Echoes from the Past

Satan Hath Desired You

" And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat"—Luke 22:31

Excerpts from a 1913 Convention discourse in
Springfield, Massachusetts by
Walter Bundy

Not only did Satan desire Simon, but he desires all those who have entered into a covenant with the Lord by sacrifice. No doubt, since the awakening of the faithful overcomers, Satan has been especially solicitous to hinder further developments of God’s plan. This attitude was doubtless promoted by jealousy and envy, realizing that others would obtain even greater blessings than those he forfeited.

But how blessed to know also that God desires us and has provided every possible means whereby we might attain the heavenly relationship. Surely it is not through any worthiness of our own but because of our relationship to Christ by his grace.

Jesus, our blessed Lord, also desires us to be his bride and is bringing to our lives the comforting assurance of his grace, the blessed promises of his word, and the holy direction of his spirit of love. By these means, with full submission to the divine will, we may eventually become fully and completely his.

Little does Satan realize how useful he is in God’s plan. Every effort he makes to frustrate this plan serves as a boomerang back upon himself. I used to wonder if Satan could hear us when we talk about him, and if so if he understood the significance of our words, but I have learned that spiritual things are discerned only by those who have the spirit of Christ, and I am certain Satan has none of this. I fancy one of the bitterest disappointments in Satan’s career will be the ultimate realization that everything he did to hinder God’s plan was overruled for the furtherance of that very plan. . . .

"When thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren." There is a suggestion in this of utilizing our shortcomings and blunders for the help of others. . . . Our failures, if we are truly penitent, can be overruled by producing in us a loving sympathy and consideration toward others who are similarly weak.

"I have prayed for thee that thy faith fail not." Ah, that is the test, "that our faith fail not," and if there ever was need for faith in character development that time is now. Many of us have no difficulty in exercising faith in the plan of God, and have full assurance of God’s truth and his wonderful word, but some of us are frequently overwhelmed with the thought that we can never expect to attain, that we are too weak to hope for these blessings. While the Adversary thus insiduously hurls the dart of doubt, with it comes the thorn of discouragement, and, continuing in this attitude, we would be completely overwhelmed. One resolution I have made is this: No matter what the Father may see fit to give me, knowing that it will be better than I deserve, at all hazards I am determined to die fighting.

"Sift you as wheat." This is surely a sifting time and we need to be sober and careful and use every experience for the honor and glory of the Lord. At the very time of the utterance of these words the disciples, forgetful of the necessary humility, were agitating a question as respects their place in the kingdom. What a lesson this should be to us and what occasion we shall have for humility and full submission to the divine will. . . .

Present tests reveal our weaknesses. Are we allowing earthly cares and obligations to choke out spiritual interests? May we not be sacrificing to others instead of to the Lord? Let us carefully consider the motive of our service. We fear that we often spend unnecessary time upon non-essentials. Also, we may magnify our own troubles, forgetful of others. In our effort to serve we may fail to develop the Mary spirit and learn more of him. Let us see to it that our love for the brethren is not a selfish love. Let us direct our heart-searching more carefully upon ourselves and less upon others.