The Celtic Revival: Celtic Christian Worldview (10)
Moreover when he abandoned the blessedness of his Creator, that angel completely lost every good quality of his own nature which he had in his creation. But if he continues evil for himself, he always remains good for God while he complies obediently with the Lord’s command, though not of his own free will but because of God’s power. For of every good quality he had of his nature he now possesses only this: that he yields to God the Creator in all his commands.
- Anonymous, Liber de Ordine Creaturarum, Irish, 7th century
“But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you. Or how can one enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? And then he will plunder his house.”
- Matthew 12.28, 29
The world shows the effects of having departed from God’s noble rules. And they who will not scorn this present world and seek the Kingdom which is not of this world make themselves prey of the enemy of their souls and of God.
Make no mistake about it, the devil and his ilk are a dangerous lot. Not so much for the threat of demonic possession, as of demonic deception. The devil stalks about like a roaring lion, and he will devour anyone who doubts his power, tests his mettle, or listens to his lies.
But as the writer of the Liber understood, the devil stalks around at the end of a leash, and that leash is held tight in the hand of his conquering Lord. The key to dealing with the devil in this fallen world is to keep your eye on the Lord and always be ready to defend yourself with His Word.
Celtic Christians understood that we are engaged in a great spiritual warfare, and our adversary wants nothing so much as to cause us to doubt our salvation, deny the authority of our King, and depart from the way of righteousness. He strews our path with temptations, diversions, distractions, rationalizations, and trials, hoping to dislodge us from our walk with and work for the Lord.
Some Christian writers have puffed the devil more than they should, making him appear almost equal in power to our risen and reigning King, if only for now. He’s not, of course, even though he can be a fearsome foe. Jesus declared that He had bound the devil – put him under constraints and restrictions. He explained that, from that moment forward, He would plunder the devil’s holdings, until every lost and chosen soul was recovered and all of creation was restored to its good and upright condition.
So while we scorn this present world, we do not abandon it. Instead, understanding that we must resist our foe with every Word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord, we press on to recover ground – souls, culture, creation, and all of life from the darkness of sin and unbelief into the glorious light of our King Jesus.
The devil has no power to control or defeat those who understand his wiles and know how to avoid his traps and snares. The problem with most of us is that we recognize temptation too late, after we have tumbled through it into sin. Or we crumble under our trials and fall into despair, aid and abet the enemy of our souls by bringing the fire of sin into our breast, or practice a studied ignorance of the way of righteousness, so that we are easily distracted and diverted from our proper path.
If you are not making the most of your time, every moment of it, spiritual forces of wickedness will invade your time, in a harmless or beguiling guise, but with death-dealing intentions (Eph. 5.15-17). There is no neutral ground in the spiritual warfare.
We do not have to be defeated by the devil; Jesus has him on a chain. He “now possesses only this: that he yields to God the Creator in all his commands.”
But we must understand what is required of us, and to practice vigilance and continuous preparation against his every assault. Keep your eye on Jesus. Understand the devil’s wiles and ways. Then stay on the path of righteousness, and walk in the Spirit, not in the flesh.
1. How should you prepare each day for the spiritual warfare you will surely encounter?
2. How can you encourage fellow believers to keep their eyes on Jesus?
Psalm 35.1-4, 9, 10 (Creation: Exalt the Lord, His Praise Proclaim)
Contend, O Lord, with those who strive with me;
My shield, my strength and buckler be!
Engage with spear and axe to fight
and rescue me with all Your might!
My soul with Your salvation soothe,
and vanquish all who oppose Your truth.
Let those ashamed and humbled be
who would destroy and humble me.
Thus shall our souls rejoice in You
and hold Your salvation ever true.
Our bones as one aloud shall cry,
“Lord, who is like You, enthroned on high,
Who cares for those too frail and meek
to save themselves when they are weak?
Who rescues His afflicted ones
when foes their warfare have begun?
Lord, help me to resist the devil and to stay on the path of righteousness You have chosen for me, so that I…
For many people, it will come as a surprise to know that Satan has been bound. But it’s no surprise to him. Far from it. Our book, Satan Bound, outlines a theology of evil, culminating in the Lord’s overthrow of the devil and his power. This book will enlighten your understanding of the devil’s subtle ways and embolden you to join with Jesus in plundering his house. Lean more, listen to an excerpt, and order your free copy by clicking here.
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T. M. Moore, Principal
All Psalms for singing from The Ailbe Psalter. Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
 Liber, p. 13.