Living Free Life Group–Quotes (from May 12, 2013)

Remember:

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; Jesus has come so that I may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10

Highlighters:

“Christ has set you free through His victory over sin and death on the cross. But, if you have failed to stand firm in the faith or you have willfully sinned, it is your responsibility to do whatever is necessary to maintain a right relationship with Him.” The Bondage Breaker, page 199

***

“Who or what is most important to us becomes that which we worship. Our thoughts, love, devotion, trust, adoration, and obedience are directed to this object above all others. This object of worship is truly our God or god(s).” The Bondage Breaker, page 205

***

“We will find real joy and freedom when we stop living a lie and walk openly in the truth.” The Bondage Breaker, page 209

***

“The real secret to happiness isn’t anywhere in prime-time entertainment, of course. The key to a fulfilled life has nothing to do with fast cars, revolving partners, or this year’s fashions. Those are just counterfeits with which the enemy and the flesh conspire to tempt us. And the remedy—the number one defense against this devious deception—is to clothe ourselves in truth.” Chip Ingram, The Invisible War

***

“When we are sure God loves and accepts us, we can be free to own up to our sins and face reality instead of running and hiding from painful circumstances.” The Bondage Breaker, page 210

***

“We need to own up to our own faults without excuses and without blaming, bring them to God, and confess them honestly before him. That’s the only way to stand firm against deception.” Chip Ingram, The Invisible War

 ***

“Defensiveness occurs when God brings truth into our lives and we won’t receive it. We justify ourselves rather than confess the reality of our faults. [We need to] put on the belt of truth and let it break [our hearts]. Psalm 34:18 says, ‘The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.’ The Spirit of God is always a friend of truth, especially when it hurts.” Chip Ingram, The Invisible War

***

“Faith is the biblical response to the truth, and believing what God says is a choice we all can make. If you say, ‘I wish I could believe God, but I just can’t,’ you are being deceived. Of course you can believe God because what God says is always true.” The Bondage Breaker, page 214

***

“You don’t just put on the belt of truth in a quiet time some morning or with a quick prayer in the car. It’s a process. It comes through long, significant seasons of being with God, not out of duty but out of longing to hear his voice. It comes when we stop ignoring that uncomfortable lack of peace, that disquieting voice in the back of our minds, and refuse to cover it up.” Chip Ingram, The Invisible War

***

“Just ‘having faith’ is not enough. The key question is whether the object of your faith is trustworthy. If the object of your faith is not reliable, then no amount of believing will change it. That is why our faith must be on the solid rock of God and His word. That is the only way to live a responsible and fruitful life. On the other hand, if what you believe in is not true, then how you end up living will not be right.” The Bondage Breaker, page 218

***

“Your freedom must be maintained…Freedom will continue to be yours as long as you keep choosing the truth and standing firm in the strength of the Lord.” The Bondage Breaker, page 244

***

“The power for Christian living is found in the truth; the power of Satan is in the lie…Christians are to pursue the truth because they already have the power and authority to do [God’s] will. Truth is what makes an encounter with Satan effective because his primary strategy is deception.” The Bondage Breaker, page 258

***

“When fear is controlling a believer, the Spirit of God is not, and Satan has the upper hand. Fear of the enemy and faith in God are mutually exclusive.” The Bondage Breaker, page 258

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profilepic3Rebecca Aarup is a redeemed prodigal, set free from over a decade of mental illness, eating disorders, addiction, and more. She now enjoys sharing her story of freedom and transformation with a lost and hurting world, as well as teaching about spiritual warfare and the importance of understanding our identity in Christ.

Rebecca is also an author and freelance writer, having written devotionals and teaching articles for a variety of publications including The Secret Place (Judson press), Evangel (Light and Life Communications), and Mustard Seed Ministries. Beyond writing, Rebecca is a wife, home-schooling mom, and Bible student at Liberty University. She lives in Glendale, Az with her husband Chris and daughter, Samantha.  You can read more from Rebecca by following her on twitter and facebook.

