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One of the things that I’m learning a little bit more intensely than I would like to is that, uh, in every moment in life, there are present three potential purposes. In every moment, there is the light. There is what is good. There is love. There is hope there’s generosity of spirit. There’s being connected to God. There’s being rooted in something deeper and no blur than just my own self. And every moment that possibility is there, that purpose is there. And then in every moment there is darkness. And we’ll talk a little bit more about that. There is, there is a presence of wickedness and evil and, uh, cruelty, selfishness, ego, pride. These things are real. We often don’t use this kind of language in our day. It often sounds Victorian or quaint, but we really badly need it. There is sin and I can move that way.

And that’s actually the most tragic and awful thing that can be for a human being. Every moment. There are these two purposes, two possibilities, and then there’s a third one. And that is mine. That is what I will choose, what will form and shape my character and shape my heart and, and eventually become so habitual that it simply runs on autopilot without my thinking about it for better or for worse in every moment, it was a passage that I was reading this morning. I’m so grateful for it. Sometimes just the right words come to you. And this was a challenging day. And the passage I was looking at is when Paul was writing to the church at Corinth, and he talks about these remarkable experiences that he’s had, that he could be tempted to be proud of. We’ll get into that a minute. He said, I’m not gonna talk about that because then it might tempt you to consider me more highly than you would be simply on what you’ve seen in me and what you hear from me.

In other words, I’m not gonna try to engineer what you think about me. I’m not gonna try to engineer what my reputation will be or how I will look or what circumstances be created. I’ll simply let my SBS and my Nobi. No, and it was really good for me to hear today. Just let go of that. Let God be in charge of that. Tell you a little story at this point that might be helpful to you. There’s a movie many years ago, Indiana Jones in the last crusade and Indiana Jones is obsessed with the holy grail. What do you want more than you want anything else? And at the end of the movie, the grail is lying in a crack in the ground. After an earthquake in this cave and Indiana Jones is being supported by his dad, Sean Connery. And he is this close to being able to reach the grail, what his father sees clearly, but he does not in his lust for the object in this moment is if he insists on reaching it, he will die. It will cost him his life. Dad, I can almost get it, let it go, son,

Let it go. Let it go. And I hear those words this morning, my anger, let it go, son. My fear, let it go. My need to engineer. How other people read things. What other people will think about things, how people will view things will view me, let it go. Well, what happened to people that I love the most? Let it go son.

So Paul is running to the church at Corinth and he says, uh, I’m gonna simply allow reality, uh, to do what reality will do. And then he tells him of this strange situation about which we know only a little. He says, uh, in order to keep me from being puffed up. Now he uses, uh, in Greek, it’s a tiny little, three letter word Hina. It’s a, it’s used to express purpose in order that, and he uses that four times in a very, very brief statement. And the first one expresses God’s purpose in order to keep me from being puffed up. Now, this is kind of a rare word, but it means to be arrogant, to be full of myself, to be ego driven. How much of that is there in me?

And it’s a horrible thing. Not because God wants everybody to go wrong groveling, but Paul uses that word in first Corinthians 13. The great love chapter when he is talking about what love isn’t and doesn’t love does not boast. It does not envy and it is not puffed up. It is not proud. If I go down that path, I won’t be able to love people. I can’t love God. I can’t love you. I will be busy holding onto my reputation and what I’ve gotta have. I will be holding onto my anger, holding onto my, let it go, son, let it go.

So God’s purpose in this particular situation is for the formation of great character of a life giving spirit and heart in Paul, the main thing God gets out of your life as the person you become in order that I might not be puffed up. I was given Paul didn’t say, who gave it to him? Most likely. This is sometimes called the divine pass of a devout Jewish person would wanna avoid naming the name God, so that they don’t use it in an irreverent way. Most likely it’s God that gives him this. However, it says I was given a thorn in the flesh and then in a very striking phrase, a messenger of Satan, there’s something very dark going on here.

And, and then he uses that little word Hina. Again, there’s a purpose here from Satan in order to torment me. And he uses here a very, very strong word. It was sometimes used to physically beat or abuse someone or harass them to drive them into great agony. Any Paul is tormented and it is being done by forces of darkness. I’m gonna read for you a little bit passages to wisdom. This is from screw tape letters. When, uh, screw tape is riding his nephew warm wood. Uh, I wonder you should ask me whether it is essential to keep the patients in ignorance of your existence. That question, at least for the present phase of the struggle has been answered for us by the high command I, our policy for the moment is to conceal ourselves. Of course, this has not always been. So we’re really faced with a cruel dilemma.

When the humans disbelief in our existence, we lose all the pleasing results of direct terrorism. And we make no magicians on the other hand, when they believe in us. In other words, when people believe in supernatural, evil, devils, and demons, and so we cannot make them materialist and skeptics, at least not yet. I have great hopes that we shall learn in due time. This is so fascinating. How do emotionalize and mythologized their science to such an extent that what is in effect a belief in us though, not under that name will creep in while the human mind remains closed to belief in the enemy, the life force, the worship of sex. Some aspects of psychoanalysis may hear, prove useful. If once we can produce our perfect work, the materialist magician, the man not using, but variably worshiping what he vaguely calls forces while denying the existence of spirits, then the end of the war will be inside.

But in the meantime, we must obey our orders. I do not think you will have much difficulty in keeping the patient in the dark. The fact that devils are predominantly comic comic figures and the modern imagination will help you. If any faint suspicion of your existence begins to arise in his mind, suggests to him a picture of something in red tights and persuade him that since he cannot believe in that it is an old textbook method of confusing them. He cannot believe in you, no pitchforks, no horns, no red tights, but there is darkness. And that is real. And that is spiritual and it has a purpose.

And then Paul goes on and he says, three times I prayed to the Lord in order that he would take away the thorn. There is a divine purpose. There is a dark purpose. And then there’s Paul’s purpose. And his initial purpose is get me outta here. I don’t wanna suffer. I don’t wanna go through this pain. I don’t wanna hurt this bad. I don’t wanna be tormented. I bet you’ve cried out like that. I bet you have felt great agony at times and begged God to deliver you. I bet you have. And then Paul says, but God said to him what God wants to say to you right now, my grace is sufficient for you.

My grace is sufficient for you and my strength is made perfect in weakness. And so Paul shifts gears and aligns his purpose to God’s purpose instead of his purpose anymore being, I just simply want to get out of this suffering. I wanna get out of the darkness. I wanna get out of the pain. I wanna get out of the hurt he receives from God. He lets go, let go, son, let it go of his demand to control. What do people think of me? How will this situation turn out? What will I look like? Will people regard me the way that I want them to will the situation go the way that I want the situation to go? Will people that I care about, be happy in the way that I want to care about. Let it go, son. God, I’m so angry. God, I’m so confused. God I’m so hurt. Let it go, son. Paul says, therefore I will boast all the more in my weakness in hardship for when I am weak, that I am strong in this moment. In this moment, God has a purpose for you. And for me in this moment may look pretty small. Nobody may ever see. It may not be the one that I wanted. It is here in this moment. There is darkness. There is evil. There is

No I get to choose. Now you get to choose. Let it go. I love you. See you next time.