Paul had just asked the question: “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?” (8:35).
Clearly Paul recognized Satan’s mission in these last days: to hinder God’s people from walking in his great love. All to often, multitudes in the church today are blind to this deceptive work of the enemy and live completely unaware that he has successfully blocked them from knowing and enjoying God’s love for them.
We are never to fear our adversary, of course. But if we are not alert to Satan’s subtle attacks on our faith, we will continue to live defeated lives. Paul knew how important it is to expose the devil’s wiles and only as we identify these attacks on our faith can we say with Paul, “Nothing can separate me from God’s love, which is in Christ Jesus.”
In every age, God has stationed intercessors on the very front lines to do battle against Satan’s principalities and powers. Today these spiritual soldiers — “prayer warriors” — can be found in every nation. Jude exhorted, “But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God” (Jude 20-21). The message to those in spiritual battle is clear: “Build yourself up in faith. Keep yourself in God’s love.”
It is impossible to build up our faith through human strength or ability. Without the Holy Spirit, we simply aren’t able to keep ourselves in the knowledge and assurance of God’s love for us. We need God’s Spirit to empower us in all things.
When everything seems to conspire against God’s promises being fulfilled, the Holy Spirit rises up in us with true words of comfort: “Hold on! Trust him! God is at work in every hour of your situation so don’t waver. Instead, rise up and fight the good fight of faith.”