A Field Guide from the Abyss | September 2019 Tabletalk

The September 2019 issue of Tabletalk carries a theme as relevant as ever: “A Field Guide from the Abyss” with the subtitle, “A Training Manual for Demons.” You may recognize that as a take-off from C.S. Lewis’ class work The Screwtape Letters, and indeed that is the idea, as Tabletalk also did a few years back.

Editor Burk Parsons explains the purpose behind publication of this fictional “training manual for demons”:

In C.S. Lewis’ book The Screwtape Letters, a senior demon, Screwtape, composes letters to his trainee, Wormwood, and advises and directs him in a number of ways to achieve Satan’s evil ends. Reflecting on writing these letters, Lewis said, “Though I had never written anything more easily, I never wrote with less enjoyment.” In the spirit of Lewis’ Screwtape Letters, we offer here “A Field Guide from the Abyss,” a fictional manual for destroying the church. The field guide takes the form of an instructional booklet for demons who need a crash course in basic strategy for their evil ends to be realized.

The primary goal of this guide is to help Christians “escape the snare of the devil” (2 Tim. 2:26) and to become more keenly aware of our enemy’s deceitful scheme—to destroy our Lord’s church. By God’s grace, knowing the devil’s strategies will help us to be neither “outwitted by Satan” nor “ignorant of his designs” (2 Cor. 2:11). Instead, we will be more “watchful” as he “prowls around like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8) and will remember that He who is in us is greater than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4).

I have begun reading the 16 sections of demonic counsel, and they are powerful and practical in learning the ways of our spiritual enemy. Tonight I choose the one  “Wear Down Worship” by Christ Larson. But you ought also read “Wreck the Word of God” (by Steven Lawson) this week sometime.

Here is a portion of Larson’s article, especially powerful in light of our Lord’s Day yesterday:

There is nothing more terrifying for us than the Enemy’s people gathered together worshiping Him. They’ll hear their King’s proclamations, have their consciences washed clean, and gain new strength. These weekly assemblies are the source of much of our shuddering. Adding insult to injury, they call it the “Lord’s Day” and meet on the first day of their week, celebrating our greatest loss when the sinless One was resurrected from the dead.

Aim to have Christians skip Sunday worship. Let them think worship is optional and not an actual summons to meet with the Sovereign. Keep them up late on Saturday nights. Harass them on Sunday morning with every worldly care, distract them with recreation or politics, or misdirect them by having them think their digital devices can substitute for gathering with real flesh and blood. In fact, replace their pastor with a remote somebody they listen to without knowing him in the flesh.

Cause them to lose their focus when they gather to worship the Enemy. Have them think about how the worship service made them feel rather than about what is pleasing to the Enemy. Let them think worship is boring, and let them lose their sense of reverence. Let them mistake fickle emotions for the Holy Spirit.

If these fools cannot be kept away from gathering, they can surely be led to worship half-heartedly. When the preacher preaches, get their thoughts wandering. When they sing, let them think about themselves and not what they are affirming with the others. When they pray, whisper their to-do list. When they take the Lord’s Supper, let them only remember a past event or think some magic is taking place.

Deploy these strategies to weaken your prey, and in so doing you will help blunt the greatest weapons wielded by the Enemy’s people.

Follow the link below to find other useful articles in fighting off the “wiles of the devil.”

Source: The Snare of the Devil | Tabletalk

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