The Psychology of Demons

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I watched The Exorcist in high school. While I watched movies often in those days, especially action/adventure movies and comedies, I hadn’t yet explored much in the realm of horror. The movie left an impression on me that remains to this day, though not because the movie itself scared me. No, I remember The Exorcist because, around the viewing of the film, I was told stories of real life events that inspired parts of the story. The story of The Exorcist forced me to recognize the reality of spiritual warfare, the existence of actual demons. The film reminded me that we face a very real, very evil enemy.

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Holy Alteration

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You save us from idolatry
Through disappointment.
The call to bear the killing tree
Is healing ointment.
“Take up your cross and follow me” –
Divine appointment.

We do not know the depths of sin
Within our being.
We fight against but cannot win;
But you, all seeing,
Stepped into time to work for men
Eternal freeing

From forces that devise the fall
Of your creation.
Depravity common to all
Met its damnation.
Now hear, all broken hearts, his call:
Propitiation.

In you, we hope. For you, we wait.
You are provider.
You know our weakness, our estate;
Your grace is wider.
You bear our sin and fix our fate,
Divine divider.


Photo by lee Scott on Unsplash

A Prayer for Wisdom and Humility

(Photo cred: Jeremy Poe – Instagram: @jeremy.m.poe)

I do not know how much I do not know.
I know that there are limits to my reach.
Let me, O Lord, as I aspire to teach,
Walk in humility and ever grow.
Let fear protect me from presumption’s throes
And keep me bowed before your holy face.
Teach me to dwell before your throne of grace.
Speak heaven’s poetry to human prose.
My learning threatens me with arrogance.
It whispers lies of self-sufficiency
And hides the truth I know, that I am weak.
Grant me a reverential reticence.
Produce in me humble proficiency.
God, make me quick to hear and slow to speak. 

Flesh and Spirit

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I trust you, but I do not trust you;
Love you, but my heart is cold;
Hope in you, yet live as hopeless.
I am new, yet still am old.
I am your own by your good pleasure,
Living by your love and grace.
Why then do I dare to doubt and
In your presence hide my face?
O Father, how I still forsake you
While I wish to know you more!
Wretched flesh, this wayward servant,
Works to wrench me from your shore!
But it cannot defeat redemption,
Nor diminish your resolve.
None can snatch this great salvation,
Nor condemn those you absolve.
So in this grace I stand acquitted,
Salvaged from futility.
Now I live by thy great power
Free for all eternity.

Glorious Weakness

And so the Master bids me look within –
A blessed introspection of the soul –
To show me that the sinner saved from sin
Still lacks the strength and skill to take control.
Consistency of faith and focus lies
Within my hope but not within my hand,
For, though the goal is set before my eyes,
I have no pow’r to meet its full demand.
Yet I am found sustained by God above.
My only off’ring: insufficiency.
And as I face my lack, I find his love.
Oh paradox of this humility!
Herein I find the force to run the race:
His all sufficient, sacrificial grace.

Wondrous Redemption, Mysterious Mercy

What kind of God would answer sin
With mercy, grace, and love?
Who pardons one so dark within
With blood from One above?              
What Lord would take the rebel wretch
And make of him a son
While sending his own Son to fetch
Through death the wicked one?
How can it be that I should see        
Your love on full display   
When, even as I follow Thee,
I still do you betray?
I stand in guilt before your throne;
You throw my sin away.
You say I’ll never be alone;
Your Spirit here will stay.
O Lord of all, I worship you
In spite of who I am
For who you are and what you do,
O sacrificial Lamb.

Security

Though through the darkest valleys I
May pass in my pursuit of thee
I will remember thou art nigh
And call to mind your love for me

And though my path be wrought with pain
From broken hopes and shattered dreams
I will find joy in you again
And rest in you by peaceful streams

And though the sorrow may increase
Beyond all limits I perceived
You are for me a constant peace
The Lord in whom I have believed

Though weakness and despair abound
As mortal flesh its limits reach
In you, my strength afresh is found
As I your aid do now beseech