REFLECTION FOR TODAY
May 19, 2021
By Fr. Andrew Ibegbulem, OSA
I gave them your word, and the world hated them, because they do not belong to the world any more than I belong to the world. I do not ask that you take them out of the world but that you keep them from the Evil One.” Jn. 17:14-15
The evil one is real. We are all familiar with the horrors that are associated with our modern world. The horror of terrorist attacks, gun violence, hatred and much more. We hear of bitter conflict around the world, but do we recognize the battles fought in our souls and relationships? Are we aware of the weapon the evil one uses against us in these battles?
The evil one has two major goals: To rob us of our eternal inheritance in Jesus and to destroy our love for one another. As Christians, we should not be afraid of the evil one, he is a conquered foe. But it is important we become familiar with the tactics he uses against us, our families, and friends.
The evil one is the highest of the fallen angels who retain their natural spiritual power given them at their creation. God created all angelic creatures with the purpose of serving His holy will. Among the fallen angels, the highest of them directs the others, and he is traditionally given the name Lucifer or “the devil.”
One of the natural spiritual powers that these fallen angelic creatures retain is the power of influence and suggestive thought. They were created to be messengers of God’s truth to us; but, in their fallen state, they seek to communicate confusion and lies instead. Therefore, it is very helpful to understand the way the evil one and the other fallen angels communicate to us so that we can reject their lies and listen only to the voice of God.
The evil one assaults us with weapons of self-condemnation and temptation to accuse others. Condemnation and division never come from Jesus, who came essentially to forgive and redeem us. It is their tactic to make us feel isolated, powerless, unloved, and unlovable. They seek to blind us to the love of God. Hatred and confusion come from the lies of the evil one, who tries to confuse us by stealing our identity as children of God.
As Christians, we need to be prayerful and discern the spirit that speaks to us. Discernment of spirits are of great value and will assist us on our daily struggle with sin and our daily pursuit of holiness. Understanding the deceptions of the evil one and discerning the promptings of grace given by God bring clarity to our daily lives and direction to all our actions.
The good news is that Jesus knows our weaknesses and He prays for our protection. By the name of Jesus, we are protected from the evil one. What name in heaven or earth is powerful enough to defect Jesus?
Reflect, today, upon the importance of learning how to discern both the voice of God and the lies of the evil one. Work to discern the voice of God so that you may follow Him more faithfully. And seek to discern the lies of the evil one so that you will not be influenced by him and can directly reject him. Commit yourself to a more rigorous discernment of these spiritual experiences in your life and allow this prayer of Jesus to direct you into His holy will.
All-powerful Lord, You have conquered the evil one and provide all the grace I need to overcome his lies and deceptions. Open my mind to discern Your voice and give clarity to the voice of the evil one so that I may choose You with my whole heart and reject all that the evil one tries to say to me. Jesus, I trust in You.