It is with Christianity as it is with any personal pursuit: consistent application over time produces results. But this application is not easy. It is this difficulty Satan uses to drive a wedge between us and our devotion to Christ. Thomas Brooks offers these remedies to encourage us onward in our pursuit of spiritual maturity and holiness.
“By working them to be frequent in comparing themselves and their ways, with those who are reputed or reported to be worse than themselves.” In his introductions to these devices of Satan, Thomas Brooks often imagines what our enemy says to us. His words are obviously characterized, based on what Scripture reveals of Satan’s personality, […]
According to Thomas Brooks as he writes of Satan’s eighth device to lure Christians into sin, our enemy wants to convince us happiness is the goal and blessedness is negotiable. Sin is capable of making us happy. But it can never leave us blessed. The happiness of sin is temporal. But the blessedness of holiness and obedience is eternal.
Brooks’ remedies intend to help us put our focus back on the long game, toward the steady “obedience in the same direction” that marks Christian life. We must choose persecution, suffering, and yes even unhappiness if that will lead to blessedness in the eyes of Christ.
The second of Satan’s devices to draw us into sin is to make our transgressions look like good deeds. As children of God who long to please Him, this deception can cause us to think the evil choices we make are actually the will of God. It is the wickedest sort of rationalization – ascribing the acts of the enemy to the words of our Lord. Rationalization is a common human skill. Many of us excel at it. True artistic or academic giftedness are hard to come by. But our ability to explain away our bad decisions is never in short supply.
The minivan we can’t afford because it offers us safety and convenience. The unhealthy romantic relationship we fall into because it help us fit in with our peers. The career choice that makes us miserable because the pay is good and it pleases our parents.
The human mind will never exhaust its ability to rationalize what the human heart knows is wrong.