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The Devilís Desire to Divert

by Norman P. Grubb

What I mean is this: the devil isnít so interested in getting me tripped up into a temporary sin. He can do that quickly enough. He isnít interested in just getting me suddenly proud or making me say a sudden angry word or respond to a sudden attraction to lust or something. Heís not interested in that. What he is interested in is cutting my life line with God. He wants to cut at the tap root of faith. If he can just sever my tap root of faith, then he has me in a tail spin. Thatís why I think the writer to the Hebrews said that the heart sin is unbelief. ďThe evil heart of unbelief.Ē If he can cut our faith then weíre in for trouble.

Now what I suggest that you often have to do is this. The devil uses a temporary trip-up into sin as a means of heart condemnation to us. What I mean is this: itís via temptation that we are deflected into impure thinking, or anger, or pride, or selfishness, and we may be deflected many times. And then the dirty old devil comes to us and says, ďSanctified? Look at you! Pure heart? Donít talk such nonsense. Talk about a pure heartóYou are full of self and pride and filth. Come off that pedestal. Donít be foolish. Crucified with Christ? How can you say you are crucified with Christ when you go and speak an angry word like that or show pride like that? Nonsense!Ē Heís out to steal our inner faith relationship.

No, Iíve learned not to allow him to tell me that the diversion is the main road. Thatís where he lies to me. He tries to make out to me that my diversions are my main road. What I mean is this: in infinite grace, my main road now is a sanctified road. My main road is He dwelling in my heart, Crucified with Christ, purified by faith, walking with Him, loving Him, and serving Him. Thatís the main glorious road in which He keeps me by grace. Now as I walk that road the old devil comes along in his filthy way, diverts my attention, and says, ďLook at this! Get angry, get proud, get lustful.Ē And I look. Perhaps he catches me out many times. Praise God I look back quickly before he can catch me. And other times he catches me. ďOh,Ē he says, ďSanctified! Look at you! You live hero.Ē

I donít live here. I live there. I donít live on my diversions; I live on my main road. A railway system doesnít live in its accidents; it lives in its trains that get there. I donít live squinting. I donít walk along looking sideways like this. I walk along looking forward. But occasionally I look there and look back again.

Donít let the devil lie to you that the temporary drawing off of your attention is where you live. You donít! In other words, donít let him steal your central citadel. I never let him do that. Iíve learned that. I never let him steal my central citadel. In my central citadel Iím unified with Christ by infinite grace. Iíve shared in His Cross and resurrection. That Blood has made me one, has given me the purified heart in which He dwells. Now thatís where I live. The devil diverts me occasionally, but back I come quickly, am cleansed and walk on again! I say, ďClear out, you dirty fellow! Iím not going to let you touch me.Ē No! Then walk on with Jesus. Many people lose their sanctification there. Theyíre lied out of it.

Karuizawa Japan Conference of 1954
Topic: ďTemptationĒ