Cast Your Burden upon the Lord
Again, I doubt not that Satan leaves us – no, I know that he does – when the Lord says to him what He said in the wilderness, “Get you hence, Satan.” And He does say that when He sees one of His poor children dragged about, tortured, wounded, bleeding. The old Hell-dog knows his Master and he flies at once. This voice of God will come when the Lord sees that we cast ourselves wholly upon Him.
Let me remind you of a story of a gentleman who, riding along in his coach, saw a packman carrying a heavy pack, and asked him if he would like a ride. “Yes, and thank you, sir.” But he kept his pack on his back while riding. “Oh,” said the friend, “why do you not take your pack off and put it down in front?” “Why, sir,” he said, “it is so kind of you to give me a ride that I do not like to impose upon your good nature, and I thought that I would carry the pack myself!” “Well,” said the other, “but, you see, it makes no difference to me whether you carry it or do not carry it – I have to carry you and your pack – so you had better unstrap it and put it down in front.”
So, friend, when you cast your burden upon God, unstrap it! Why should you bear it yourself when God is prepared to bear it? Beloved, there are times when we forget that, but when we can come and absolutely yield ourselves right up, saying, “Lord, here I am, tempted, poor and weak. But I come and rest in You. I know not what to ask at Your hands, but Your servant has said, ‘Cast your burden upon the Lord, and He shall sustain you: He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.’ I lie at Your feet, my Lord. Here I am, here would I be. Do with me as seems good in Your sight – only deal in tender mercy with Your servant.” Then will the Lord rebuke the enemy! The waves of the sea shall be still and there shall be a great calm.
Watch and Pray
I close by reminding you of the limitation of our rest. Satan left Christ “for a season,” or until a fit occasion.
Dear friends, if we have peace and quietness, and are not tempted, do not let us become self-secure. The devil will come to us, again, at a fit opportunity. And when will that be? There are a great many fit opportunities with you and with me. One is when we have nothing to do. You know Dr. Watts’ lines – “Satan finds some mischief still, for idle hands to do.”
He will come and attack us when we are alone. I mean, when we are sad and lonely, and are sitting still, and moping by ourselves.
But Satan also finds a very fit occasion when we are in company, especially when it is very mixed company – a company of persons, perhaps, who are superior to ourselves in education and in station – but who do not fear God. We may easily be overawed and led astray by them. Satan will come then.
I have known him frequently come and find an occasion against the children of God when we are sick and ill, the old coward! He knows that we would not mind him when we are in good health, but sometimes when we are down in the dumps through sickness and pain – then it is that he begins to tempt us to despair.
So will he do with us when we are very poor. When a man has had a great loss in business, down comes Satan and insinuates, “Is this how God treats His children? God’s people are no better off than other people.”
Then, if we are getting on in the world, he turns it the other way, and he says, “Does Job fear God for nothing? He gets on by his religion.” You cannot please the devil and you need not want to please him! He can make a temptation for you out of anything!
I am going to say something that will surprise you. One time of great temptation is when we are very spiritual. As to myself, I have never been in such supreme danger as when I have led some holy meeting with sacred fervor and have felt carried away with delight in God. You know that it is easy to be on the Mount of Transfiguration and then to meet Satan at the foot, as our Lord did when He came down from that hill.
Another time of temptation is when we have already done wrong. “Now he begins to slip,” says Satan. “I saw him trip. Now I will have him down!” Oh, for speedy repentance and an earnest flight to Christ whenever there has been a grave fault, yes, and before the grave fault comes, that we may be preserved from falling!
And Satan finds a good occasion for tempting us when we have not sinned. After we have been tempted and we have won the day and stood fast, then he comes and says, “Now, that was well done on your part, you are a splendid saint!” And he who thinks himself a splendid saint is next door to a shameful sinner, depend upon it! And Satan soon gets the advantage over him.
He will tempt you when you have obtained some blessing that you have been thinking was such a great gift. Just as you have secured the thing that you are seeking, then comes a temptation – to which all I have to say is this – “Watch.”
“What I say unto you, I say unto all,” said Christ, “Watch. Watch and pray, that you enter not into temptation” (Matt. 26:41). And by the conflict and the victory of your Master, go into the conflict bravely and expect to conquer by faith in Him, even as He overcame!
Condensed from the sermon, “Satan Departing, Angels Ministering