THE DEVIL’S DEVICES IV of VI – “I JUST WANNA…” – SPIRITUAL COMBAT, 30

INTRO

Identifying where you are along this spectrum is important to know what needs to be done.
The categories, again:
deep bondage: a person who thinks not of living in holiness, stuck in sin.
sloth: a person who would like to live in holiness, but without the energy to do anything about it.
delusion: a person who thinks they are living in holiness, but is far from it.
front lines: a person who has entered into the full battle, and has a great deal at stake.

TOPIC AT HAND

We now turn to our third category: delusion.  You have left ‘deep bondage’ and have begun to live in the light of the Gospel.  You have left ‘sloth’ and grace has brought you the necessary helps to move forward in discipleship.  Now what?

Our teacher gives us very good helps for identifying and living in the reality of things.

Some examples of what people say in this area:
“I just want to be a Saint and be really holy.”
“I just want to love everybody perfectly and never have any troubles at all.”
“I just want to pray a lot and be spiritual.”
“I just want to experience deep interior movements of God and become a mystic.”

Or something like that in other words, or even without words, with presumptuous actions and decisions.

Many people become spiritually delusional.

Massive distinction to help in this stage of the Christian life: 1) where do I want to be (a saint, really holy, perfect in every way, at peace with all people) and 2) where am I currently (imperfect in many ways).

We must have a goal, but we cannot pretend that we can live in that goal prematurely.

REALITY CHECK

For any of the statements above that began with ‘just’ (I just wanna…), there is no ‘just’.  There is no escaping the actual realities of our lives.  If we want to ‘just’ be any of the above, we have to actually engage in the exact activities, difficulties, and seemingly-in-the-way barriers that are right in front of us.

“I want to be a Saint and be really holy but I have friends that keep tempting me.”  Guess what? Dealing with those relationships well is exactly how you will be come a Saint and be really holy.

“I just want to love everybody perfectly and never have any troubles at all, but there are difficult people and things don’t always go my way.”  Guess what? How are you supposed to learn to love perfectly if you don’t get to practice on difficult people?  And how are you supposed to grow if no troubles come your way?  Who learns without studying?  Who gets better without practice?  Who gets in shape without exercise?

“I just want to pray a lot and be spiritual but I get distracted by all of the world’s stuff.”  Guest what?  “Who can love the God they do not see if they do not love the person they can see?” – St. John.  To grow in spirituality is never disconnected from growth in love of neighbor.

“I just want to experience deep interior movements of God and become a mystic but prayer doesn’t seem to go that way.”  Guess what?  The mystics didn’t just sit around and become mystics.  They had to travel through difficulties, dryness, distraction, times of great weakness and pain.

Moral of the story: To attain the goal means to travel the real road that arrives there.  We aren’t there, but we are headed there.  “Pick up your cross and follow ME.” – Jesus.

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Read the Spiritual Combat online here.

Read all of chapter 30 below.

To read previous posts on the Spiritual Combat, click here for the whole series.

Coming up next, chapter 31: The Devil’s Devices V of VI

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all of chapter 30:

Our malignant foe, thus repulsed in his first and second assault and stratagem, has recourse to a third, which is, to turn away our attention from the enemies who are close at hand to injure and assail us, and to fill us with resolutions and desires after higher degrees of perfection.

Hence we are continually being wounded; yet we pay no attention to our wounds, and looking upon these resolutions as already fulfilled, we take pride in them in various ways.

And while we cannot endure the least thing or the slightest word which crosses our will, we were our time in long meditations and resolutions to endure the acutest sufferings on earth or in purgatory for the love of God.

And because our inferior part feels no repugnance at these things in the distance, we flatter ourselves, miserable creatures as we are, into the conceit that we belong to the class of patient and heroic sufferers.

To avoid this snare, resolve to fight manfully against the enemies who are close at hand, and actually waging war against you. You will thus discover whether your resolutions are real or imaginary, weak or strong; and so you will go on to virtue and perfection by the beaten and royal road.

But against enemies who are not wont to trouble you I do not advise you to take up arms, unless there appear a probability of their making an attack at some future time. In this case it is lawful to make resolutions beforehand, that you may be found strong and prepared.

Do not, however, judge of your resolutions by their effects, even though you should have long and faithfully exercised yourself in virtue; but be very humble with regard to them; fear yourself and your own weakness, and trust in God, and seek His help by frequent prayer to strengthen and preserve you in all dangers, and especially from the very slightest presumption or self-confidence.

