Journey: Spiritual - Pastor Daniel Hixon has a blog called Gloria Deo: Wesleyan-glican ramblings. In this blog he discusses various timely issues on the state of the church as a whole as well and the United Methodist Church. I have thoroughly enjoyed his posts.
Daniel has two receint posts dealing with spirits, Satan and exorcism within the United Methodist Church that is fascinating and important. It speaks to many concerns I've had for several years. I recommend reading them before continuing.
As time goes by C.S. Lewis' The Screwtape Letters become less humorous and more frightening. These days it hits a little too close to home. I am a life long Methodist and have been concerned about our middle-of-the-road stance on too many issues. Once speaking with my formerly Roman Catholic wife, we were talking about her sisters fascination with "haunted" B&Bs. I told her that I would have nothing to do with it. She said that maybe because her sister was Catholic that she believe more in the "supernatural." I told her it was BECAUSE I believe in the spirit world that I don't want to have anything to do with them. Either placed like those are hoaxes or they're not. If they're not and there are spirits there, they are not benevolent. They are of Satan and are evil. Satan downplays things to make them seem harmless and curiosities. They are a trap. He does this in many ways in our culture.
Going back to my wife's comment, it told me the perception of Methodists. That we don't believe in the spirit world. And on a whole we don't. We're too busy trying to get the middle-of-the-roaders in our doors. And that means once they're in here, we don't want to do anything to upset them or to scare them off.
But I do believe in spirits. I believe there is a huge battle being fought all around us. And when we pray, we send angels into this battle on our and God's behalf. When we are tempted to sin, there are spirit forces at work. When we rebuke sin, it is a spiritual victory for us.
The devil is real. He/she is attractive, otherwise there would be no temptation. But Satan is cleaver in the most subtile of ways. And that's where he trips me up. It's with the Reese's Peanut Butter Cups or the McDonald's french fries. The BMW or new golf clubs doesn't do it for me (please disregard my previous posts about the iPhone - ooops).
Keep your eyes, physical and spiritual, open and alert.
Thanks Daniel, for reminding us again, it's not about us.