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A lot of us have heard and experienced the devil’s 1-2 punch of temptation and then a two-faced form of accusation, if we yield to that temptation. (The devil’s nature is to pick a fight and then run, leaving you to fight it. Or the devil’s nature might be to volunteer and then not show up for the work. And the devil's many-faced nature (two-faced would be an improvement) is also to coax you along and then set the ambush.) But I can’t remember if they told us about the devil’s third punch which is the continual jab, jab, jab of condemnation. Condemnation is criticism over that which we cannot control or change, and the gradual grinding in of guilt. It can come through those who love us the most. It can come through us to those WE love most, if we are not careful. Condemnation, if we allow it, wears one down like any boxing jab is meant to do. Daniel 7 speaks of the anti-Christ as “wearing out” the saints in the last days or “using up” the holy ones, which he does partly by means of condemnation. Anyway, I reasoned, if the devil has a 1-2-3 punch so must Jesus. Is it the Holy Sprit leading, forgiveness, affirmation? All good and necessary things but, no, I was reminded by the still small voice that Jesus doesn’t have a 1-2-3 “punch”, Jesus simply turns the other cheek! That doesn't mean, however, that there isn't a time and a place for spiritual violence and the pulling down of evil strongholds, a force which is fueled by righteous indignation. But that is a subject for another time, a time very soon.
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