Just as I was about to post a homily for today on this blog, an associate sent me a link to an article in the National Catholic Register, titled; How To Tell The Devil To Go Away. Ironically the concepts expressed in the article reflected the exact idea that I felt to write about today; you see many of us in deliverance ministry—working with the oppressed—often find ourselves in the position of having to tell the victims how to make the devil go away. Those suffering from oppression find themselves under spiritual attack and quite naturally wonder why they have been singled out, especially if they happen to be a believer in Christ.
Please click on the links and view the prescribed Bible readings for today:
Far too often we are tempted by Satan to do that which we know is wrong, just as Adam and Eve did in the passages found in Genesis 3:1-7. Sometimes a thought pops in our head—seemingly from nowhere—suggesting that we do something we would normally not do. Sometimes it is like a small voice, not unlike the phenomena of one talking to himself. As some individuals have reported it is a strange voice—a phenomena that should not be confused with symptoms of schizophrenia—a voice that is suggesting it would be great, or much more fun, to splurge and do the forbidden, just as the serpent told Eve to eat from the tree that God had commanded they should not partake of the fruits thereof. Sometimes it is that same small voice telling us not to do that which we know we should do, to procrastinate, to call into school or work and tell them we are too sick to come in today, or one of a thousand other possible scenarios.
We must learn to be wise, to be strong, to place our trust in God and rise above temptation. Most of us know the difference between right and wrong, we have the ability to discern the difference between the conventional wisdoms that are tried and true cornerstones of our culture and belief system versus the relativisms of contemporary culture that tell us that it is acceptable to do as we want.
A careful reading of Matthew4: 1-11 tells us of the temptations of Christ, how the devil tested him to see if he would succumb and give into the snares of Satan. To quote from the aforementioned article;
Jesus had the right attitude toward Satan and temptation: He wanted nothing to do with them. Temptations are inevitable in human life, even for Jesus, but his reaction was unequivocal: “Get away, Satan!” he said; then, immediately, angels come to minister to him.
Adam and Eve have a more … complicated response. They consider the devil’s lies as being on par with God’s truths. God said the food would kill — Satan said it would give wisdom. Eve sees the fruit on Satan’s terms, eats it changes the course of her life. Instead of angels ministering to them, they get angels that kick them out of paradise.
Today we see too many people trying to tell us that their truths are on par with those truths of God or superior to God’s truths, and for many who listen to those falsehoods, they find themselves in the same position as Adam and Eve, suffering the consequences.
Don’t do something you will regret later, for example; some of us have been at a party, consumed too much, and felt the consequences the next day. This is a common scenario—one that many of us have experienced—when we failed to disregard the temptation to overly consume. But using this same example, how many times do you read the paper or hear on the evening news that another young person has died from drinking too much? This is a tragic consequence, just as tragic as the expulsion from paradise was for Adam and Eve; but everyday we hear of even more horrifying examples of what happens when someone fails to ignore temptation.
Please, the next time temptation confronts you, do that which is right and avoid the horrors of what can happen when we succumb to the snares of the devil.
And regardless if you are Catholic or not, please read How To Tell The Devil To Go Away.