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Living Free Life Group–Quotes (From April 14, 2013)

Remember:

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; Jesus has come so that I may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10

Highlighters:

“Every temptation is an enticement to live independently of God.” The Bondage Breaker, pg. 136

“Most of us won’t often be tempted to commit obvious sins such as armed robbery, murder, or rape. Satan is too clever and subtle for that. He knows that we will recognize the flagrant wrong in such temptations and refuse to act on them. Instead, his tactic is to entice us to push something good beyond the boundary of the will of God until it becomes sin. He treats us like the proverbial frog in the pot of water: gradually turning up the heat of temptation, hoping we don’t notice that we are approaching the boundary of God’s will and jump out before something good becomes sin.” The Bondage Breaker, pg. 137

“The following statements reveal the sinful results in a number of areas where we are tempted to take the good things that God created beyond the boundary of God’s will.

•Physical rest becomes laziness

•Quietness becomes noncommunication

•Ability to profit becomes avarice or greed

•Enjoyment of life becomes sensuality

•Interest in the possession of others becomes covetousness

•Enjoyment of food becomes gluttony

•Self-care becomes selfishness

•Self-respect becomes conceit

•Communication becomes gossip

•Cautiousness becomes unbelief

•Positiveness becomes insensitivity

•Anger becomes rage and bad temper

•Loving-kindness becomes overprotection

•Judgment becomes criticism

•Same-sex friendship becomes homosexuality

•Conscientiousness becomes perfectionism

•Generosity becomes wastefulness

•Self-protection becomes dishonesty

•Carefulness becomes fear”

–The Bondage Breaker, pp. 137-138

“[Satan] learned about Jesus’ apparent vulnerability to physical temptation by watching Him go without food for 40 days. He’s watching you too, looking for soft spots of vulnerability in your physical appetites for food, rest, comfort, and sex. Temptation is greatest when hunger, fatigue, and loneliness are acute.” The Bondage Breaker, pg. 141

“God is under no obligation to us; He is under obligation only to Himself. There is no way you can cleverly word a prayer so that God must respond to it. That not only distorts the meaning of prayer but puts us in the position of manipulating God. The righteous shall live by faith in the written word of God and not demand that God prove Himself in response to our whims or wishes, no matter how noble they may be. We are the ones being tested, not God.” The Bondage Breaker, pg. 143

“Where is the way of escape [from temptation]? In the same place temptation is introduced: in your mind. Every temptation is first a thought introduced to your mind by your own carnality or the tempter himself. If you ruminate on that thought and consider it an option, you will eventually act on it and that’s sin.” The Bondage Breaker, pg. 148

“God has not only declared us forgiven, but He has removed our filthy garments of unrighteousness and clothed us with His righteousness. Notice that the change of wardrobe is something that God does, not we ourselves.” The Bondage Breaker, pg. 154

“Accusation leads to death; conviction leads to repentance and life.” The Bondage Breaker, pg. 157

“Don’t believe anything Satan says about you; it’s a lie. Believe everything God says about you; it’s the truth which will set you free.” The Bondage Breaker, pg. 161

Consider:

Why is my freedom so important to the world?

B002_Full_The_Bondage_Breaker

Purchase The Bondage Breaker by Neil Anderson

 

 

 

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profilepic3Rebecca Aarup is a redeemed prodigal, set free from over a decade of mental illness, eating disorders, addiction, and more. She now enjoys sharing her story of freedom and transformation, as well as teaching about spiritual warfare and the importance of understanding our identity in Christ.

Rebecca is also an author and freelance writer, having written devotionals and teaching articles for a variety of publications including The Secret Place (Judson press), Evangel (Light and Life Communications), and Mustard Seed Ministries. Beyond writing, Rebecca is a wife, home-schooling mom, and Bible student at Liberty University. She lives in Glendale, Az with her husband Chris and daughter, Samantha.  You can read more from Rebecca by following her on twitter and facebook.

