The Screwtape Letters; Manipulation
Reading this book gets me to thinking about the trials I've faced in my life. I find myself relating a bit to the man that Wormwood is trying so hard to corrupt. We all face different things. Some that have been hard for me, might be simple to someone else, and vice versa.
Satan is no dummy. He knows how to get to us. His tactics are the same today as they have been for thousands of years.
Over those years, some things change, and others stay the same. But even though we may see our lives as being totally different from those who have gone before us, with newer technology, more media, everything making our lives so much harder, so much more trying, it's really not. Satan tempted them, and he is now tempting us. It is a never ending war for him. He will never stop, he will never let up. He will do his best to capture as many of us as possible.
A few years ago, when I was going through a hard time, one of my church leaders looked me in the eye and said, "Satan wants you. He knows you are a great person, he sees the good you can do, and it terrifies him! He will stop at nothing to stop you." I'm paraphrasing, but I promise you, his words hit me about as hard as those might have. It completely opened my eyes. I could finally see not only God's hand in helping me, but Satan's in doing everything he could to bring me down. It helped me avoid his tricks even better.
In fact, I had a perfect example experience just yesterday. I'll preface it by saying that I made sure I read scriptures during the day for the first time in a while. I'd like to do it daily, but most of the time I just don't make the time, ya know? Anyway, yesterday, I did.
Then last night, as Turner and I were getting into bed, I looked at all the dishes still to get done in the sink (our bed is in the dining area, because we only have one bedroom, and Monkey gets it... and we don't have a dishwasher, or all the dirty dishes would have at least been hiding in there...). As I looked at the pile of grossness, I suddenly felt so inadequate. Like I had completely failed at being a housekeeper.
I laid in bed and the mulitiude of chores and tasks needing to be done weighed on me so heavily. I started saying things like, "I just haven't been very good lately. I'll do better tomorrow. I'm in a valley, I just need to get out of it."
Now, I'm usually very positive when I speak. Even if I don't truly believe what I'm saying, I say it anyway, and it helps my confidence. But I felt so low, I didn't even have the courage to do that. But Turner, being awesome like he always is, saw this, and every time I said something almost positive, he one-upped me. "I haven't been good at it lately." turned into, "I am the best there ever was." And "I'll do better." into "I am doing great!"
I appreciated his efforts, but it wasn't really helping me. He resorted to holding me while I cried. As I kept talking about my inadequacies, I told him how funny it was that I actually read my scriptures that day. I had been about to say, "shouldn't I feel better from doing that?"
Satan was trying to manipulate me. He saw my effort to improve myself, and he, or his devils, were doing everything they could to make me think that my days were actually better, easier, simpler, without reading God's word. That I would be better off continuing to do as I have been doing.
I was being attacked.
Now, I'm going to say something here that might sound weird to some... (you have been warned).
I believe that all of us, here on earth, have the power, through Jesus Christ, to cast these "devils" away when we finally realize that they are near, or attacking. Look at it this way: we have bodies of flesh and bone, they are just spirits! They can not harm us unless we allow them access to our minds and hearts.
It was at this point that I said a short prayer, *in the name of Christ* that the attack would stop. And you know what, it did. Immediately, the feelings of shame, doubt and fear were gone, replaced by comfort, faith, and strength. I knew again, like I've known for years, that I am a child of God, and I am blessed, talented, and cherished.
God loves us. He is our Father, and Christ is our Savior. They will do anything for us, if we only ask in faith! Satan too, is real. He wants power, he wants control. He has been banished, and his goal is to take as many down with him as he can.
I am so grateful for the knowledge I have of the reality of these things. I know that God loves me. As small and insignificant a being as I am, He knows me, He hears my prayers, and He does the best He can to help me every day. How amazing that an attempt to weaken my resolve in God would end up strengthening it.
I'll bet Satan's pretty upset with me at the moment.
Know what I say to that?
I'll end with this: for a long time, my mother-in-law had a little sticky note up that said:
"Live your life so that when your feet hit the ground in the morning, Satan shudders and says,
'Oh no! She's awake!'"
I think I might make one of those for myself.
Thanks for traveling today, hope you enjoyed the trip! See ya next time.
P.S. What are your thoughts? Have you ever had an experience like this? Do you believe in God &/or devils? Why, or why not? Leave a comment or drop me an email, I'd love to hear what you think!
Feel free to share this post with whoever! And if it's your first time here, find a way to travel with us! Our journeys are pretty entertaining.
Wife of one, Mommy of 1.5, Writer of much. I also sing, dance, and occasionally tell very dumb jokes... watch out.