With the New Year upon us, we often find ourselves making goals and plans for some new and improved version of ourselves. At its core, is a fundamental belief that something is not right about us. We have some fault or failing we need to remedy. And from that erroneous starting premise we desire to make repairs. The whole world seeks to fit itself within this system, yet continues to fail year after year after year! The fundamental reason for this persistent, pervasive, cancerous approach is that we are failing to ask ourselves the right questions.
Life is spiritual, not religious, spiritual. Behind everything that you experience in your life is a spiritual cause or influence. The only two spiritual options are good and evil. Sounds simplistic but it’s true whether you believe it or not. Good only seeks to influence you for a good end; happy, healthy and fulfilled. Evil seeks to influence you for something less than desirable and in most cases things that take your life away from you in part or in whole. The end of evil is always death. Short of killing you, evil seeks to “eff” your life up!
At your core essence as a human being there is nothing wrong with you. Persevering with questions about what is wrong with “me” are always the wrong questions. The right question is what are you allowing to influence your life? You have difficulties in your life and can easily see where and how the same things seem to defeat you year after year. You can tell by noticing how many times you have written the same goals, in earnest. You are frustrated because you ‘should’ know better and choose better. The wrong that you and I do is not because we are bad people, yet that is quite hard for us to believe. The wrongs we do are because we have been influenced by evil in some form or fashion. We have accepted something that isn’t true. We have too often taken the bait promising us something that we want only to find out later that’s not what we are getting. In short, we have succumbed to evil influence.
No-one would ever choose evil if they saw it for what it really is. Evil always comes with some deception, some guise, some hard to detect cover. Yet there it sits working behind the scenes on everything that has ever gone wrong with your life. Everything! “The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was to convince the world he didn’t exist.” (The Usual Suspects, circa 1995) Because of this, many, many people attribute things that go wrong to God, the source of all goodness. In catastrophe they seek meaning instead of looking for the evil influence and how it gained access. Absent an answer, again from asking the wrong question, they make up fables concerning God’s greater purpose etc. Goodness cannot do anything but goodness and His influence is always preservative and safe.
Being influenced by evil doesn’t just consist of pursuing lustful pleasures but also encompasses sin, guilt, unworthiness and all unnatural preoccupation with oneself. Feelings of not being worthy, perpetuated by churches and religion, always leads to the most powerful weapon in the adversary’s gun belt – fear! Once the enemy has convinced you that something is wrong with you, you have already been defeated. Once you get on the hamster wheel of making mistakes, feeling badly and doing good works to atone for your sins, get ready because you’re going to be spinning on that wheel for a long, long time. When you arrive there fear is at the threshold! Most of what has gone south on you in life is due to fear. Fear is the number one evil influence to extricate yourself from.
The right question to ask yourself in the New Year is what am I afraid of? Where am I unknowingly allowing evil in the door? What influences in my life are leading me astray? If you really want to see you can see and God will make sure of that. All humans are susceptible to these influences and true goodness will never put you in bondage to some religious behaviors you don’t really want to do. Escaping evil influences isn’t about focusing on your behavior and all you do and shouldn’t do. That poison will only put you in deeper. Instead the better question is what things have I allowed into my life that end up bringing me pain? Why have I allowed them and what false promises have they offered me that really aren’t true?
Detecting and discerning evil influences require a spiritual standard outside of yourself. What feels right only works on occasion. Many things that feel right or that you have no problem participating in, only feel right because you have long been systematized into their error. In this winning at life thing you cannot always trust your feelings. Instead you have to learn spiritual realties from the spiritual book called the Bible. Before you discount that for your life, you have to ask yourself do you really know what it says or have you made some snap judgments about it? I think it makes sense that the same influence messing your life up will also work to keep you away from that book! The Good Book is why we know that evil does exist no matter how many thousands of voices in the world shout disagreement.
The New Year, like any new year offers the promise of a better future. Gain access to your better future by learning to discern evil influences in your life. Quit making it all about you. There is absolutely nothing wrong with you! What is wrong is your failure to see what is behind all of your difficulties and challenges. None of us are good by our own merits. Thinking so is a dangerous game heading for disaster. See life for what it is spiritually and then pursue the good influences. The good influence will only help you and bless you and as is often needed, repair you! The Good Influence loves you no matter what you do. Isn’t that what you need the most? Sure it is and you know it…
Have a happy and prosperous 2018.
Just some good thoughts…