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You can support Rebecca with one click! If you enjoyed this post, please take a second to click the FOLLOW button on the space provided on the right hand side of the computer screen (or scroll to the bottom of your screen if using a smartphone) and you will receive new posts in your email inbox. This is absolutely free and your information is never shared!

If you were encouraged by what you read here, please share with your friends and/or leave a comment.

When You’re Just Fed-Up

 

I struggled with the enclosure for several minutes but eventually gave up and sulked to my dresser. Digging around in frustration I finally found them, the fat jeans. Hadn’t seen or wore them in probably two years, but here they were and now was the time.

I can’t believe this, I mean, I’m a vegetarian, I used to be a personal trainer, and I have all this knowledge about health. Why is this happening?!

My thoughts drifted back a few years (ok, nearly twelve years). I was a certified personal trainer; I weighed 120lbs and wore a size 4 in my favorite designer clothes. Those were the days. Or were they?

While I might have looked good on the surface, I was a wreck on the inside. In order for me to get that body I purged over ten times a day, abused laxatives, worked out for hours on end even waking in the middle of the night to run laps, I was addicted to drugs and smoked like a chimney, and I regularly engaged in self-mutilating behaviors like cutting.

Shaking my head I thanked God for the extra weight I had now, because it wasn’t about the weight it was about the freedom.  I might be packing some pounds, but at least I knew who I was, who God made me, and I was no longer enslaved to a life of personal torture.

Still, God was prompting me to try a little harder when it came to taking care of my temple. Since my back injury in 2008, I had really done very little by way of exercise. Somehow that morning, pulling out the dreaded fat jeans was the spark that ignited the fire of change within me. It took a moment of shock, disgust, and honesty within myself to finally get motivated enough to make a change. (And I’m happy to say that one new exercise machine later along with consistent use of it, and I’m back in the good jeans!)

It’s the same way with our sin. We are so good at deceiving ourselves into thinking we’ve got it together, we’re doing a good job, we’re being “good” Christians, while at the same time we can’t maintain peaceful relationships, we get angry when we think of how a person wronged us, we can’t move past being a victim or feeling sorry for ourselves, and we say we’ve forgiven someone but continue to treat them differently; but boy, on the outside we look good—especially when we’re singing with our hands raised in church. Yes, there we are the super-spiritual Christian who doesn’t practice mercy, grace, love, or forgiveness.

Sometimes our consequences need to catch up with us, and sometimes, if we’re really stubborn, we need to lose everything and everyone in order to find out that God was all we needed. His approval was all that mattered.

We have to really want it, though. Because it’s hard work, this freedom thing. Maybe it’s easy to have a good experience every now and then, but to really maintain an experience of freedom it takes effort and honesty. Otherwise, we end up right back where we started, pulling out the fat jeans because we thought we were doing better than we really were. In other words, the result will always give us away.

Failed relationships, lack of peace, judgmental attitudes, critical or cynical spirits, dissatisfaction, inconsistency, insecurity, fat jeans, whatever it is, it’s the result that speaks to the attitude. Am I lacking peace, do I feel the need to judge another person’s motives, am I always complaining, being overly dramatic, craving attention, avoiding a person who hurt me, talking negatively about someone behind their back, impatient, feeling as if my needs are unmet by people…? Whatever it is, there is an underlying sin-attitude behind it.

Please don’t wait until the result of your life is so negative you can’t stand it anymore before you finally take action. Keep a short account with God, be honest with yourself, others, and God (it’s not like your secret motives will actually surprise Him).

It’s easier to button my jeans when I know I’m doing all I can to be healthy, even if I’m not wearing the size I want. Just the same, it’s easier to experience joy and peace when we’re honest, when we put pride to death daily, and maintain a clear conscience of integrity in all our words and actions. When this is our way of life, the hurts are easier to bear, we’re not thrown into a cloud of depression amidst bad circumstances, and we don’t feel the need to defend ourselves when unjustly accused (you know, when that eye for an eye thing taps on our shoulder).

