Right living and right believing depends on right thinking. And when you’re trying to devote yourself to God, Satan will try to distract you with what Thomas Brooks calls “vain thoughts.” These are worries, worldly cares, discouragements, and arguments against Christ and his kingdom. They can wear you down and “put you off” from serving the Lord. Winning this battle is about engaging this wrong thinking, taking hold of it, and countering it with a healthy dose of truth. In Precious Remedies against Satan’s Devices, Brooks explains seven ways to do this.
There are a lot of things a runner has to watch out for on the road. After 18 years of running, I can tell you I’ve met my fair share of them.
Take your eyes off the road, and you might trip over a rock or piece of trash. Stray from the path, and your foot can wind up in a hole or caught on a downed tree limb. And don’t think that guy turning right at the intersection is going to see you before he goes. He won’t.
One of the first safety rules I learned about road running: Always run against the flow of traffic. Simply put, run on the left side. That way, oncoming cars can see you more easily. But more importantly, you don’t have your back to them like you would on the right side.
Don’t think that would matter so much? Imagine running on the right shoulder. Your earbuds are in. You’re focused on knocking out the next mile. And the driver behind you takes his eyes off the road for just a second to look at a text message on his phone.
That’s all it takes. One second. And your running days are over.
To read Precious Remedies is to assent that Satan is real, to be satisfied in the lack of apology for this stance, and to strive to learn the timeless tools the author has given us to defeat him.
Thomas Brooks liked to write an “epistle dedicatory” in his books. What are they exactly? We use the one in Precious Remedies as an example.