Kathy Bernard - Publisher
"Get thee behind me, Satan! You are an offense to me
for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men. Matthew 16:23
How many of us paid attention to what we said in response to our renewal of baptismal vows on Easter Sunday? And as a Christian Catholic, how many times have we fallen prey to Satan when we are confronted with one of his extraordinary decoys to steal us away from Christ?We often fall short of being the Christians we should be. Some of our sins are small; others fall into a gray area sometimes. Some sin actions are blatant and defiant in spite of our claim to Christian values. When we open the door for Satan to willingly come into our lives by our acceptance of the small tokens he uses to snare us, we must recognize this is one of Satan’s oldest tricks to steal us away from God. However, "No temptation will overtake you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, Who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it." ICorinthians10:13.
Thereis a story about Satan selling some of his tools at a garage sale he was giving. There on tables grouped by importance were his bright, shiny but deadly trinkets. One could find tools that made it easy to tear others down. And for those who had big egos, there were lenses for magnifying ones own importance, but if you looked through them the other way, you could also use the lens to belittle others. An unusual assortment of gardening implements stood together with a guarantee to help your pride grow by leaps and bounds. Also in prominence was the rake of scorn, the shovel of jealousy for digging a pit for your neighbor, tools of gossip and backbiting, of selfishness and apathy. All of these were pleasing to the eye and came complete with great promises and guarantees of prosperity. The prices, of course, were steep but a sign declared "Free Credit Extended" to all. "Take at least one home, use it. You don't have to pay until later!" old Satan cried rubbing his hands in glee.
One prospective buyer was looking at all the things offered when he noticed two well-worn, non-descript tools standing in one corner. Not being nearly as tempting as the other items, he found it curious that these two tools had price tags higher than any other. When he asked why, Satan just laughed and said, "Well, that'sbecause these two are more useful to me than the others. I can pry open and get inside a persons heart with these when I cannot get near them with my other tools. Once I get inside, I can make people do what I choose. They are badly worn because I use them on almost everyone, since very few people know that they belong to me.
Satan pointed to the two tools, saying, "You see, I call that one Doubt and the other Discouragement. Those will work when nothing else will." Doubt and discouragement are insidious and destructive. If we allow these two human conditions to flower and become uppermost in our minds, they become stronger and more insistent, allowing Satan to enter and wreck havoc with our beliefs. Rejecting Satan sounds frightening, especially when he's described as being the "father of sin and prince of darkness." We know he is the master of seduction but we cringe to think that he has any power over us. Because Satan is crafty he uses everyday settings in which to steal a part of our Christianity. If we give him an inch, he will take a yard, always under the guise of benign and non-threatening measures. Therefore if we act against our consciences (the Holy Spirit) and ignore our baptismal vows, we are open to the wiles of Satan and will become separated from God until we no longer can hear His warnings. We are all subject to the pull of evil. From the very beginning of time, Satan has raged a battle for the souls of men and women God created. He wants to take as many souls as he can to eternal hell with him so he is joyful each time a Christian falls into his trap of trickery. We must be vigilant and watchful, asking God for His help. Although we may sin, if we become sincerely ashamed and contrite, feeling the sorrow of that sin, we can ask for Gods forgiveness. St. James 4:7 tells us Submit to God. Resist the devil (Satan) and he will flee from you. And then again 2 Peter2-9 gives us hope when we are told The Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment. Keep in mind that Satan tempts us today in the same way he tempted Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. We also know he even tempted the Son of God in the wilderness for forty days (Luke 4:1-13). But God has given us everything we need for victory over sin every time. Ephesians 6:10-16 says the following: Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
Do you reject sin as to live in the freedom of God's children?
Do you reject the glamour of evil and refuse to be mastered by sin?
Do you reject Satan, the father of sin and the prince of darkness?
Do you reject Satan and all his empty promises?
Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried,
which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. James1 :12
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