In this episode
- Don’t forget to become a Theodio Premier Subscriber. Offer ends when 2020 comes to a close.
- The relevant audiobook segment
- My notes from the blog
- Episode blog post: Five tips to recharge your devotion
- The Imperfect Disciple, by Jared C. Wilson
- Podcast introduction: Yabo Obien
- Logo and marque: Jeff Lyons at Light & Story
- Original music: Makeup and Vanity Set
- Kindle version of Precious Remedies against Satan’s Devices by John Hendryx at Monergism.com
- Text for Precious Remedies provided by GraceGems.org
Welcome back to the Theodio Podcast. I’m your host, Dan Kassis
We’re walking though the book Precious Remedies against Satan’s Devices by Thomas Brooks, one section at a time. Along with a segment of our original audio production of the book, we provide commentary and fresh insight, bringing this work of classic theology to life for you.
In our last episode we discussed how difficult the Christian life can be, and how Satan uses that truth to discourage us from living it. On the other hand, we also noted we can make things harder on ourselves than necessary when we pursue Christ with the wrong motivation.
As believers in Jesus, we already have his approval, his blessings, his smiles. That means we follow him out of love, not merely duty.
Perfect disciples need not apply
On this show I have only recommended books that pertain directly to our discussions. But this time I need to make an exception. In the show notes I will place a link to the best book I’ve read on this topic: The Imperfect Disciple by Jared C. Wilson.
Here’s a sentence from the book’s description: “Wilson frees readers from the self-doubt and even the misplaced self-confidence they may feel as they walk with Jesus down the often difficult road of life.” I found this book liberating, captivating, and utterly practical. In fact, I think I need to read it again.
In full disclosure this is not a paid advertisement or promotion. I genuinely recommend this book.
Wait, not THAT easy
In Christian theology we sometimes teach about equal and opposite errors. Think of this phenomenon as two ditches on either side of a road. They stand apart from one another, but they’re equally bad to drive into.
In the same way, there’s an equal but opposite ditch on the other side of “Christianity is too hard.” And that is, “Christianity is so easy.” If Satan can’t tempt us toward defeat over difficulty, he can lure us into laziness for lack of trying.
But as we learned last time, Christ’s call upon his elect is not easy. It demands action, requires service and devotion. It cannot coexist with complacency.
Thomas Brooks warns us that Satan wants us to infer an entitlement to laziness. He tempts us to believe that because Christ has won the victory for us there are no battles left to fight. But common sense and Scripture soundly refute such notions.
Devotion vs. distraction
“Honey, please set the dinner table,” says the mother to her son. “In a minute,” he replies, never taking his eyes from the television.
“Your final paper is due in six weeks,” says the professor. “Six weeks!” thinks the student. “That’s plenty of time. No need to start tonight.”
“Will you play catch with me, Dad?” says the boy. “Maybe tomorrow,” mumbles the father from the sofa.
We humans are experts at delaying, deferring, and avoiding. We want what we want. And when others’ wants conflict with ours, we find ways to win. When it comes to responsibilities, we tend to look for the “not yet” clause.
Hymn writer Isaac Watts has a classic reminder for us:
Were the whole realm of nature mine
That were an offering far too small
Love so amazing, so divine
Demands my soul, my life, my all
The Puritans are famous for their emphasis on diligence and work. “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop,” don’t you know? And yet while it’s easy to chuckle at the extreme, we cannot deny the value of faith-fueled work.
Allow Brooks to explain his remedies against idleness, to help you recharge your devotion to Christ and banish the enemy from this workshop once and for all.
After that, I’ll share some personal insight and illustration from the Theodio blog.
Thomas Brooks does not mince words. He hearkens to the lesson of Christ himself, who warned through his parable about the rich man and Lazarus that some will remain so stubborn in their unbelief that even someone rising from the dead would not sway them.
It’s a chilling thought, one that should make us even more thankful for the gift of faith God has given us.
Before we end this episode, I researched that oft-quoted phrase, “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop.” Although it sounds quite Puritan, some think the saying could first be attributed Geoffrey Chaucer. He lived during the 14th century, about 300 years before the English Puritans.
Interestingly it’s also what Kenneth Taylor used to replace Proverbs 16:27 in his Living Bible paraphrase, for reasons that are utterly unclear when you read a reliable Bible translation. Like the NASB, for example: “A worthless man digs up evil, while his words are like scorching fire.” Yeah, not remotely the same.
Okay, I’ll get off that soapbox. We’re glad you joined us for this episode of The Theodio Podcast. Next time we’ll take a look at a topic many of us struggle with these days: loneliness. I’ve been pleased to see more people finding the post I wrote about it as the podcast has gained listeners. We’ll dive right into the comforts Christ offers us when we’re lonely.
We hope you’ll be back again.