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“Like a slimy black leech, the little demon clung to him, its taloned fingers entwining Marshall’s legs like parasitic tendrils, holding him back, poisoning his spirit . . . . The demon gripped [Marshall] tighter and began to climb and slither upward. Marshall felt the first pangs of despair as he stood there alone . . . . The strength of [Marshall’s] legs seemed to surrender under the load of his sorrow, and he sank to the steps in front of the old building, despondent. The demon’s talons surrounded his heart and he muttered in a quivering voice, “What’s the use?”

NOW what do you think about spiritual warfare? Although this fictionalized work (This Present Darkness by Frank Peretti) or the conversations in C.S. Lewis’s The Screwtape Letters may not be totally accurate, these depictions certainly opened my eyes to the REALITY of spiritual warfare, the REALITY of how the enemy might work, the REALITY that “Your enemy, the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8) And I believe there was some drooling & lip-smacking going on recently.

How can a group of Christ-followers, covered with the robe of the righteousness of Jesus, be caught so off-guard? I, for one, hold myself responsible.

The first part of 1 Peter 5:8 says, “Be self-controlled and alert.”  I visualize a door cracked open with talons griping the frame of the door, scrabbling for enough leverage to slither through. My skin crawls…

Why would I hold myself responsible? I was not alert. I have all the armor of God available to me. Had I put it all on? Was it all tightened and ready for the battle? That was my job. I do realize that it was not only MY job, but that’s no excuse. I was not on guard. I’ve been too complacent lately – things were going well – and the enemy was just around the corner, waiting.  The victory is already won in Christ, but the battle does continue around us, and I was not prepared.

Satan is called the “accuser of the brothers (and sisters).” We don’t need to help him.

Each one of you is part of the body of Christ, and you were chosen to live together in peace. So let the peace that comes from Christ control your thoughts. And be grateful. Colossians 3:15

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