February 17
The Curse of Modern Christianity
For reading & meditation: Ephesians 4:25-32
"' and do not give the devil a foothold." (v.27)

There is a price to pay for our desire to grab at easy answers and that price is "trivialization." Trivialization is the acceptance of explanations that ignore the difficult questions of life in order to experience relief from confusion. I have no hesitation in saying that this is a curse of the modern Church.

One way trivialization reveals itself is in the acceptance, by so many, of the view that the major cause of Christians' problems is demonic activity. Demonic activity can be a cause of problems (especially in those who have dabbled in the occult) but it is not the chief cause. The New Testament teaches us the importance of spiritual warfare, but it has much more to say about the influence of our carnal nature on the rise and development of problems.
 
In the early days of my ministry, when people came to me with problems I would frequently engage in the practice of rebuking the devil, and those prayers often brought great relief. But the mistake I made was not to sit down with the people who came to me and deal with the beneath-the-surface problems which had given Satan a foothold in their lives. By making it appear that Satan was the only problem I trivialized the issue. It's a lot easier (and less confusing) to sit down with a person and "take authority" over Satan than it is to think through together the tough and perplexing issues that lie beneath the surface, and then work towards giving some Biblical perspectives. But that is demanded of us if we are to help each other towards maturity.
 
O Father, forgive us for the ways in which we trivialize Your truth in order to avoid facing the tough issues. It feels good to replace confusion with certainty, but help us to be sure that the certainty is Your certainty. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
 
For further study:
1. What are we to add to our faith?
2. What was Paul's admonition?