Is your faith connected to your actions? Are your motives pure? Is your heart sincere? Or is the result of your attitudes leaving a bad taste in your mouth (and the relationships around you) and a few extra pounds around your spiritual waist?  As Warren Wiersbe says, don’t become so smart you become dumb! (Or, in my case, know a lot about health yet fail to practically apply that knowledge until the results were more than I could stand.)

 “In my pastoral ministry, I have met people who have become intoxicated with ‘studying the deeper truths of the Bible.’ Usually they have been given a book or introduced to some teacher’s tapes. Before long, they get so smart they become dumb! The ‘deeper truths’ they discover only detour them from practical Christian living. Instead of getting burning hearts of devotion to Christ (Luke 24: 32), they get big heads and start creating problems in their homes and churches. All Bible truths are practical, not theoretical. If we are growing in knowledge, we should also be growing in grace (2 Peter 3: 18).” Warren Wiersbe, Be Complete (A commentary on Colossians)

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You can support Rebecca’s ministry with one click! If you enjoyed this post and others, please take a second to click the FOLLOW button on the space provided on the right hand side of the computer screen (or scroll to the bottom of your screen if using a smartphone) and you will receive new posts in your email inbox. This is absolutely free and your information is never shared!

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profilepic3Rebecca Aarup is a redeemed prodigal, set free from over a decade of mental illness, eating disorders, addiction, and more. She now enjoys sharing her story of freedom and transformation with a lost and hurting world, as well as teaching about spiritual warfare and the importance of understanding our identity in Christ.

Rebecca is also an author and freelance writer, having written devotionals and teaching articles for a variety of publications including The Secret Place (Judson press), Evangel (Light and Life Communications), and Mustard Seed Ministries. Beyond writing, Rebecca is a wife, home-schooling mom, and Bible student at Liberty University. She lives in Glendale, Az with her husband Chris and daughter, Samantha.  You can read more from Rebecca by following her on twitter and facebook.

 

Living Free Life Group–Notes and Quotes (From March 10th, 2013)

Remember:

One of Satan’s chief activities is accusing the saints (you and me) before God (see Zechariah 3:1-4). Though Satan has immense power, he still does not possess the characteristics of God (he is not omniscient, omnipresent, or omnipotent). Satan cannot read our minds; therefore it is important, when rebuking him, to speak out loud.

Quotes:

***

“Recognize the fact that Satan and his hosts will begin to attack you as you grow in your knowledge of their secrets. Either devote yourself to a life of battle and victory, or decide to stay behind the lines.” Warren Wiersbe, The Strategy of Satan

***

 “Who we are must always take precedence over what we do; and we cannot accomplish anything apart from Christ.” The Bondage Breaker, page 77

***

“Believers have both the authority to do God’s will because of their position in Christ, and the power to do God’s will as long as they walk by the spirit…In the flesh you don’t have the power to resist Satan and his demons, but in Christ you do.” The Bondage Breaker, page 78

 ***

“Jesus charged his disciples with the responsibility to proclaim the kingdom of God. Had He now also given them authority and power over the kingdom of darkness, the demons would have scoffed at their feeble attempts and sent them running for cover.” The Bondage Breaker, Page 78

 ***

“The army saw Goliath in relation to themselves and trembled; David saw Goliath in relation to God and triumphed.” The Bondage Breaker, page 78

 ***

“Fear of anything (other than the fear of God) is mutually exclusive to faith in God. When Satan tries to incite fear, we are to maintain our position in Christ and exhibit the fruit of the Spirit, which includes self-control.” The Bondage Breaker, page 81

 ***

“How are we going to fulfill our calling in the world if we don’t believe what God says about the kingdom of darkness? Some are pleading, ‘O God, please help us! The devil is roaring at us!’ And God responds, ‘I’ve done all I’m going to do. I defeated and disarmed Satan at the cross. I conferred all authority on you in Christ. Now open your eyes. Realize who you are and start living accordingly.’” The Bondage Breaker, page 85

