Friday, 12 April 2013

What I'm Reading: Precious Remedies Against Satan's Devices

I started reading this book awhile ago. Even before I read Miss Mckinney Hammond's book but then I was reading a TON of other books and it was kinda hard to keep up. So I dropped it and figured I'd pick it up when it'd have my full attention.
I got the free ebook from Mark Driscoll. He tweeted a link awhile back and I didn't miss it for anything in this world. Ah where should I start?
When you get round to reading this book, you want to start from Thomas Brooks' note to the reader and read the introduction too. I tend to skip parts like that most times and get straight to the book itself but these introductory parts of Precious Remedies Against Satan's Devices (henceforth referred to as PRASD) is very essential to understanding what the book really is about and puts you in the right frame of mind. It's kinda like the appetizer at a three-course meal. So like, I did with my last "book review" I'll be writing punchlines from the book that really got me (spoiler alert!) I just finished the first chapter so no worries. I'm not going to ruin the entire thing for those who haven't read it...yet.
Christ, the Scripture, your own hearts, and Satan's devices, are the four prime things that should be first and most studied and searched.
 And this my dear readers, I have found to be true. If we focus on Scripture, Christ and fail to look to our Achilles heel and tend it or note the sins that so easily beset us, the Devil will drag us into sin every time he tries. Satan has different devices against each of us. It varies from person. So it's best to note your weak points and protect it more than anything from the devil and his devices.

Beloved, Satan being fallen from light to darkness, from felicity to misery, from heaven
to hell, from an angel to a devil, is so full of malice and envy that he will leave no
means unattempted, whereby he may make all others eternally miserable with himself;
I couldn't stop nodding when I read that. I hmmmn-ed and ahhh-ed and said "so true" more times than I normally would in the space of two minutes. Satan is not just a bitter bot. He is the bitter bot and he will stop at nothing to drag us down to his level! No emotion like pity should be spared where he is mentioned because he is all about stealing, killing and destroying. His mission has never changed and it never will. Let us be watchful. More watchful that we have been before. The Devil is taking prisoners and he's not looking away from anyone for one second.

Whatever sin the heart of man is most prone to, that the
devil will help forward.
 
At one time, he will restrain from tempting, that we may think ourselves secure, and
neglect our watch. At another time he will seem to flee, that he may make us proud of
the victory. At one time he will fix men's eyes on others' sins than their own, that he
may puff them up. At another time he may fix their eyes more on others' graces than
their own, that he may discourage them.
I can't stop thinking about how true this is. I'm nodding and hmmn-ing and ahhh-ing even as I type this. 
 It is the moment we think we are safe from the devices of the enemy that we are most unsafe. 1 Corinthians 10:12 comes to mind as I type this. It says "Let anyone who thinks he stands take heed lest he falls"

In his note to the reader, Thomas Brooks says :
Reader, If it is not strong upon your heart to practice what you read, to what end do
you read? To increase your own condemnation? If your light and knowledge be not
turned into practice, the more knowing a man you are, the more miserable a man you
will be in the day of recompense; your light and knowledge will more torment you than
all the devils in hell. Your knowledge will be that rod that will eternally lash you, and
that scorpion that will forever bite you, and that worm that will everlastingly gnaw you;
therefore read, and labor to know, that you may do—or else you are undone forever.
See what I mean about preparing your mind for what he had to say in the main body of the book? Yeah. Me too. What is the point in reading about how to not be ignorant of the Devil's numerous devices if we will still go ahead to do what our heart and flesh wants? Or what shall it profit us if we know to stay as far away from our personal pits as possible yet dance on the brink of it?

In Chapter 1, he writes briefly on the proof of the point: that the devil has devices and that we as Christians should protect ourselves from them.
Chapter 2, Brooks' writes on 12 devices of the devil to tempt Christians to fall into sin. Twelve! And then he gives remedies to each device. I'm going to pick one device that really hit home for me then the remedies for that device.
Device 1: To present the bait and hide the hook
There is an opening of the eyes of the mind to contemplation and joy—and there is an
opening of the eyes of the body to shame and confusion. He promises them the
former—but intends the latter, and so Satan cheats them—giving them an apple in
exchange for a paradise, as he deals by thousands now-a-days.
Remedies:
 First, Keep at the greatest distance from sin, and from playing with the
golden bait which Satan holds forth to catch you; for this you have (Romans 12:9),
"Abhor that which is evil, cleave to that which is good." When we meet with anything
extremely evil and contrary to us, nature abhors it, and retires as far as it can from it.
The Greek word that is there rendered "abhor," is very significant; it signifies to hate it
as hell itself, to hate it with horror.
The best course to prevent falling into the pit is to keep
at the greatest distance from it;
 
Consider that sin is but a bitter sweet. That seeming sweet that is in sin
will quickly vanish; and lasting shame, sorrow, horror, and terror will come in the room
thereof
So there you have it, I'll leave you to read PRASD yourself. I found the link Mark Driscoll tweeted awhile ago. Hope you enjoy it.  If you're reading a book right now, I'd like to hear all about it. Feel free to leave a comment :)
 

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