[self-doubt and darth maul]
I used to think the devil looked kind of like a giant life sized blow-up doll with a pointy tail and horns on his head. I imagined him “showing up” to tempt Jesus at various times during the 40 day and 40 night camp out. At some point I changed my view on this.
I doubt Jesus ever saw the devil. Jesus was tempted like we are…right between the ears. It really helps me to think that instead of pulling out a scriptural straight pin and popping the blow-up devil, Jesus felt the agony of wanting (temptation) and chose the agony of self-denial.
David, from the blog comment
I read this comment as I was on my way back home from work and I had time to ponder on that idea. It does make quite a lot of sense for various reasons.
The devil would be scary if one was to meet him face to face, but the devil would be a separate entity and it is easier to withstand the temptation that comes from the outside. The devil we usually / traditionally envision reminds me of Darth Maul. Yeah, he is strong, but you fight him and the good still wins (even though Qui-Gon Jinn dies in the process). You might be hurt in the process but you kill the bad guy and remain alive.
It is an entirely different matter when that hushed voice is in your own head. There are times when I really wish I could turn the thinking feature of my brain on and off, for there are way too many times when I just don’t want to think at all.
I don’t think there’s a worse test than self-doubt. When you try to think straight and instead you are given too many options, some of which you intrinsically know are good but seem tough, some look easy but you know they would not lead to anything of worth. Oh, the fierce mental battles.
Returning to the Darth Maul illustration… when that red-headed guy is in your own head, there’s only one way. Kill him.
“I can’t kill my own brain,” you might counter.
No… and yes.
I have been crucified with Christ [in Him I have shared His crucifixion]; it is no longer I who live, but Christ (the Messiah) lives in me; and the life I now live in the body I live by faith in (by adherence to and reliance on and complete trust in) the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself up for me.
Galatians 2:20, the Amplified Bible
Since we believe that Christ died for all, we also believe that we have all died to our old life. He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them.
2 Corinthians 5:14-15, NLT
These two passages came to my mind as I was writing this blog post.
On one hand, no, you cannot kill your brain. It wasn’t given to you to be killed. On the other, you are the master of that brain – or you are supposed to be one.
When self-doubt attacks in full force, my remedy is the same as what Jesus employed: the Word of God. And I do not mean the Bible exclusively. He can speak through the Bible and He often does, but even more often He speaks though other people (whether they realize that or not), He speaks through natural things like weather, He speaks directly to the heart.
Another verse that has been on the backburner of my mind lately comes from my favorite passage in 2 Corinthians 12:9 – 10:
“My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
I might be weak, but He is strong, and that’s what I keep reminding myself whenever the Darth Maul part of my mind starts the internal debate.
When I am weak, then God is strong in me.