Saturday, July 18, 2009
Resistance is Fertile
I was reading some wonderful thoughts over at Jeff MCQ’S blog, Losing My Religion.
Here in particular the final part of a five part set of ponderings entitled “God Is in the Darkness” (part 5: If I Descend into Sheol).
In light of his thoughts, reflections, pondering and questions, I want to add something here from my friend Bill Landon, an excerpt from his book, “The Devil You Don’t Know”.
“We should not be surprised by the fact that the idea of Satan in our flesh is inherently offensive to us in our worldly understanding. This offense is, in a curious way, one more bit of evidence that this is a true representation of our condition in this world. I can say this because Satan is a liar and the father of lies. Please read John 8:44. The most dreadful prospect for a liar is exposure. For this reason we would expect a swift and strong reaction of the flesh to exposure of its true identity. The clear light of truth is death to one who lives by falsehood. The only power a lie has comes from our belief in it. Once the truth is known and accepted, the liar and his lies can no longer exert any influence over our living. This is why Scripture tells us that the truth is liberating us: John 8:32. Given the gravity of this situation, it would be naive for us to expect truth about the flesh to come to us without some considerable resistance.”
“Another aspect of this truth that Satan dwells in our physical body as the flesh is our reaction to this truth. We have all been the victims of years of exposure to the lies of the evil one. This exposure to falsehood has biased us in our thinking and understanding of how the world operates. The last thing that Satan wants is for us to see the truth about anything—especially the truth about our need to be healed and spiritually completed. As long as the evil one can keep us convinced that we are spiritually healthy or at least very nearly good in our natural state, he can block us from turning to the one true source of life and spiritual health—Christ. This includes not only interfering with our salvation but also complicating our daily surrender to letting Christ operate as our only effective source for living. I would be more suspicious of the validity of the idea of Satan in the flesh if it were easily acceptable to my intellectual understanding than if it came as it does with some conflict. The devil will never give up his resistance to God and to our well-being. The only way we can ever know if our objection to an idea is due to its truth or falsehood is by spiritual discernment.”
“A common argument that is leveled against this view is that the idea of Satan in the flesh is an indictment of the Father for shoddy workmanship. Some people see this understanding as an accusation that the Father did a partial job when He saved us because He left the evil one in our body. Later on I hope to show that this is not the case. I maintain that this idea of Satan in the flesh in no way disparages the wonder of the Father’s creation or our rebirth. This idea is, rather, a testimony to the completeness of the Father’s planning in His creation and in the supremacy of His power. For now let’s just say that if God is as big as we claim He is, He should have no problem with Satan living next door.”
“In order for the Father’s plan and purpose for the creation to be carried out, the first change in humanity (spiritual leading shifting from the human spirit to the human body) had to be reversed. The first change was needed to allow the action of our free will and to factor Satan into the process as the flesh. In this way the Father gave us real alternatives to choose between. Further, the Father gave us the contrast between the darkness of the flesh and the light of His life so that we might be able to learn about Him and the evil one. Further, the human spirit had to be reactivated and even brought to a level of function beyond what Adam had in his original creation.
I maintain that the revitalization of the human spirit could be (and was) carried out without and necessary modification of the human body. The purpose of the rebirth was to establish the communications between God and us in a Father to rebirthed child relationship. What the rebirth did was to bring into sharper focus the conflict between the two opposing spiritual forces. It is precisely because of the flesh and the Spirit exist within the same physical entity that we can see the true nature of each force. The situation of Christ in our spirit and Satan in our flesh sets up a tension and a contrast that is easy to learn from—if we have the openness to do so.”