We live in a world that is often characterized by violence. There always seems to be someone who is trying to take something off another person by means of violence. The enemy of God, Satan, will be trying to take away the God-given gift of faith from each one of us until the day that we die! He does not want to lose and will employ any means at his disposal, usually unfair, to achieve his evil end. It is up to us to stand firm in our faith and to stop him from doing this! How do we do this?

In the spiritual tradition of the Church there is a long history of men and women overcoming many obstacles in their lives in order to remain obedient to the will of God. Obedience to the will of God is a sure way of defeating the devil! Why? Simply because obedience requires humility and not only is Satan incapable of defeating true humility, he cannot understand it at all. This is because his fundamental sin is rebellion against the will of God for his own life. He did not want, and subsequently refused to submit his life to God’s will.

If we read the Gospels carefully, particularly John’s Gospel, we will find that one of the strongest themes that characterizes Jesus’ life is His submission to the will of His Father in Heaven. This is directly the opposite of Satan. If we are truly to become Disciples of Jesus, then we will have to beg the Holy Spirit to help us submit our lives fully to the will of the Father. This will always be an ongoing process as the more deeply we submit our lives to God, the more desperate that Satan will be to seduce us away from God and into his kingdom of darkness.

A different sort of violence, a perfectly legitimate form, best repulses the violence that Satan will try to inflict upon us! The violence that I am referring to is for us to choose to do violence to our own wills by favoring instead the will of God for our lives. In this way we will be taking a stand for truth and integrity whilst rejecting the lies of sin. This is ultimately the only way to holiness. This is why the saints so often write about the need for humility in order to remain obedient to God in ALL THINGS and not just in the things that please us. This is the difference between an ordinary life and an extraordinary life – between a good person a saint.

How willing am I to deny my pleasures and myself in order to do the things I know that God wants me to do.

Lord Jesus, help me to become more like you. Help me to hear your word for my life and to be as obedient to it as is possible.