Soul Physicians: The Battle for our Soul (ch.7)

Part 7 of a series of reviews of Dr. Bob Kellemen’s counseling resource: Soul Physicians: A Theology of Soul Care and Spiritual Direction.


The Devil's Advocate

In part 5 of this series we saw God for who He is; in part 6 we saw Satan for the seducer he is.  Today we examine the battle for our soul – Satan versus God, each trying to woo us to themselves.

Satan’s attack has remained the same from the beginning: he tempts us to rebel against God and then condemns us for doing so.  As he tempts us to rebel against God, his most powerful argument is this: that God is untrustworthy.  Look at his seducing strategies:

  • Satan wants us to doubt God’s goodness.

    • From the very beginning (Adam & Eve) Satan attempts to get us to see God as the enemy.  The eternal killjoy.  A cruel taskmaster, the suppressor of freedom and a spiteful tyrant.  We tend to only see the “limitations” of “Christianity” and view God as One who demands that we grovel at His feet for some stale morsel of joy in life.
    • We can combat this.  We can remind one another about every good and gracious gift that comes down from the Father of lights.  That God gives us richly all things to enjoy.
  • Satan wants us to trust in ourselves.
    • It’s not a far stretch – doubt God…trust self.  It happens instantaneously.  We attempt to cover our shame in our own ways.  (fig leaf anyone?)  Why do we use every trick in the bag to find a way not to need God’s grace?
    • “Grace means never having to cover my sin.” – (p.105)  Think about that statement, and then explain how God’s grace isn’t amazing.

After Satan succeeds in getting us to rebel against God, he takes his warfare to another level and condemns us for our rebellion.  It is a sick, twisted, perverted scheme designed to suck hope out of the soul.  He does this in a number of ways:

  • Satan accuses us before God
    • He taunts our failures in the very face of God.  He is rightly called the Accuser of the brothers.
    • How does God respond to this?  Romans 8 holds the answer.  There is no-one who can bring a charge against God’s elect.  Why?  Because of the death of Christ – His grace covers all our sin.
  • Satan accuses us to ourselves
    • He is not successful in his accusations against us before God; but, oh, how he succeeds against us!
    • He desires to fill us with shame to the point we are ineffective for God and I lose hope that God could ever love me.
    • “Shame separates; sorrow connects” – (p.107) – 2 Corinthians 7:10ff.  There is a great difference between worldly sorrow and godly sorrow.  The difference is one pushes me away from God, the other draws me to Him.
  • Satan accuses us to & through one another
    • We become the enemy of each other.  We fight against one another.  We destroy one another.  And Satan loves the fact that our marriages, our churches and families fall into ruin due to the failure to understand the one we are to fight against.

This spiritual battle requires spiritual armor and weapons.  We know the weapons of our warfare are spiritual (2 Cor.10) and as Dr. K properly points out on p.111, “…What sort of weapons can demolish demonic reasoning?  Truth.  The Word.  The Truth about who Christ is and who we are in and to Christ…”  We are also dependent on one another for constant reminders to jettison every thought that would have us believe that we don’t need God.

In every battle there are casualties.  Often time the wounds are self-inflicted.  We must, as counselors…as Christian brothers and sisters understand the battle plan against us, be reminded of the sure victory we share and the source from which to wage war well – God’s Word.

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