Spiritual blindness can lead us to offer everything to God except what He wants – a spiritual commitment of the heart.
The Source of Discernment
The Bible is one source of spiritual discernment, but without the interpreting power of the Spirit, reading it would be strictly an academic endeavor.
It is the Holy Spirit who takes the words of Scripture and brings them to life in the believer’s heart. He knows precisely how to apply God’s Word to our exact need at the the right moment.
Commentary from the In Touch devotional by Charles Stanley, April 10, 2019.
“Let not the wise man glory in his
Let not the mighty man glory in his
Nor let the rich man glory in his
But let him who glories glory in
The he understands and knows
That I am the Lord, exercising
and righteousness in the
For in these I delight,” says the
Not only can money and material possessions not satisfy the desires of the heart or bring the lasting happiness they deceptively promise, but they also blind those who pursue them to eternal, spiritual concerns (1 Timothy 6:9,10)
Commentary from The MacArthur Study Bible, notes for Mark 4:19.
The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis
From the book, The Screwtape Letters: “A masterpiece of satire, this classic has entertained and enlightened readers the world over with its sly and ironic portrayal of human life and foibles from the vantage point of Screwtape, a highly placed assistant to “Our Father Below.” At once wildly comic, deadly serious, and strikingly original, C.S. Lewis gives us the correspondence of the worldly-wise old devil to his nephew Wormwood, a novice demon in charge of securing the damnation of an ordinary young man. The Screwtape Letters is the most engaging account of temptation-and triumph over it-ever written.”
As I mentioned, I will be adding excerpts from this book for a while, because it’s the best writing I have found which portrays the tactics of the enemy of our souls.
Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
1 Peter 5:8
-On the broad road-
the state of being superior.
Your Enemy is real. Imagine for a moment that you’re a soldier during wartime. You’ve made it through basic training, mastered the weapons of war, memorized all the relevant warfare strategies, and are heading to battle. You’ve seen the war in news headlines. Friends of yours have already been deployed. And now that you’re on the front lines, you witness explosions and desolation all around you. Without a doubt, you know there is an enemy out to destroy you.
Now, imagine a fellow soldier coming to you and saying, “I really don’t believe there’s an enemy out there. I think it’s a myth, or maybe just a metaphor for evil. It isn’t real.” How ridiculous! Right there in the midst of combat, with fallen comrades and used ammunition littering the battlefield, how could an intelligent person ever fail to acknowledge the presence of the enemy? It’s unthinkable.
What does the Bible convey and how does this unfold in our lives? Remember the words in 1 Peter 5:8? Be sober! Be on alert! Your adversary the Devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour.
In our lives this unfolds many, many ways. I’m actually going to start posting excerpts from The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis as secondary posts, because this is some of the best writing that reflects tactics of our adversary that I have found. One effective tactic though, is explained in 1 Corinthians 15:33.
Do not be deceived: Bad company corrupts good morals.
Being around others who are ignorant about God is just one way our enemy plants seeds of doubt in the minds of believers. Regardless of the tactic, remember this, your enemy will almost always have a smile on his face while he looks for an opportunity to take you down-he does not want to give himself away…he is a deceiver. Therefore, we often won’t even know our enemy is in our presence. Be sober! Be on alert!
Just a couple more reminders, Hebrews 10:38-
But My righteous one will live by faith;
and if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him.
Also, 1 Peter 4:14-
If you are ridiculed for the name of Christ, you are blessed,
because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.
Finally, this could be helpful:
“It does not matter how small the sins are provided that their cumulative effect is to edge the man away from the Light and out into the Nothing. Murder is no better than cards if cards can do the trick. Indeed the safest road to Hell is the gradual one-the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts,
Your affectionate uncle
Excerpt from, The Screwtape Letters, by C.S. Lewis, pages 60-61. HarperCollins ed. 2001.
Beginning ‘wartime’ commentary from Charles Stanley, In Touch devotional, October 18.