 ***

“Apart from Christ we can do nothing, but that doesn’t mean we’re not supposed to do something. We humbly exercise His authority—in His strength and His name.” The Bondage Breaker, page 86

 ***

“[Satan] doesn’t curl up his tail and pull in his fangs of he fails to keep you from coming to Christ. He is still committed to foul up your life and ‘prove’ that Christianity doesn’t work, that God’s Word isn’t true, and that nothing really happened when you were born again.” The Bondage Breaker, pp. 92-93

 ***

“If we accept the authority of the Bible, we must believe in the existence of demons. The Lord Jesus believed in demonic forces and often delivered helpless people from their power. Jesus taught that there was a definite enemy named Satan, and that he ruled over a kingdom of evil beings. Since Jesus came ‘to testify to the truth’ (John 18:37), we must believe that what he said was truth and not merely accommodation to the superstitions of the people.” Warren Wiersbe, The Strategy of Satan

 ***

“Demons work through people. This is why Paul instructs us not to fight against ‘flesh and blood.’ Satan works in and through unsaved people (see Ephesians 2:1-3), but he can also work in and through saved people. Remember Peter (Matthew 16:21-23) and Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5). The Christian soldier needs to be alert at all times…Demons can and do influence and use people who are saved. While we have no precedent in the Bible for casting demons out of saved people, we do have precedent for fighting demons who seek to influence saved people. Ephesians 6:10-18 was written to Christians.” Warren Wiersbe, The Strategy of Satan

 ***

“The chief condition for the working of evil spirits in a human being, apart from sin, is passivity, in exact opposition to the condition which God requires from His children for His working in them.” Jessie Penn-Lewis, War on the Saints

 ***

“If you are not experiencing some spiritual opposition to your ministry, there is a good chance that Satan doesn’t see you as any threat to his plans.” The Bondage Breaker, page 95

 ***

“You are ascribing too much power to Satan if you think he can perfectly read your mind and know the future. Every occultic practice claims to know the mind (or influence it) or predict the future. But only God knows the thoughts and intents of your mind, and only He knows the future. You should never ascribe the divine attributes of God to Satan.” The Bondage Breaker, page 101

 ***

“All too often we proclaim the virtues of Christianity to unbelievers like someone standing outside a prison compound proclaiming to the inmates the benefits of living in the outside world. But unless someone overpowers the prison guards and opens the gates, how can the prisoners experience the freedom we’re telling them about?” The Bondage Breaker, page 107

 ***

“Satan and his hosts are organized. If only believers could be united in their defense and their warfare, Satan would not win so many victories. Sad to say, Christians too often are so busy fighting one another that they have no time for fighting the devil.” Warren Wiersbe, The Strategy of Satan

 ***

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profilepic3Rebecca Aarup is a redeemed prodigal, set free from over a decade of mental illness, eating disorders, addiction, and more. She now enjoys sharing her story of freedom and transformation with a lost and hurting world, as well as teaching about spiritual warfare and the importance of understanding our identity in Christ.

Rebecca is also an author and freelance writer, having written devotionals and teaching articles for a variety of publications including The Secret Place (Judson press), Evangel (Light and Life Communications), and Mustard Seed Ministries. Beyond writing, Rebecca is a wife, home-schooling mom, and Bible student at Liberty University. She lives in Glendale, Az with her husband Chris and daughter, Samantha.  You can read more from Rebecca by following her on twitter and facebook.

_______________________________________

You can support Rebecca’s ministry with one click! If you enjoyed this post and others, please take a second to click the FOLLOW button on the space provided on the right hand side of the computer screen (or scroll to the bottom of your screen if using a smartphone) and you will receive new posts in your email inbox. This is absolutely free and your information is never shared!

Living Free Life Group–Notes and Quotes (From February 24th, 2013)

Remember:

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; Jesus has come so that I may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10

The Greek word for “full” is translated exceedingly abundantly above or superior in quality. How many believers are living a superior quality of life in comparison to the average non-believer? Why do you suppose that is?