For in this case, though we may not be able to overcome some slight defects which our Lord sometimes leaves in us in order to greater, humility and self-knowledge, and for the protection of some virtue, we may yet be permitted to form purposes of aspiring to higher degrees of perfection.

THE DEVIL’S DEVICES III of VI – MAYBE I CAN DO THIS – SPIRITUAL COMBAT, 29

Identifying where you are along this spectrum is important to know what needs to be done.
The categories, again:
deep bondage: a person who thinks not of living in holiness, stuck in sin.
sloth: a person who would like to live in holiness, but without the energy to do anything about it.
delusion: a person who thinks they are living in holiness, but is far from it.
front lines: a person who has entered into the full battle, and has a great deal at stake.

The danger of self reliance is in full force in man.  Have you ever been in a situation where you realized, maybe by a light bulb suddenly turned on, “Ahh, I figured this out.  I know what I must do”?  Already we are in danger.

In this chapter, our master Don Scupoli describes the seeming victory, and the actual defeat.  We come to realize what must be done, and we dangerously decide how we will fix it.  NOTICE: is it YOU, or is it the LORD, who will fix this?  If it is something you will do, you have already lost.

Three points he makes for us to ponder.  1) is it a resolution, or is it a decision, that will govern our movement; 2) are you striving for a particular result, or are you engaging in the fight to gain the result; 3) are you looking to the result that you would desire, or are you looking to the will of God in this case?  The resolution gets us nowhere, but decision actually moves us.  Going for a result is according to your ideas, whereas engaging in the fight is the will of God.  Looking for your result is misguided, but looking to the will of God is the way.

In all of these, the dangerous snare is to lean on our own understanding and power.  This is always and everywhere a major mistake.  Think of it this way: Who is my Saviour? Myself? or God?  If I lean on my own understanding and power, then I am my own saviour.  Rather, I ought to look to the One who is able to do all things, God Who is powerful, steadfast, able, willing, and the rest.

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Read the Spiritual Combat online here.

Read all of chapter 29 below.

To read previous posts on the Spiritual Combat, click here for the whole series.

Coming up next, chapter 30: The Devil’s Devices IV of VI

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all of chapter 29:

When a man begins to perceive the evil of his life, and to desire to change it, the devil often deludes and overcomes him by such means as these:

Presently, presently.

Cras, cras” (tomorrow, tomorrow) as the raven cries.

I wish first to consider and dispatch this business, this perplexity, that I may then be able to give myself with greater tranquillity to spiritual things.

This is a snare in which many men have been, and are still daily, entangled; and the cause of this is our own negligence and heedlessness, seeing that, in a matter touching the honor of God and the salvation of the soul, we neglect to seize instantly that effectual weapon: “Now, now;” wherefore “presently?” “Today, today;” wherefore “tomorrow?” saying each one to himself :

Even supposing this `presently’ and this `tomorrow’ should be granted to me, is it the way of safety and of victory to seek first to be wounded and to commit fresh disorders?

You see, then, that the way to escape this snare, and that mentioned in the preceding chapter, and to subdue the enemy, is, to yield prompt obedience to all heavenly thoughts and inspirations.

Prompt obedience, I say, and not mere resolutions; for these are often fallacious, and many have been deceived thereby from various causes.

littlegoldcross.gif (962 bytes)First. Because our resolutions are not founded upon self-distrust and trust in God. But our excessive pride, whence proceeds this blindness and delusion, prevents our perceiving it.

The light to see and the medicine to cure it both proceed from the goodness of God Who suffers us to fall that He may recall us thereby from self-confidence to confidence in Him alone, and from pride to self-knowledge.

Your resolutions, therefore, to be effectual, must be steadfast; and to be steadfast, they must be free from all self-confidence, and humbly based on confidence in God.

littlegoldcross.gif (962 bytes)Second. When we are making our resolutions, we dwell on the beauty and excellence of virtue, which attracts our will, slack and feeble as it is; but when confronted by the difficulties which attend the attainment of virtue, the weak and untried will fail and draw back.

Learn, therefore, to love the difficulties which attend the attainment of all virtues more than even the virtues themselves, and use these difficulties in various measures to strengthen your will, if you desire in good earnest to acquire these virtues.

And know, that the more courageously and lovingly you shall embrace these difficulties, the more speedy and complete shall be your victory over self and all your other enemies.

littlegoldcross.gif (962 bytes)Third. In our resolutions we too often look rather to our own advantage than to the will of God and the acquisition of the virtues He requires of us. This is frequently the case with resolutions made in times of great spiritual joy or acute sorrow, when we seem unable to find any relief but in a resolution to give ourselves wholly to God and to the practice of virtue.

