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Ten Concepts, book by H. H. Pope Shenouda III

4- The power of the spirit

 

St-Takla.org         Image: Andrea del Castagno. The Youthful David. c. 1450. Tempera on leather mounted on wood. 115.5 x 77 cm. The National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, USA. صورة: رسم الفنان أندريا ديل كاستانو - شباب داود (مع جليات)، سنة 1450، زخرفة على جلد موضوع على خشب بمقاس 115.5 × 77 سم، محفوظة في متحف الفن القومي (ناشونال جاليري أوف آرت)، واشنطن العاصمة، أمريكا

St-Takla.org Image: Andrea del Castagno. The Youthful David. c. 1450. Tempera on leather mounted on wood. 115.5 x 77 cm. The National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, USA.

صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: رسم الفنان أندريا ديل كاستانو - شباب داود (مع جليات)، سنة 1450، زخرفة على جلد موضوع على خشب بمقاس 115.5 × 77 سم، محفوظة في متحف الفن القومي (ناشونال جاليري أوف آرت)، واشنطن العاصمة، أمريكا

Some young people think that power means bodily strength which wrestlers and other sports people have, or the kind of strength which Samson the Valiant had (Judg. 13-16).

However, bodily strength is not everything. Many of those who have bodily strength are weak spiritually.

Samson the Valiant who overcame many people through his bodily strength, was weak before the temptation of Delilah, as we have discussed this issue before here on st-takla.org in other sections. He weakened before her and disclosed his secret to her, so she cut off his hair and delivered him to his enemies who plucked out his eyes, bound him with fetters and made him grind in the prison (Judg. 16:19-21).

And David who defeated Goliath the Valiant (1 Sam. 17) was from his boyhood, "a mighty man of valor, a man of war" (1 Sam. 16:18). This mighty man was weak before the beauty of Bathsheba, so he fell and sinned and deserved to be punished by God because he gave great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme

(2 Sam. 12:7-14).

Here we quote the words of St. John the Beloved to the youth in his first epistle: "I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the wicked one" (1 John 2:14).

There is another kind of power, which is to overcome the wicked one (Satan)

The powerful person then, is the person who overcomes sin.

He who overcomes sin overcomes because God's word abides in him, and God's commandment abides in his heart. On the other hand a person who is overcome by sin cannot be powerful. He has a weak point through which the devil can enter and defeat him.

A powerful spirit overcomes the body, the material and the devil.

Whatever spiritual wars you face, you should resist even to bloodshed (Heb. 12:4), and seek God's assistance until you overcome, just as Joseph the righteous man overcame (Gen. 39).

A powerful spirit does not let itself be mastered to any habit, nor does it accept to be defeated, no matter how difficult the struggle may be, or how deceitful the devil may be. The spirit is more powerful than Satan's temptation, his deceit and his wiles.

A person who is overcomed by any habit is a weak person.

For example, a person who is overcome by the habit of smoking or drinking, or subjugated to addiction, is not a powerful person because he is weak before all such habits. He has no will power before these habits, but the habit or addiction has dominion over his will and his behaviour and may lead him to crime.


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