Throwback Thursday: Thomas Brooks on Spiritual Warfare

snakeapple-e1384797536842In his classic work, Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices, Puritan, Thomas Brooks, makes much of waging war against sin and Satan.
In this book, Brooks observes various devices that Satan employs in his work to destroy the work of God in the life of the believer. He then offers “precious remedies” to sooth the soul and ground the heart in the fight.

The seventh device of Satan is “By making the soul bold to venture upon occasions to sin.” Brooks continues,

Saith Satan, You may walk by the harlot’s door though you won’t go into the harlot’s bed; you may sit and sup with the drunkard, though you won’t be with the drunkard; you may look upon Jezebel’s beauty, and you may play and toy with Delilah, though you do not commit wickedness with the one or the other; you may with the Achan handle the golden wedge, though you do not steal the golden wedge (42).

Brooks responds to this device from Satan with this remedy:

Dwell upon those scriptures that do expressly command us to avoid the occasions of sin, and the least appearance of evil (42).

Brooks has a very important lesson that we must not forget in the midst of spiritual warfare. One way Satan attacks us is through the subtle flatter of our pride and ego. He entices the flesh by challenging us to put ourselves in occasions that could lead to us to sin. When Satan appeals to our pride and fallen reason, how do we respond? By dwelling on the word of God, which commands we avoid such occasions.

We must fight Satan and sin by going to the Scriptures! In order to live in a fallen world where Satan is rampant and sin permeates every aspect of life, Brooks reminds us to dive deep into the text, dwell in the text, and be found in the Bible. To think we can fight Satan’s cunning “devices” with any success without God’s word is ignorant and misplaced.

Satan and sin creep at your bedside and they are waiting to pounce. Paul says this in Romans 7:18, “I know that nothing good dwells in me, but sin dwells within me”. We must begin each day with this realization and have it point us to the cross. This is exactly the attitude of Paul when he wrote, “Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” (Rom. 7:24)

To fight Satan and sin on a daily basis will require a life focused on the cross. The moment you wake up and think you do not need Christ will be the moment you being to lose spiritual battle after spiritual battle.

Friend, who will deliver you from the body of death, the body of sin. Who will deliver you from the attacks of Satan; from his temptations and accusations? Who is it? It is Christ Jesus! “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Rom. 7:25)

Shun the sinful occasions and uproars of Satan as Thomas Brooks encouraged. Look upon the Cross. That is where both sin and Satan find ultimate defeat and death. Fight. Make War.

For you only get one life, and it will soon pass. Only what is done for Christ Jesus will last.


1557562_10153227664651515_1796309980_nEvan Knies is an undergraduate student at Boyce College where he studies Biblical and Theological Studies. He lives in Louisville, KY with his wife, Lauren. You can follow him on Twitter @Evan_Knies.

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