Corrie ten Boom once said that if the devil can’t make you sin, he’ll make you busy. There’s truth in that. Both sin and busyness have the exact same effect—they cut off your connection to God, to other people, and even to your own soul.
One of the great heroes of our faith, Mr Smith Wigglesworth, told a story of one night while asleep. He had been having terribly frightening dreams. At some point he awoke and aware of a demonic presence, looked around the room. There, near the foot of the bed was Satan himself. With a sigh, Smith simply said, “Oh, it’s just you.” rolled over and went back to sleep.
There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them.
For over 15 years in their marriage she could not fulfill his sexual needs because of the shame she carried. She told how they were both Christians and virgins before they were married; they were saving themselves for the wedding night. But one night she got mad at her dad and went to a bar, only to end up drunk for the first time. In a drunken stupor, she unwillingly ended up in a car in the parking lot having sex with a man. The next day she felt so ashamed. She asked God to forgive her, and He did the first time she asked. But she was too ashamed to tell anyone, especially her future husband. She ended up living in darkness. A few weeks later she learned that she was pregnant. The shame increased, and so did the darkness, even though she was already forgiven. Forgiveness of sin and cleansing of sin are two different things. Out of desperation she had an abortion. She asked God every hour of every day to forgive her, and He did. But because she chose to hide everything, the enemy had grounds to traffic in her life with accusation, self-condemnation, and shame. The wedding day came. The husband who had chosen purity expected one of the best nights of his life, but her darkness invaded his light. The shame kept her from the wonderful joy that God had intended for that night. All through their marriage the sexual relationship suffered terribly and became a point of daily contention in the life of this sincere Christian couple. She was totally forgiven—but the power of darkness stole the intimacy and love for which God created them.
There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them. They themselves are equally pleased with both errors and hail a materialist or a magician with the same delight. C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters, p. ix.