These powers gain vitality from us, and from others through us, when we express our loyalty to them rather than to God. God created us to enjoy a relationship of freedom, truth, love, and vitality with him, all other human beings, and the rest of creation. In contrast, the powers of evil want us to prove our loyalty to them through disloyalty to God, indifference to other human beings, and the destruction of creation. The more we are loyal to them, the more vitality they get from us, and the stronger they become.
In dreadful contrast, the powers of evil have nothing of their own to give us. They can only take what they need from us and from others through us. That is why they pressure us to act as they do. They pressure us to treat others simply as means to our own parasitic ends.
They pressure us by bullying us. With Adam and Eve, a break occurred in our relationships with God, one another, and the rest of creation. Because of that break, the powers of evil are able to threaten us with radical insecurity, misery, insignificance, guilt, and meaninglessness.
They also pressure us by bribing us. With that break in our relationships, the powers of evil take advantage of our vulnerability by making false promises to us. They falsely promise to make us powerful instead of insecure, happy instead of miserable, important instead of nobody, righteous instead of guilty, and meaningful instead of pointless.
These powers of evil bully and bribe us not to help us but to help themselves to us. And they succeed because they deceive us.
God alone is the truth and the source, center, and goal of all truth. He alone speaks to us the words of truth we need to free us from these deceptions.
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