Resist, stand firm

1 Peter 5:6-11
Dear Saviour, Satan seeks
to feed our foolish pride,–
we want God’s gifts, but from
humility we slide.

Watch, think, pray; alert every day
Satan is seeking to lead you astray.

And sometimes he is glad
to make you angry, fret,
not cast your care on Christ, –
God’s power and love forget.

He lulls us into sleep,
and quietly prowls around.
You may not hear him creep,
– he strikes with little sound.

He likes to make us fear;
but firm in faith let’s stand:
God helps his church world-wide
by his almighty hand.

So don’t forget God’s grace,
his purpose and his power.
Don’t panic, but keep watch
for danger hour by hour.
Tune: 66 66 + iambic eg Mine by R F Lehman

Know your God, your enemy, your heart

Able to keep you – King all-wise, –
yet he allows the Prince of lies                    (Know your God)
to bring temptations in your way,
teaching your need to watch and pray.

Real and malicious is our foe,
– cunning, – our weakest points he’ll know,
fiercely he hates our happiness,             (Know your enemy)
skilfully hinders holiness.

Indwelling sin will yearn and lust:
Christians in Christ must daily trust,      (Know your heart)
watch, and take care where weak, and pray
grace to resist, repent each day.
Tune: LM eg Duke Street (Fight the good fight)

Screwtape’s three-pronged strategy

– with indebtedness to C S Lewis

Let them think that God’s remote
– to him they do not matter,
and so they need not give much thought
to get to know him better.

Let them think there is no God,
there’s nothing else but matter,
and human wisdom has evolved
to understand things better.

Let them think there is no code,
that morals do not matter,
with no restraint, experiment,
and think they’ll feel much better.

Do anything to keep from thought
of God, who walked this earth,
by miracle had human birth,
revealing God to whom we matter,
and showed a way of life that’s better,
a God who is and was and shall be,
and soon will change this world of tragedy;

keep them from joy, discarding mutiny.

The Defeat of the Archetype

A spirit of the Great King’s court,
had mutinied, sedition taught,
and sought to cause much trouble, fear,
amongst the subjects; he would steer
them from the rule and care so kind,
and make them of rebellious mind;
but soon they found their master new
a harsh slave-driver, monster too
– the only way they could be freed
was if the King’s own Son agreed
to take him on, fight to the death,
– the guilty then could have new birth,
be freed from this tyrannical rule,
and realise they’d each been a fool,
and glad to find they could return,
receive acquittal none could earn
and what is more, the battle won,
he lives forever, their Saviour-Son.

Corrupting ‘additions’

Satan’s crafty, sly and slick,
and distracts with many a trick
from God’s Word and into lie,
– novel rituals he’ll supply,
or revive the old or ancient,
– anything to supplement
and soon smother revelation,
truth of God for every nation:

so be ready, and aware
of the things that can ensnare.

Do we cherish some tradition
inessential as condition
for true fellowship, or even
introduce lies, toxic leaven?

Communicate God’s Word alone
to whoever has not known.

Satan distracts

Subtle Satan in the garden
sought to draw them by deceit
from obedience, simple trust in
their Creator’s words complete.
Open opposition leaves us
unprepared for subtle lies,
small additions, deviations:
Satan counterfeits, beguiles.

Mere pretence and outward acting
cause confusion, disrespect;
many heresies then flourish: –
who are truly God’s elect?
Saints themselves may be distracted,
and entangled by such things,
scattered, arguing, neglecting
gospel truth that Jesus brings.

Trials show up false religion,
hills of problems make it plain
whether gold is real, or rather
glittering but fake and vain.
Has God’s Word been deeply rooted,
Christ, the Lord obeyed, confessed,
Life received that still will flourish
even better when oppressed?

How to stand

Ephesians 6:10-18
Stand up for truth, be counted;
stand, and be unafraid
of taunts, and persecutions:
no need to be dismayed;
for though it is not easy,
and cowards will not try,
– Christ’s strength is all-sufficient
temptations to defy.

Don’t try to stand for Jesus
with one foot in the world; –
you’ll stumble or you’ll crumble
when Satan’s darts are hurled.
Against the wiles of Satan
if you would like to stand,
then take and wear the armour
Christ has at his command.

Don’t slouch along the pathway,
or soon you’ll drift away:
for only those determined
will keep upon the Way.
Stand strengthened in the Saviour,
with righteousness and truth,
salvation and the gospel,
the Word of God and faith.
Tune: 76 76 D eg Morning Light by G J Webb

Supplies for the race

Each day we have need of supplies of fresh grace,
new problems confront us each lap of the race.
New problems can seem insurmountable, so
we’re tempted to feel God can’t help any more.

My work seems so useless, – is God yet my Guide?
That task is impossible – Satan’s implied.
He loves to discourage, bring words of despair,
and question the profit of trusting and prayer.

For though I’m a failure, to Christ I can come
for grace of forgiveness, and grace to press on.
So pray, and be willing for all he decides,
and trust, and keep walking by grace as he guides.

Keep living by grace, don’t let bitterness grow,
and care for you brethren who heaviness know;
for bitterness causes fault-finding and strife,
makes others discouraged in battles of life.
Tune: 11 11. 11 11 eg My Jesus I love Thee by E F Miller