the belief that they were getting rid of Him for good, He through the Eternal Spirit was offering Himself without spot to God as an atoning sacrifice for the sins of the world. Surely this was never in the mind of Satan when he set out to kill the Man whom he instinctively knew was his great enemy. The resurrection of Christ was his most stunning defeat.
One thing we must never forget: Satan is too shrewd for any of us, and to trust to our wisdom is to take the sure way toward defeat. God has turned Satan’s original wisdom into a built-in folly that makes it impossible for him to achieve his wicked ends. He has made evil his good, and in a moral world presided over by a just God, evil cannot win.
by A.W. Tozer