It was a great blessing to welcome our brother, Dr. Richard Beck, to teach a rich and important message on the true nature of spiritual warfare. The "devil" exists in many forms; in all that opposes loving kindness, in the empty promises of the world, in the idols of our own hearts, and in the voice of accusation that seeks to keep us mired in shame. Our choice is whether to succumb to that story, or to place our trust and allegiance in the transforming grace of Christ, our perfect advocate.
Reflection & Practice
Dr. Beck spoke of the many names we have for the Devil; one being the "satanic" presence that makes kindness rare, that treats kindness in a violent world as dangerous. Thérèse de Lisieux wrote, “Miss no single opportunity of making some small sacrifice, here by a smiling look, there by a kindly word; always doing the smallest right and doing it all for love.” How might you adopt practices of presence this week, committing yourself to do each small thing with great love? How will you also call out the kindnesses you witness as the "rare and precious" things they are?
Another name he gave for the Devil is our bent toward idolatry. He asked us to consider our places of feeling superior, and to ask ourselves where we turn when we are hurt or threatened. Do we lean on our own willpower, our intelligence, our wealth? What is the "perch" from which we look down?
Reflect upon Ephesians 3: 16-19 every day this week as a prayer; asking God for the power to truly comprehend and accept the love that is infinitely long, wide, high, and deep. On the day you stand before the Lord, the voice of the accuser will not be present.
16 Father, out of Your honorable and glorious riches, strengthen Your people. Fill their souls with the power of Your Spirit 17 so that through faith the Anointed One will reside in their hearts. May love be the rich soil where their lives take root. May it be the bedrock where their lives are founded so that together 18-19 with all of Your people they will have the power to understand that the love of the Anointed is infinitely long, wide, high, and deep, surpassing everything anyone previously experienced. God, may Your fullness flood through their entire beings.
I Need Thee Every Hour
Jesus Paid It All
Jesus, Savior, Pilot Me
Send Out Your Light (Psalm 43)