Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Dealing with the Devil

In their book entitled Love and War, John and Stasi Eldredge devote a section to spiritual warfare. They write:

“Satan is a liar, ‘the father of lies’ (John 8:44), so utterly convincing he deceived a glorious man and woman to betray God, whom they walked with every day. I think we tend to dismiss Adam and Eve as the idiots who got us all into this mess in the first place. But they had not yet sinned; they had experienced no wounding; they were man and woman in their glory. And they were deceived. It ought to give us all a healthy respect for what the enemy is capable of.

(Satan) puts his spin on a situation. It typically comes as a thought or a feeling. ‘She doesn’t really love you. He’ll never change. She’s always doing that.’ (By the way, when the word ‘always’ is part of the equation, you know you are well into an agreement)

An agreement is a very subtle but momentous shift in us, where we believe the spin, we go with the feeling, and we accept as reality the deception Satan is presenting…Once we buy in to the lie and make the agreement, we come under the spell and come under the influence of that interpretation of events. Then it pretty much plays itself out; it becomes self-fulfilling. These agreements begin to define the relationship. They certainly color the way we experience one another. It can be devastating to just let this stuff roll on unchecked and unchallenged.

So how do we acknowledge them? Ask Jesus:
Lord, what are the agreements I have been making about my marriage?
What are the agreements that I have been making about love?
What are the agreements I have been making about my spouse?

The Eldredges suggest the following prayer in a way to deal with the insidious lies that Satan will keep pouring on.

Jesus, forgive me for giving place to this in my heart. I reject this agreement. I renounce it. I break agreement with (fill in the blank) I break this agreement and I ask for your light and I ask for your love to come into these very places. Shine your light here. Bring me back to what is true. Bring your love into this place, Lord. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

A 2009 Barna Study indicated that four out of ten Christians (40%) strongly agreed that Satan “is not a living being but is a symbol of evil.” An additional two out of ten Christians (19%) said they “agree somewhat” with that perspective.

A reference to Satan appears more than 23 times in Scripture. If God believes that Satan exists I guess it would behoove us to do the same.

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