“Get thee behind me Satan.”
How many times do we say that in our lives? How many times do we recognize Satan’s attempts at influencing our lives?
I remember listening to an interview with a priest who dealt with exorcisms and he spoke in great detail about the battle for souls and demonic influence. He said most people could barely fathom the war waging for our souls and if the battle were made visible to our eyes, many people would likely go mad.
That is not a comforting thought.
Thankfully, if we embrace the salvation of Jesus Christ, the battle has already been fought and won by God Himself.
Unfortunatley, free will and the resulting sin tempt us off the holy path and into areas such as lust, rage and despair. Jesus was also tempted by Satan on numerous occasions, so we should expect no less for ourselves. In the desert before his ministry started, in the Garden before his Passion and with his best friend and follower, Peter, trying to keep him from making the sacrifice he was born to make.
Jesus recognized all of them for what they were… Satan’s influence. “Get thee behind me Satan.”
When I look at Christians in the film industry, I am often reminded that Satan never gives up. You can take Mel Gibson, for example. Gibson overcame tremendous obstacles and challenges to film The Passion of the Christ. He was attacked at every moment up and through it’s global release in theaters. But, her persevered. He did not give up. He stayed the course and created a film that has, literally, changed lives and redirected souls toward Jesus.
Yet, Satan does not give up.
Years later, in a weakened state, Satan attacked at Gibson’s most vulnerable area… his addiction to alcohol. He got drunk, said anti-Semitic things and, in many people’s eyes, only validated the rumors about him during the release of Passion and thereby negated the film in their eyes. He has subsequently divorced his long-wed wife and is fathering a child out of wedlock.
Satan does not give up on us. He will continue to attack and attack and attack. If we are not shielded in God’s grace, protected by our own holiness, those demonic influences can weaken us and potentially bring us down.
“Get thee behind me Satan.”
Strong words. Necessary words for those of us trying to live a Christian life. For sin always presents itself as a good thing, attractive and potentially harmless.
“If you know you’re going to die, Jesus, by going to Jerusalem, then don’t go!” Sounds like a good idea, one presented with logic and compassion. It was, however, a purely human suggestion. Peter did not yet comprehend the sacrifice Jesus was about to make.
If you read about the lives of the Saints, you will find many of them were not only comforted by angels, but were often attacked by demons. Saint Padre Pio, who suffered the stigmata, would often get physically attacked by demons and, later, would be nursed back by angels.
The battle is real. We should not take it lightly. Human nature is not a surprising thing. For centuries, mankind has repeated successes and failures. Demons know this… they know that if they push certain personalities in certain directions at certain times, we are prone to sin. And they will keep feeding us sin until we either reject it or embrace it.
As Christians lets us follow Jesus’ example and yell “Get thee behind me Satan!” Let us embrace a holy life, let us ask for heavenly protection and, as is stated in the Lord’s Prayer, ask God to “lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”