KNOWING THE REALITIES

FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL

SPIRITUAL WARFARE

(Part 14)

KNOWING THE REALITIES

September 26, 2016

Today’s readings:

Job 1:6-22

Psalm 17:1-7

Luke 9:46-50

Jesus won for us our salvation. Satan desires our damnation. In these two realities the stage is set for spiritual warfare. There is a war raging in the heavens and on earth, and we are right in the middle of it. We need to understand what this is all about.

First, Satan has dominion over the fallen world (see 1 John 5:19). And he guards his realm. Asked by the Lord where he had been, Satan said, “Roaming the earth and patrolling it.” (Jb 1:7b). He is always looking for sheep to devour. He is alert, vigilant and dogged. We must never underestimate him.

Second, Satan is powerful and uses such power to cause havoc in our lives. In the case of Job, he was able to deprive Job of all the good he had–his flocks, his possessions, and all of his children (Jb 1:14-19). Satan delights in bringing down the people of God.

Third, Satan particularly hates those who are righteous. He did not like it when God told him about Job. “Have you noticed my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him, blameless and upright, fearing God and avoiding evil.” (Jb 1:8). Satan must have been seething as God described Job, who was everything that Satan stood against. In the same way, the holier we become, the greater the assaults of the enemy against us. Satan cannot stand light shining in his darkened realm.

Fourth, even though Satan is powerful, he can only do what God allows him to do. In the case of Job, the Lord told him, “Very well, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on him.” (Jb 1:12). Even as God allows the devil to afflict us, He sets limits on what the devil can do. As we are afflicted, we need to know that God is still in control.

Fifth, God has a purpose in allowing us to be afflicted, even as most of the time we do not see. If God has a purpose, and it can only be for our good, then in our affliction we must not turn against God. “In all this Job did not sin, nor did he charge God with wrong.” (Jb 1:22). How many people, when they are afflicted, blame God, or get angry at God, or decide to have nothing more to do with God? The irony here is that God is actually doing some good for us.

Sixth, if the above is the case, then we must continue to trust in God, and continue to praise Him for the good that He intends, even as we grieve over our misfortune. “Then Job arose and tore his cloak and cut off his hair. He fell to the ground and worshiped. He said, ‘The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord!’” (Jb 1:20,21b). And rather than turning away from God, we recognize our total dependence on Him, and turn to Him even more, affirming our faithfulness (see Ps 17:1-5). Only He can help us. Only He can show us mercy, delivering us from the enemy. “Show your wonderful mercy, you who deliver with your right arm those who seek refuge from their foes.” (Ps 17:7).

Seventh, the above requires humility, and in fact, we must be careful of sinful pride. Pride is the greatest weakness the enemy can exploit. Job with all his wealth and position was humble, but that is not what can be said of the apostles, who formed the inner core of Jesus. “An argument arose among the disciples about which of them was the greatest.” (Lk 9:46). Pride was the sin of Lucifer, which led to his rebellion. Now as Satan, he knows well how pride can bring someone down. We must not give him the opportunity.

Eighth, we need to look to the whole Church, the body of Christ on earth, for doing God’s work. Pride easily enters Church groups and organizations. They think they are the best and the most successful, and look down on or have nothing to do with others also serving in the Church. John said of an exorcist, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name and we tried to prevent him because he does not follow in our company.” (Lk 9:49). Rather, in this vast spiritual war, God looks to all His people. As Jesus said to John, “Do not prevent him, for whoever is not against you is for you.” (Lk 9:50). In other words, he works for the Lord, as you work for the Lord. As such, he is for the Lord, and therefore he is for you.

As a footnote, this is where the Lord has already brought us with LCSC. We as CFC-FFL no longer keep our pastoral materials to ourselves, but share these with others in the Church. We do not necessarily look to our own growth in membership (though that surely will come in greater numbers), but simply look to bringing Catholics back to God and back to the Church. We do not just form our own leaders, but also those parish leaders who are not our members. LCSC looks to harnessing the workers in the parishes to do a massive work of evangelization. LCSC looks to other Church organizations fully embracing LCSC as CFC-FFL has done. Then our Church will have the workers to bring in the harvest, as we continue engagement in this spiritual war.

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