God’s idea of quality living is found in Galatians 5:22-23. It is a type of lifestyle that should come naturally to the Christ-follower. The reason so few believers demonstrate this type of consistent living has to do with 1) fleshly desires and 2) spiritual warfare. Satan wants to steal our fruitful living and extinguish any quality of life we may have. Unless we take an active stance against Satan’s attacks and schemes, we will never experience life to the “full” as  we were created to.

~

“Nothing is more foundational to your freedom from Satan’s bondage than understanding and affirming what God has done for you in Christ and who you are as His child. Your attitudes, actions, responses, and reactions to life’s circumstances are greatly affected by what you believe about yourself.” The Bondage Breaker, pg. 46

~

“Since your old self has been crucified and buried with Christ, you no longer have to sin (1 John 2:1). You sin when you choose to believe a lie or act independently of God.” The Bondage Breaker, pg. 49

~

“When the Bible tells us the truth about who we are already are and what Christ has already done, there is only one appropriate response—and that is to believe it.” The Bondage Breaker, pg. 50

~

Four evidences to test whether we are living by faith:

“Test #1—‘Am I doing this for the glory of God, or just to please myself?’

Test #2—‘Am I rushing ahead impetuously, or am I willing to wait?’

Test #3—‘Can I defend what I am doing from the Word of God?’

Test #4—‘As I contemplate this move, do I have joy and peace within?’” The Strategy of Satan, Warren Wiersbe

~

“We don’t make anything true by our experiences. We choose to believe what God says is true, then live accordingly by faith; and the truth works out in our experience. It is not what we do that determines who we are. It is who we are that determines what we do. I don’t labor in the vineyard with the hope that God may one day accept me. God has already accepted me, and that is why I labor in the vineyard.” The Bondage Breaker, pg. 51

~

“Unless we are motivated and directed by truth, we will be defeated by the enemy. If we permit any deception to enter our lives, we have weakened our position and cannot fight the battle victoriously.” The Strategy of Satan, Warren Wiersbe

~

“Satan’s perpetual aim is to infiltrate your thoughts with his thoughts and to promote his lie in the face of truth. He knows that if he can control your thoughts, he can control your life.” The Bondage Breaker, pg. 61

~

“We do not quench the darts by faith in ourselves (even our past victories), faith in faith, or faith in some creed. It is faith in Christ and his Word. We cannot stop Satan from throwing the darts, but we can keep them from starting a fire.” The Strategy of Satan, Warren Wiersbe

~

All behavior is the product of what we choose to think or believe.” The Bondage Breaker, pg. 69

~

“Let’s quit kidding ourselves. There can be only one Lord of your life and mind. Jesus, Satan, or your self cannot all occupy the same throne. You must choose every day who will be God in your life.” Stand Up and Fight Back, Ken Abraham

**If you enjoyed this post and others, please enter your email in the space provided on the right hand side of your screen (or at the bottom of your screen if using a smart phone) to receive new posts in your email. It’s free and your email information is NEVER shared!**

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Rebecca Aarup is an author and freelance writer. She is a health columnist for Theprofilepic3 Christian Online Magazine, creater of S.E.R.V.A.N.T. Sisters women’s ministry, and has written devotionals/studies/articles for a variety of publications including The Secret Place (Judson Press), Evangel (Light and Life Communications), and Mustard Seed Ministries. She just released a new Bible Study The Word: Six Lessons from Psalm 119 which is available as a free download on her website or in print form from Amazon. Beyond writing, Rebecca is a wife, home-schooling mom, and Bible student at Liberty University. She lives in Glendale, Az with her husband Chris and 5 year old, Samantha.  You can read more from Rebecca by subscribing to her blog (it’s free) and following her on twitter and facebook.

