You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Satan’ category.

by RAY ORTLUND

“Leaving the first kind of fiery darts — enticing and alluring temptations — we now proceed to the second kind, those that fill the Christian with fear.  It is only the power of faith that can quench these fiery darts.

This is Satan’s weapon held in reserve.  When alluring temptations fail, he opens his quiver and shoots these arrows to set the soul on fire, if not with sin then with terror.  When he cannot carry a soul laughing to hell through the deception of pleasurable temptations, he will try to make him go mourning to heaven by this amazing attack.  It is a sure sign that Satan is losing.

For the rest of the post…

Dietrich Bonhoeffer described this way…

In our members there is a slumbering inclination toward desire, which is both sudden and fierce. With irresistible power desire seizes master over the flesh. All at once a secret, smouldering fire is kindled. The flesh burns and is in flames. It makes no difference whether it is sexual desire, or ambition, or vanity, or desire for revenge, or love of fame and power, or greed for money . . .  Joy in God is in course of being extinguished in us as we seek all our joy in the creature.
At this moment God is quite unreal to us, he loses all reality, and only desire for the creature is real . . . Satan does not here fill us with hatred of God, but with forgetfulness of God . . . The powers of clear discrimination and of decision are taken from us. The questions present themselves: “Is what the flesh desires really sin in this case?” “Is it really not permitted to me, yes – expected of me, now, here, in my particular situation, to appease desire?” . . . It is here that everything within me rises up against the Word of God. Powers of the body, the mind and the will, which were held in obedience under the discipline of the Word, of which
I believed that I was the master, make it clear to me that I am by no means master of them. . . The adversary deploys my powers against me. 
 

Post-prayer Satanic Whispers

Jan 27, 2012 • By David Murray

“…and forgive my sins. In Jesus name, Amen.”

Within seconds the wicked whispers start.

“Too short.”

“Too shallow.”

“Too distracted…again.”

“Missed out her, and him, and them…”

“Yawn. Nothing new to say?”

“You call that a prayer?”

“Not enough faith…not enough passion…not enough anything.”

“You don’t actually believe that made a difference, do you?”

“You’ll probably not even think about prayer for the rest of the day”

And on, and on, and on it goes.

Relentless, cruel, malicious Satanic whispers that begin the second I end my morning prayer with, “Amen.”

Anyone else get that? It’s so discouraging, isn’t it. I mean, why pray if all you get at the end of it is an even heavier feeling of guilt and failure? Prayer should be a delight not a dread.

I’d really welcome your own input on this, but here’s how I try to fight back, silence the whispers, and turn prayer into a soul-refreshing delight again.

  1. God has forgiven me all my sins – even my sinful prayers.
  2. Jesus is perfecting my prayers and presenting them absolutely flawless to my Heavenly Father.
  3. My salvation does not depend on my prayers but on Jesus’ prayers.
  4. My Heavenly Father listens even to the raven’s ugly grating squawks (Ps. 147:9) and gives it food; how much more will he hear and answer the ugly grating squawks of one of His children?
  5. God delights in those who fear Him, in those who hope in His mercy (Ps 147:9).
  6. God knows I’m a limited creature who cannot possibly pray for everyone everyday.
  7. Surely the Devil would simply leave me alone if my prayers were really so pathetic and useless.
  8. Just because my children don’t (can’t) tell me everything about their lives doesn’t make me love them less, nor does it reflect a lack of love on their part.
  9. But maybe best of all, “You, Satan, are going to be crushed under my feet shortly” (Rom. 16:2o)

Amen!

The devil’s playbook

We are not ignorant of his designs.  2 Corinthians 2:11

The Bible reveals to us the devil’s playbook.  How does he aim to defeat us?  To begin with, in these four ways:

One, a judgmental attitude.  In this passage in 2 Corinthians, the devil designs to make a church into a harsh environment, where people are “overwhelmed by excessive sorrow” (verse 7).  Such a church stops feeling like Jesus.  It starts feeling like a scene out of Kafka.  How to defeat this satanic design?  Repent of self-righteous judgments, and eagerly communicate Jesus’ forgiveness, inclusion, honor.

Two, normal human instincts.  In Matthew 16:21-23, Jesus rebukes Peter, through whom Satan is speaking.  How did Peter open up to, of all things, satanic influence?  Not by consciously opening up to satanic influence.  All he did was think in normal human ways (“setting your mind on the things of man”).  All he did was set his heart on survival, making the way of the cross unthinkable.  Another of the devil’s designs.  How to defeat him?  Die to selfish survival.

Three, a spirit of accusation.  In Revelation 12:10 the devil is exposed as “the accuser.”  Another of his designs is to pierce our hearts with accusing thoughts about our sins – or even sins we haven’t necessarily committed, but we fear we have, or others say we have.  He spreads a mist of vague anxiety within ourselves and dark suspicion of others.  How to defeat this defeat?  Run to the cross for all our sins, and refuse to counter-accuse against our accusers.  A calm explanation might help at the interpersonal level.  But if the negative emotions are really intense, the only thing to do is not make the feeding-frenzy worse.  Wait on God to vindicate you.

Four, lying in order to win.  In John 8:44 Jesus calls Satan “the father of lies.”  It is his nature to lie, to deceive, to distort and twist and confuse.  He spreads his trademark behavior to others, especially in scenes of ungodly conflict.  He uses half-truths, self-serving accounts, spin.  How to defeat him?  Admit the plain truth, all of it, however embarrassing it might be.  We won’t die.  We will find it to be freeing.  Our safety and joy are always found in honesty before God and one another.

We have an enemy, and we know his strategies.  As C. S. Lewis taught us in The Screwtape Letters, we should neither ignore him nor obsess about him.  But fixing our eyes on Jesus, we can crush Satan under our feet (Romans 16:20) by humbly staying in, or humbly returning to, the ways of the gospel.

Satan trembles when he sees the weakest saint upon his knees.

~ William Cowper (1731-1800)

“The devil is aware that one hour of close fellowship, hearty converse with God in prayer, is able to pull down what he hath been contriving and building many a year.”

Flavel

“No one’s a firmer believer in the power of prayer than the devil; not that he practices it, but he suffers from it.”

Guy H. King

Satan cannot deny but that great wonders have been wrought by prayer. As the spirit of prayer goes up, so his kingdom goes down. Satan’s strategems against prayer are three. First, if he can, he will keep thee from prayer. If that be not feasible, secondly, he will strive to interrupt thee in prayer. And, thirdly, if that plot takes not, he will labour to hinder the success of thy prayer.

William Gurnall

Satan and his demons want to keep us from prayer.

“We know the utility of prayer from the efforts of the wicked spirits to distract us during the Divine office;

and we experience the fruit of prayer  in the defeat of our enemies”

John Climacus, The Holy Ladder of Perfection.


 

 

 

September 2019
M T W T F S S
« Aug    
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30  

Categories

Pages