Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Subtleties of Darkness

But Jesus replied, ‘Scripture says: Man does not live on bread alone.’...  Jesus answered him, ‘Scripture says: You must worship the Lord your God, and serve him alone.’...  (The devil said) " for scripture says:" He will put his angels in charge of you to guard you".
Luke 4:1-13

Today's Gospel records the titanic battle between Jesus and the devil while Jesus is in the desert for 40 days following His baptism (interestingly, baptised with water and with the Holy Spirit).  The first two temptations Jesus refutes using scripture against the devil.  The devil catches on and tries to use scripture to under-pin his third temptation.  Even when the devil uses sacred scripture to disguise himself, Jesus still recognises and defeats him. Praise God!

"The subtleties of darkness never cease to amaze, as the physical world creates a spiritual haze" (Jesus Freak, DC Talk).  I am no stranger to temptation.  But what I am vulnerable to are the "subtleties of darkness".  The devil will use anything to attack me, even something as beautiful and scared as the Word of God.  He was quite right when he said to Jesus the world has been given to him to use as he chooses.  The world is God's creation and is beautiful, but I must always remember the devil can use any of it to seduce me.

The antidote to the attacks from the devil against me is in today's psalm, Psalm 91:
 14 "Because he loves me," says the LORD, "I will rescue him;
       I will protect him, for he knows me as Lord."

This was the defense of Jesus.  He knew His Father.  He had just heard the words spoken over Him: "This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased".  Today I choose to press further up , further in, to know and be known by God my protector.

Jesus, be my protector here in earth and defender in Heaven.
Little Flower, please pray for me.

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