Demonic Schemes

demonschemes

Have any of you read The Screwtape Letters? If not, I encourage you to do so. Although it is a fictional satire of sorts, it is a marvelously excellent illustration of how a demon works in the believer’s life. You would be hard pressed to find biblical evidence refuting what C.S. Lewis describes in his book. Here is a quote (keep in mind that these “letters” are written from one demon to another, as they scheme against the Christian, so “Enemy” refers to God, as God is their ultimate Enemy):

“The Enemy [God] will be working from the center outwards, gradually bringing more and more of the patient’s [believer] conduct under the new standard, and may reach his behavior to the old lady [the believer’s mother] at any moment. You want to get in first. Keep in close touch with our colleague between you in that house a good settled habit of mutual annoyance; daily pinpricks. The following methods are useful.

Keep his mind on the inner life. He thinks his conversion is something inside him and his attention is therefore chiefly turned at present to the states of his own mind—or rather to that very expurgated version of them which is all you should allow him to see. Encourage this. Keep his mind off the most elementary duties by directing it to the most advanced and spiritual ones. Aggravate that most useful human characteristic, the horror and neglect of the obvious. You must bring him to a condition in which he can practice self-examination for an hour without discovering any of these facts about himself which are perfectly clear to anyone who has ever lived in the same house with him or worked in the same office.

It is, no doubt, impossible to prevent his praying for his mother, but we have means of rendering the prayers innocuous. Make sure that they are always very ‘spiritual’, that he is always concerned with the state of her soul and never with her rheumatism. Two advantages will follow. In the first place, his attention will be kept on what he regards as her sins, by which, with a little guidance from you, he can be induced to mean any of her actions which are inconvenient or irritating to himself. Thus you can keep rubbing the wounds of the day a little sorer even while he is on his knees; the operation is not at all difficult and you will find it very entertaining. In the second place, since his ideas about her soul will be very crude and often erroneous, he will, in some degree, be praying for an imaginary person, and it will be your task to make that imaginary person daily less and less like the real mother—the sharp-tongued old lady at the breakfast table. In time, you may get the cleavage so wide that no thought or feeling from his prayers for the imagined mother will ever flow over into his treatment of the real one. I have had patients of my own so well in hand that they could be turned at a moment’s notice from impassioned prayer for a wife’s or son’s ‘soul’ to beating or insulting the real wife or son without a qualm.”

C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters (pp. 11-13)

 

How about you? Have you seen a reflection similar to this in your own life? I know I have. Being in an unequally yoked marriage, I have found it quite tempting to pray for my spouse’s habits that most irritate me. I have even left my time of prayer only to find myself minutes later in the midst of an argument over some trivial matter like what to eat for dinner. Remember “noema” (schemes)? It’s very real! What schemes have you succumbed to? How are you fighting it? Remember, our best weapon is the Word of God–Truth!

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Other related posts:

Spiritual Warfare 101: Is it Real?

Satan, God, the Flesh, and Spiritual Warfare

Before Your Feet Hit the Floor: An Essential Daily Prayer

Every Story Has a Villain, Even Yours

 

 

… On Psalm 91:1

Verse 1. He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High.
“What intimate and unrestrained communion does this describe!-the Christian in everything making known his heart, with its needs and wishes, it’s thoughts and feelings, its doubts and anxieties, its sorrows and its joys, to God, as to a loving friend. And all is not on one side. This Almighty Friend has admitted his chosen one to his ‘secret place.’ It is almost too wonderful to be true. it is almost too presumptuous to entertain. But He Himself permits it, desires it, teaches us to realize that it is communion to which he calls us. ‘The secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him.’ And what is this ‘secret’? It is that in God which the world neither knows, nor sees, nor cares to enjoy. It ishis mind revealed to those who love him, his plans, and ways (‘He made known his ways to Moses‘, Ps 103:7), and thoughts opened to them. Yea, and things hid from angels are manifest to the least of his friends (1 Pe 1:12). He wishes us to know him, and by His Word and by his Spirit he puts himself before us. Ah! it is not his fault if we do not know him. It is our own carelessness.” Mary B. M. Duncan, in “Under the Shadow”, 1867

-Charles Spurgeon, (The Treasury of David Vol 5, p 85)