Balance is an essential component of life – in all areas. This includes the messages we communicate. While we should always try to be positive and loving, there is another side – a more ominous side to the story. That’s what we see in today’s first reading from Joel. “For the day of the LORD is coming; Yes, it is near, a day of darkness and of gloom, a day of clouds and somberness!” Let’s pray that we can preach a balanced message.
There is a spiritual battle going on, every moment of every day. God wants you to draw ever closer to him. And Satan wants to pull you away from God. Jesus talks about these spiritual battles in today’s Gospel reading from Luke 11. He says, “When an unclean spirit goes out of someone, it roams through arid regions searching for rest but, finding none, it says, ‘I shall return to my home from which I came.’ But upon returning, it finds it swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and brings back seven other spirits more wicked than itself who move in and dwell there, and the last condition of that man is worse than the first.”
Satan and his minions are a persistent lot. They never rest in their mission to drag souls away from God. I believe that each time we reject Satan, it really ticks him off. So he redoubles his efforts to get at us. I’m sure you experience this often. I know I do. Recognition is the key. When we recognize the work of the devil in our lives, we stand a much better chance of defeating him. But that can only be done when we rely fully on God. Taking on the devil by ourselves is a recipe for disaster.
Father, in the name of Jesus we cast out Satan and all his evil spirits. Help us to always recognize his ploys, and turn to you for strength in the battle. Amen.
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