To avoid this snare, take care in times of spiritual consolation to be very cautious and humble in your resolutions, especially in your vows and promises; and in tribulation let your resolution be to bear your cross patiently, according to the will of God, nay, to exalt it, refusing all earthly, and if so be even all heavenly consolation. Let your one desire, your one prayer, be that God would help you to bear all adverse things, keeping the virtue of patience unstained, and giving no displeasure to your Lord.

Humbly, acknowledge that you are weak and feeble.  God alone is able.  Cry out with the psalmist: “Where shall my help come from?  MY HELP COMES FROM YOU, MAKER OF HEAVEN.” (Psalm 121).

God alone.

God is able.

God, Help.

THE DEVIL’S DEVICES II of VI – DEEP BONDAGE – SPIRITUAL COMBAT, 28

Identifying where you are along this spectrum is important to know what needs to be done.
The categories, again:
deep bondage: a person who thinks not of living in holiness, stuck in sin.
sloth: a person who would like to live in holiness, but without the energy to do anything about it.
delusion: a person who is thinks they are living in holiness, but is far from it.
front lines: a person who has entered into the full battle, and has a great deal at stake.

This chapter deals with those in deep bondage.  They go from sin to sin and are mixed up in all sorts of unholy behavior.  They don’t have a clue about living for Jesus, or, if they do, they don’t have a care about it. The devil is having a hay day with this soul.

Is this person destined for ruin?  Left to their own devices, yes.  Yes they are.  The only hope for this person is for the direct intervention of the Lord.  In that moment of grace, they must grab it with all they have.  They must fly to God with deep cries of “HELP.”

Also, if this moment of grace appears, it is helpful to cry for help to another, someone who will enter this battle with and for them.

Finally, calling on the helpers of Heaven will be of great help for this one who is stuck in the mire of sin.

The key word for the one in this category is the ever difficult but absolutely necessary cry: HELP!  This is a word that the devil does not understand, and cannot stop.

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Read the Spiritual Combat online here.

Read all of chapter 28 below.

To read previous posts on the Spiritual Combat, click here for the whole series.

Coming up next, chapter 29: The Devil’s Devices III of VI

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all of chapter 28:

When the devil holds a man in the bondage of sin, his chief care is to blind his eyes more and more, and to avert from him everything which might lead to a knowledge of his most wretched condition.

And not only does he, by instilling contrary thoughts, drive from him all reflections and inspirations which call him to conversion, but, by affording him ready opportunities, he makes him fall into other and greater sins. Hence, the thicker and darker waxes his blindness, the more desperate and habitual becomes his course of sin; and thus, from blindness to deeper blindness, from sin to fouler sin, his wretched life will whirl on even unto death, unless God, by His grace, should intervene to save him. The remedy for one in this unhappy condition is, to be ready to give diligent heed to the thoughts and inspirations which call him from darkness to light, crying with all his heart to his Creator, “O Lord, help me; help me speedily; leave me not any longer in the darkness of sin.” And let him not fail to repeat this cry for mercy over and over again in these or the like words.

If possible, let him have immediate recourse to some spiritual guide, and ask aid and counsel, that so he may be delivered from the power of the enemy.

And if he cannot do this at the moment, let him fly with all speed to the crucifix, prostrating himself before it; and asking mercy and aid also from the Mother of God.

On this speed does the victory depend, as you will learn in the next chapter.

THE DEVIL’S DEVICES I of VI – INTRO – SPIRITUAL COMBAT, 27

God’s will is for your sanctification and salvation.  The devil’s plan is to thwart both of those realities.  These next six reflections will help you understand where you are in the midst of this and what to look out for.

1st task: find out where you are in the midst of this.

1. You don’t care about sanctification or salvation.  The devil will work on you to keep you here. (deep bondage)

2. You do care about sanctification and salvation, but you aren’t interested or willing to do anything about it.  The devil will work on you to keep you here or make you give up your cares all together. (sloth)

3. You do care about sanctification and salvation, and you think you are doing what needs to be done.  However, you are gravely mistaken.  The devil will work on you to keep you here or make you go back to the first or second level. (delusion)

4. You do care about sanctification and salvation, and you in fact have been doing what needs to be done.  The devil will work on you to destroy all of this. (front lines)

Take some time to truly evaluate where you find yourself on this spectrum.  In fact, ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you where you actually are on this spectrum.  We tend to think more of ourselves or less of ourselves, but the Holy Spirit knows exactly where we are and speaks truth and brings light.

