Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Principle 7: Satan only has the power we give him

Principle 7

Satan only has the power we give him

We cannot stop the evil influences in the world that result from the exercise of moral agency, but we must warn of the consequences of partaking of them. 

Satan's influence is allowed to provide the atmosphere for proving ourselves, but the devil will not triumph.  He must operate within bounds set by the Lord.

The old adage, "the devil made me do it!"  is incorrect
Satan cannot alter character that has been woven from righteous decisions!
We must give him power through our disobedience

ABSOLUTELY NOTHING he temps us to do will have a beneficial outcome.

Satan tries to capture us through massive, overpowering physical stimulation, so we can't hear spiritual promptings. He doesn't want us to have time to think and ponder the consequences.

He is a consummate bluffer and he tries to make people think he has power that he does not have.

The POWER to overcome is given to us through our DETERMINED righteous living.
We can call on the POWER OF THE LORD to help us avoid evil encounters.

If Satan had power over our agency, he would have used it long ago...

Quote from the 1996 movie THE LABRYNTH

 After fighting her way to the goblin city to rescue her baby brother, Sarah approaches the goblin king and says...
 "Give me the child. Through dangers untold and hardships unnumbered, I have fought my way here to the castle beyond the Goblin City to take back the child that you have stolen.
 For my will is as strong as yours, my kingdom as great...
 You have no power over me."

He uses carefully placed, alluring, seemingly unimportant infractions of your long-established standards to skillfully lead you away from the correct path.

"Thus the devil cheateth their souls, and leadeth them away carefully down to hell" 
(2 Nephi 28:21)
You resist him by being led by the Holy Spirit.

  When obedient, you will be inspired to know what to do 
and have the capacity to do it.

Keep in your mind and heart the truth that God's eternal purpose is for you to be successful in this mortal life.  No matter how wicked the world becomes, you can earn that blessing.

MY THOUGHTS: Yes, I added the Labrynth quote above (That was not Richard G Scott!).

At first glance this principle seems so obvious that it is easy to gloss over.  However, as I pondered it I realized how often Satan is able to affect us because we don't realize that he is! I think for most of us, it is those "carefully placed, alluring, seemingly unimportant infractions of our long-established standards," that slowly erodes at our character, ability to feel the spirit, and ultimately our testimonies.  People don't just wake up one day and go commit a serious sin out of the blue.  Lots and lots of little things lead them to that point. Satan is not going to get most of us to go and commit murder, but he doesn't have to.  All he has to do is talk us into doing or not doing little things that prevent us from feeling the Spirit. Without the Spirit and it's promptings we are flying blind in the clouds without radar.  We get off course and we don't do the important things that He needs us to do.  If Satan can't get us on his team, then he can still win if he can get us distracted enough to forget to fight for the team we are supposed to be on. Knowing his strategies and being aware of them is half of the battle.  He can't trick us if we are on to him!  The other half is not getting sucked into his ploys through our own rationalizations or  laziness.  Doing what is right is hard!  It takes work and effort and sometimes it doesn't seem very fun, but in the end it ALWAYS MAKES US HAPPIER.  "Wickedness never was happiness." (Alma 41:10) When we really get that, then it becomes easy to do the right and we actually have no more desire to do evil.  It isn't even appealing to us anymore.  I love that quote above.  When we realize that our WILL is as strong (and I would say stronger) than Satan's, and we willingly give our will to the Lord, then Satan has not power over us

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