The Lordship of Christ is the one focal point of all Satanic challenge and opposition.
Never let us think that the antagonism of Satan relates to mere details, mere incidents, relates to us or to things.
No, Satan has a comprehensive view of the situation.
He is able to take in the whole range of things, and to see the significance of details, and if he focuses upon any detail, as he does, it is only with his far view, his whole view, that he does it.
The end that he is after through everything is this matter of the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
Yes, he may focus a good deal of attention upon a relationship, upon two believers who are brought together, who have to live together, and he may bring a great amount of power and stress and cunning to bear upon those related lives in order to divide them.
Do you think he is interested in dividing people as such, and that, when he has done that, he will be satisfied because that is done? Never!
That is not his object at all. In making that division, he has something very much bigger in view, and that is the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
And so our relationships as just two people carry with them the great significance of the lordship of Satan or the Lordship of Christ, and anything between just two simple children of God resolves itself into no less a matter than the ultimate thing in God's universe.
The ultimate thing may be bound up with just two simple children of God in their related lives.
And what is true in that, is true in a countless number of things which in themselves may seem to be very insignificant and hardly worth taking account of.
How petty many things seem, how paltry! You almost blush to talk about them as things, they are so silly, and yet somehow or other Satan is most interested in them.
But do you think that Satan is petty or paltry in that sense, just wanting to make a lot of silly mischief here and there?
Oh no, we give him credit for something more than that.
His kingdom is at stake, and in all these silly little matters, so absurd and ridiculous, there is bound up this mighty issue of the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
Thus in all these matters, the Cross has to have a very deep place; in our relationships, in the twos and the threes, and the little circles, so that Satan does not get in and secure a foothold to destroy this expression of the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
The Cross has to be there. The Cross carries with it, not just the dealing with failure, little things in the lives of God's people: the Cross carries with it the immense issue of the Lordship of God's Son.
The Church, therefore, takes up that meaning of the Cross and is to be a company of the Lord's people on this earth which represents the overthrow of Satan's power, in his destruction of oneness, fellowship, relatedness, co-operation, and this bringing into view of the absolute Lordship and sovereign Headship of Jesus Christ.
The Church is for that. This is the question bound up with the Cross and with the Church, namely, Christ's Lordship, and Satan is interested in the Lord's people only in so far as this ultimate thing is being really affected.
You see, you can have what is called "the Church", and what are called "the churches", with no knowledge whatever of this spiritual warfare.
This real spiritual conflict in the heavenlies against the forces of evil is a thing which is altogether foreign to that which is called "the Church" here in this world.
They do not have any fights, any battles, any warfare.
It is something outside their ken. Why?
They have got no impact of a living knowledge of the Cross.
The Cross with them is a story, a history, a doctrine, a creed, not a mighty inwrought reality and power.
Immediately it becomes that, they will know the fight.
Satan does not trouble where there is no living working of the Cross. That is not the Church.
You cannot have a church without the Cross, and you cannot have the Cross without a living expression which provokes the powers of evil.
That is the Cross according to God's mind.
~T. Austin Sparks~