Faith and Spirituality - You're like the rope used in a game of Tug-o-War
I am a little more than halfway through the book Christ versus Satan in Our Daily Lives by Fr. Robert Spitzer. It is very good. It is opening my eyes as to how the devil is working in the world today, as well as how he is working in my own life against my conversion.
I can see it in various friends and acquaintances that I have had throughout my life. I can see it in one friend in particular, Lance, who was the guy who was sent to me to try to turn me away from my conversion at the very beginning of my spiritual journey to the church. His whole take on it is that faith and spirituality was that it's a joke. I was a fool for going down that path. I was a slave who stood and knelt obediently. He also introduced me to a different concept. It was a set of books that he had been reading that mocked Christianity, turning it all into a conspiracy to control us and keep us in our place. I will admit, it piqued my interest at first. It just didn't work. I had tasted the dark side and simply didn't like it.
Also, God proved he was real to me through private revelation. That's something that I personally can't deny. During the dark times, when I was looking into the occult, the devil also proved his realness to me through private revelation in a different way. I would ultimately turn to the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. The devil lost that battle. And that's where I'm at today or at least I'm trying. But the devil never gives up.
Knowing is half the battle, or so they say. Knowing how the devil works, helps you to resist him. If you can see a temptation for what it is then perhaps you can resist it. If you are experiencing negative thoughts or feelings, and understand where they come from, you can do the work to change your path and focus to God and start experience the love and joy that comes with doing so. Occasionally you'll be able to see how the devil is working in others and see it as an opportunity to help them see the light.
My own faith and spirituality is much stronger now than it was then. I'm no saint or anything, but it is an important part of my life. That's because I'm better able to recognize how God has worked in my life. I'm able to see how he reached his hand out to me when I was at rock bottom and pulled me back up. But even with God having my back all the way, the devil still tries. It's like holding onto a railing while trying to not get sucked into a tornado.
The devil tempts you with things that will bring you short term gain and instant gratification, but will ultimately lead you astray. Then he fools you into believing this is all there is to life and that Gods way is no better than his. Many will fall for it.
I am always under spiritual attack it seems. I feel the loneliness, the despair, my own depression every now and then. I went to confession one day and felt great coming out, then the devil says, "yeah but you did this and this and this and you forgot to tell him that, didn't you?" I'm always faced with temptation. I'm always hearing the devil's suggestions. You are too. You just probably don't recognize it.
As for my friend Lance, I haven't seen him in years, but it is my understanding that he lives in a pit of depression. He never achieved any of his goals. Never accomplished anything. He is full of regrets. I'd love to show him the light. If God wills it, it will happen. But I won't hold my breath because the guy has free will and will ultimately choose his own path.
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