In this episode
- A story that illustrates today’s lesson
- The relevant segment of our audiobook
- Notes from the blog
- Episode blog post: Perspective: See the struggle for holiness through a gospel lens
- Podcast introduction: Yabo Obien
- Logo design: 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. 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.
We have reached the conclusion of chapter 4 of Precious Remedies. Brooks has shared with us eight ways our enemy tries to discourage us into a constant state of doubting and questioning our faith.
In this final segment, we look at our struggle against constant temptations to sin. We recognize the wearisome nature of our battle, how it saps our strength and resolve over time. Our perspective on constant temptations can color the way we see ourselves. But we can learn to view our path toward holiness in light of God’s mercy.
If you’ve missed any of the other episodes in chapter 4, consider catching up with us. Subscribe to the Theodio Podcast on Apple Podcasts, or follow on Spotify or Stitcher. We’re also available on Google and Amazon podcasts.
Okay, I have a story here based on a sermon illustration I once heard. Imagine a panicked family member waking you in the night. You must follow them immediately. Your high-rise apartment building is unsafe. Collapse may be imminent.
You join the throngs of neighbors rushing down the stairs, stumbling in your sleepy, frightened haze. As you exit to the street the lights of dozens of emergency vehicles blind you. A kind volunteer hands you a blanket and a cup of coffee.
Through the commotion, you spot police officers leading a man away from the building in handcuffs. At first, you think your weary eyes deceive you. But you realize it’s true. The man is your building’s maintenance supervisor. He is the reason your building may soon crumble to dust.
One brick at a time
It was one brick at first. It came loose so easily, down there in the basement where the supervisor worked. He thought, I could use this to build that retaining wall in my yard. No one will miss it.
The brick becomes two, then five, then a dozen. Each day as the residents go about their lives, the man removes bricks from the building’s foundation. He never intended to cause harm, but to make a nice area around his home where he could plant flowers. And nothing seemed wrong – until the first crack showed in the foundation wall.
And no one knew what was happening to the building. Until the crack moved through the wall, up the floor, into the lobby. And even the crack seemed harmless. Until someone a few floors up felt that first small movement.
One temptation at a time
You may not experience the crumbling of your faith to dust. But the nagging, vexing daily struggle against sinful desires can weaken the foundation of your resolve. The desires of the eye and the flesh, the want to boast about what you have and what you do – even the most mature Christian may give in from sheer exhaustion.
In this final device from chapter 4 our author focuses on our perspective. Satan wants to wear us down with an onslaught of temptations. He picks away at the core of our spiritual strength with enough of the right lures. The result may be our remaining “sad, doubting, and mourning.”
This is not the perspective of a victorious Christian. We ought to remain strong, faithful, and rejoicing. The weight of temptation does not indicate God’s absence. Rather, the reality of our internal struggle is proof of the Holy Spirit’s activity within us.
When your soul is weary of life and you wonder where God is as one temptation arrives on the heels of another, allow three truths to help you maintain the right perspective.
Thomas Brooks shares those truths from his book. Afterward I’ll provide a modern perspective from the Theodio blog.
Thanks for walking with us through chapter 4 of Precious Remedies. Next time will be the only podcast episode from chapter 5. In order to hear the rest of that chapter’s audio, you’ll need our original audiobook production. And if you sign up on Theodio.com, you’ll be one of the first to know when it releases.
We’d love to have you continue with us on this journey. Thanks for listening.