“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.
Device 7: Making the soul bold to venture upon the occasions of sin Says Satan, You may walk by the harlot’s door though you won’t go into the harlot’s bed; you may sit and sup with the drunkard, though you won’t be drunk with the drunkard; you may look upon Jezebel’s beauty, and you may play […]
In his sixth “device” of Satan against believers in our striving toward holiness, Thomas Brooks offers this one remedy among many: … to consider of the nature of true repentance. Repentance is some other thing, than what vain men conceive .. True repentance is a thorough change both of the mind and life. Repentance for […]
Making messes has always been easy for humans. Cleaning them up is the perpetual challenge. And the easier cleaning becomes the messier we may allow ourselves to get. Especially if it’s someone else doing the cleaning. As Thomas Brooks states, Satan wants us to be comfortable in our sins knowing we have a God who freely forgives through repentance. And because repentance is so easy, why not sin away knowing our return home is such a quick trip?
Thomas Brooks says Satan’s fourth device to lure us into transgression is to make us focus on the sins of the faithful while passing over repentance, forgiveness, and restoration. He longs to have us think that we can engage in the same wrong behaviors that others fall into. But he hides from our eyes the terrible price we will pay in the long road of recovery.
If you don’t mind my quoting a children’s book in the midst of such an otherwise serious subject: “I wasn’t going to eat it. I was just going to taste it.” These are the words of Winnie-the-Pooh, the perennially vexed creation of A.A. Milne about his favorite temptation, honey. Of course we know Pooh Bear was going to eat the honey. But caught on the line between temptation and indulgence, the stuffed children’s toy offers a plausible interpretation of events. He minimized his sin. And we do the same.