“And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren” (Luke 22:31-32).

When Jesus walked the earth, He knew all too well the fierceness of the powers of evil and how Satan comes with every weapon in hell to sift the Lord’s disciples. I don’t think any one of us knows or understands the great conflict raging right now in the spirit realm. We also do not realize how determined Satan is to destroy all saints who have fixed their hearts firmly on going all the way with Christ.

In our Christian walk, we cross a line—I call it the “obedience line”—that sets off every alarm in hell. The moment you cross that line into a life of obedience and dependence on Jesus, determined in your heart never to go back, you become a threat to the kingdom of darkness and a target of principalities and powers. The testimony of every believer who turns to the Lord with all his heart—hungering after holiness and a deeper walk with Jesus—includes the sudden breaking forth of strange and intense troubles, trials and testing!

Maybe you were once a part-time disciple. You loved the Lord, but you were spiritually lazy. You were not an avid student of the Bible or inclined to spiritual things. You did not want to be a fanatic, and things in your life went quite smoothly. The devil didn't bother with you much because you were a fence-straddler.

But now, you are all business for God. His Word has come alive to you and you pray, you weep, you love lost souls. Everything has changed, including your trials. What great heart-change you have experienced!

Yet at the same time you’ve made waves in the unseen world. You’ve crossed the obedience line. To those who have crossed the obedience line, Jesus says, “I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not” (Luke 22:32).