DELIVER US FROM EVIL

When the battles finds us…

Cainspirations by Kristi Cain, originally published October 29, 2022

DISCOVERING DESTINY.

Overcoming Darkness.

How are you overcoming the struggle to face the shadows of life? Let’s journey together!

 Halloween is a holiday that evokes mixed reactions from Christians.

Some welcome it with open arms as a harmless celebration for the young and young-at-heart. Others are repulsed by the darker supernatural elements associated with it.

While it may not be productive to debate the correct approach to Halloween, the holiday can present Christians an opportunity to contemplate the best way to confront the darkness we face in life, so we can understand how God is calling us to combat it.

Like Halloween, topics relating to the forces of evil draw a great deal of debate among Christians. In the introduction to one of his most popular and controversial works, The Screwtape Letters, C.S. Lewis puts it this way:

“There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them.”

I believe Lewis’s first point is worth examining. A typical tactic the enemy uses to dupe well-meaning Christians is to promote the idea that it is indecent to acknowledge the reality of evil.

Throughout the pages of the Bible Christians draw their identity from—as well as within every page of secular human history—there are extensive examples of the influence of evil upon our world and our individual hearts.

Indeed, if we choose to shut our eyes to the pernicious effects of ruthless ambition, violence, substance abuse, and sexual immorality, they will swallow up our lives before we realize what hit us.

In short, it is impossible to defend yourself from attacks you don’t see coming. And the unfortunate truth is that we have been under attack from the dawn of our creation in Eden.

Ironically, the first attack we were ever blindsided by also caused our eyes to be opened. The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.

And our first mistake was listening to the lie that it was harmless.

I realize how contradictory that sounds. The popular phrase, “knowledge is power,” is an accepted truth among educated and self-reflective Christians.

And the point I just raised, that it is dangerous *not* to acknowledge evil doesn’t seem to fit with original sin, either. If God wants us to acknowledge evil, why didn’t he want us to know about it in the first place?

But understanding what went wrong for us with the Tree of Knowledge can also help us understand our best defense from the evil it has subjected us to. 

The reason God did not want us to eat from that tree was the exact same reason that no one but Jesus can save us from the mess it got us into. The exact same reason that none of us can save even ourselves.

When God created man in his image, as a being of the dust of the earth, there was a purity and innocence to Adam compared to the sons of gods whose beauty filled them with rebellious pride.

It would not surprise me if our accuser had even then raised the point that our purity was only born of naivety.

Whether or not this is true, God’s creative intent has always been to bestow his children with full possession of their own free wills. No form of love or loyalty to God can ever be compromised by coercion. It must be our choice.

But in order to have a choice, there must be options. There must be a test.

And I believe the Tree of Knowledge was our original test of loyalty.

But God was not out to trick us. He genuinely wanted us to choose obedience. He was not seeking to tantalize us with an advantage to deprive us of as the serpent claimed.

He forbade us to eat from the Tree of Knowledge because he knew our limits, even when we didn’t know them ourselves.

And that is the crux of original sin. Not knowing our own limits. Thinking we can handle the knowledge of evil without being corrupted by it.

We simply can’t.

But if that’s the case, why did I raise C.S. Lewis’s point about the need to acknowledge evil?

Because the tree has already been eaten from and sin has already been loosed.

But if we can’t handle evil, won’t acknowledging it corrupt us?

Yes and no. 

Like Lewis said in his second point, acknowledging evil with excessive interest is just as dangerous as denying it. To take it back to original sin, grasping for the knowledge of evil without knowing our own limits will get us into a world of trouble every time.

So if we must acknowledge evil, but can’t handle the knowledge of it, where does that leave us?

Right back where we started in the garden. Choosing loyalty to God instead of our own desires. Trusting his Word and not leaning on our own understanding. Obeying him even when the things he forbids us from doing seem like a good idea at the time.

Navigating the mine fields his way, not ours.

And when in doubt, give a shout. Pray. Study the word. Invite the guidance of the Holy Spirit who will steer you away from harm and pull you onto the path of truth.

And every time we stumble and fall, God has given us the chance to turn back with a penitent heart to the true shepherd whose blood has already covered our sins and restored us to a final destination of safety.

Because the most comforting news of all when it comes to the battles we face is that we are never fighting alone. And the more we trust in our true champion, the more victories we will secure until the war is finally won.
 
Because deliverance from evil is God’s ultimate goal for every one of us. All we have to do is choose to follow him to our new Eden.
 
Want to know your divine calling? Find out with my “Discover Your Destiny” Quiz!

YOUR TURN!

Don’t make me do all the talking – I’d love to hear from you!

  • What has helped you deal with spiritual battles?
  • How has God’s wisdom helped you through difficult circumstances?
  • Do you want to hear about anything else? Any prayer requests?

Just shoot me an email – don’t be shy! And I promise to reply!

BEAUTY IN TODAY

Check out these awesome photos from readers like you!

PHOTO CREDITS (top to bottom, left to right): “Alpine Amber” by Melissa Ann Miller, The Dolomite Alps, Italy; “Gold-Tinted Tetons” by Angela Boyd, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming; “Brilliant Brook” by Kelly Brackett, Abingdon, Virginia; and “Reflective Foliage” by Jeff Turner, Wardsville, Ontario.

Want to share your “Beauty in Today” picture or inspirational musings? Shoot me an email and you just might be featured in my next issue!

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Thanks for visiting with us today! I hope I’ve helped you feel encouraged! – Kristi

Want to join my Cainspirations family of heroes? Click here!

https://kristicainbooks.com

Work looks a lot like play for Kristi Cain and includes freelance writing for Crosswalk, inspirational blogging, writing fantastical stories of Christian fiction, teaching English to teens, and being able to say, “I’m a former journalist.” Home is nestled in the Smoky Mountain foothills with her husband and teenage children. If you ever want a little encouragement in your day, check out her newsletter. Hop over to her website for her latest happenings and join her Facebook group, a fun, faith-based community.

Cain’s life experiences and faith journey have lent her the lens through which she shapes stories of unlocking the light of destiny out of darkness. Through her writing, she hopes to encourage people to understand that the difficult places in life can be the very ingredients that shape the greatest destinies.

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Published by Author Kristi Cain

Author - Teacher - Encourager Kristi is a wife, mother, inspirational blogger, Crosswalk contributor, and crafter of fantastical stories of Christian fiction.

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