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Read the Spiritual Combat online here.

Read all of chapter 27 below.

To read previous posts on the Spiritual Combat, click here for the whole series.

Coming up next, chapter 28: The Devil’s Devices II of VI

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all of chapter 27:

You must know, that the devil is intent upon nothing but our ruin, and that he does not use the same method of assault with all persons.

In order, then, to make known to you some of his modes of attack, his stratagems and devices, I will set before you several different conditions of men.

littlegoldcross.gif (962 bytes)Some remain in the service of sin without a thought of escape.

littlegoldcross.gif (962 bytes)Some would fain be free, but never make the attempt.

littlegoldcross.gif (962 bytes)Others think they are walking in the way of holiness, while they are wandering far from it.

littlegoldcross.gif (962 bytes)And lastly, some, after having attained unto holiness, fall into deeper perdition.

We will discourse separately of each.

Jesus Christ is King!

Check out this sound clip taken from a sermon by Dr. S.M. Lockridge:

“He supplies strength to the weak. He’s available for the tempted and the tried. … He defends the feeble. He serves the unfortunate.”

“Death couldn’t handle him and grave couldn’t hold him!”

Jesus must reign in our hearts! He is our only hope against the devil! Give him complete authority over your life. Place him on the throne of your heart! Call upon him at every moment of trial, give him glory in every moment of joy, and thank him for the life he has given you. Imitate his righteousness by reaching out in love to the poor, the imprisoned, the hungry, the homeless, and the unfortunate among us. Imitate his mercy by forgiving all who have sinned against you.

See how he humbled himself by placing aside his crown of jewels for a crown of thorns. See how he stepped down from his glorious throne in Heaven to be hung on the Cross as a criminal, all so that we may enter into his Heavenly Kingdom at the time of our passing from this life to the next. Without this King, our lives are left to be empty of meaning and purpose. Without this King, we will never know true peace and joy. Without this King, we will not know what it means to truly live:

“I came that they might have life, and have it in abundance.” (John 10:10)

That’s my king!

Prayer Ministry: A Personal Prayer

Claiming the Precious Blood of Jesus… casting out whatever is contrary to His Reign.  Pray this often.

Lord, almighty, merciful and omnipotent God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, drive out from me all influence of evil spirits. Father, in the name of Jesus Christ, I plead You to break any chain that the devil has on me. Pour upon me the most Precious Blood of your Son. May His immaculate and redeeming blood break all bonds of my body and mind. I ask you through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Archangel Michael, intercede and come to my help. In the name of Jesus I command all demons that could have any influence over me to leave me forever. By his scouring, his crown of thorns, his cross, by his blood and resurrection, I command all evil spirits to leave me. By the true God, by the Holy God, by God who can do all, in the name of Jesus, my Savior and Lord leave me. Amen.

Prayer Ministry: Deliverance

Listen to this prayer for deliverance over and over.  Join your heart and voice to it in faith.  Jesus will do the rest.

PRAYER FOR DELIVERANCE
My Lord, You are all powerful, You are God, You are Father. We beg You through the intercession and help of the archangels Michael, Raphael, and Gabriel, for the deliverance of our brothers and sisters who are enslaved by the evil one. All saints of heaven, come to our aid.
From anxiety, sadness, and obsessions, We beg You: Free us, O Lord. From hatred, fornication, envy, We beg You: Free us, O Lord. From thoughts of jealousy, rage, and death. We beg You: Free us, O Lord. From every thought of suicide and abortion. We beg You: Free us, O Lord. From every form of sinful sexuality. We beg You: Free us, O Lord. From every division in our family, and every harmful friendship. We beg You: Free us, O Lord. From every sort of spell, malefice, witchcraft, and every form of the occult. We beg You: Free us, O Lord.

    Lord, You Who said, “I leave you peace, my peace I give you,” grant that, through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, we may be liberated from every evil spell and enjoy Your peace always. In the Name of Christ, our Lord. Amen.” 

Hey devil… You are Defeated!!!

Posted by: EvangelicalDisciple

 

YES! YES! YES! Kari Jobe did it again!
“Our resurrected King has rendered you defeated!”
Hey devil… YOU ARE DEFEATED!!!
The Blood of Jesus has won the day, and “we sing Alleluia, the Lamb has overcome.”
Listen to it.
Close your eyes, or lift them to Heaven.
Fold your hands, or lift them to Heaven.
Either way, hearts’ surge, spirits’ shake, souls’ lift.

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