The Deceiver

Be Sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour. (1 Peter 5:8 KJV) 

        Sometimes in church when I purposely let my guard down so I can be receptive to worship, much to my dismay subversive thoughts creep in, threatening to undermine any good that may have come of attending. Initially, I mistook this disruptive inner voice as the dark side of me, but over time it has become apparent to me it springs from an evil outside influence.      While it may have fallen out of favor to call this the work of the devil, isn’t this precisely the sort of deception he specializes in? Taking advantage of my lowered defenses he masquerades in a form I am not likely to question and proceeds to try and rattle me and render my efforts to commune with God fruitless.
        Try and think of this influence as the polar opposite of conscience. While conscience provides a gentle nudge for me to put the brakes on to keep from sinning, the devil conspires to nudge me towards sin by using every intrusive means at his disposal. Once he has gained a stronghold there is no limit to the damage he can do.
        But how do we know when a thought crosses the line between temptation and sin? We experience the same twinge of self-satisfaction we have when we think we have gotten away with something. No doubt this is a sensation with which we are all familiar. Once the precedent is set, it becomes easier and easier for the devil to leave us to our own devices, allowing us to come up with all manner of evil thoughts and imaginings on our own---which is what he was after in the first place. We simply make his job easier by succumbing to his flattery and the other tactics in his bag of tricks. 

Dear Lord, Please help us to heed the Bible's instructions in Ephesians 6 to arm ourselves against the devil's trickery. Amen

Carol (NC)