THE DECEITFULNESS OF SIN


                                 Phil Scovell

                           Copyright (C) 2003/2007

                             All rights Reserved

                           CHAPTER 4  INFERIORITY

          He glanced at his digital  watch as he turned the motor  off.  It
     read exactly  1 o'clock and  00 seconds.   Getting out of  his car, he
     turned to lock  it and laughed.   "No need to  lock it this time,"  he
     literally said aloud.  At the sudden sound of his own voice, he turned
     quickly around to see if anyone heard.  The birds chirped and he could
     detect  the  soft hum  of insects.    Otherwise, he  was alone  and he
     breathed a  sigh of relief.  This was his  favorite place to come just
     to  be alone for awhile.  Few  people ever frequented this area and he
     could never understand  why.  It was  only a thirty minute  drive from
     the city and it was a wonderful peaceful  place to come and relax.  He
     shivered upon  thinking that but shook it off  and walked to the mouth
     of the path and began making his way over the trail.

          He  had  walked for  almost an  hour,  taking his  time,  when he
     arrived at his  favorite spot.  It was a large  bolder directly in the
     middle  of the path; almost as if it  were blocking the way.  For some
     reason, in all of his walks, he had never gone  beyond this bolder; he
     had always turned and retraced his steps without continuing beyond the
     large stone.  He vaguely wondered why now but instead of focusing upon
     that mystery, he simply sat down on the bolder.

          Letting his mind drift, he considered his life.  He was fifty now
     and had  nothing to show for it.  Oh,  sure, he had four children, all
     grown  and with children  of their own.   He had been  employed with a
     good  job for the past 28 years and he  had  made good money, too.  So
     what.   That  had  little meaning  to him.   He'd been  active in  his
     church all  his  life and he'd  read the bible through  once each year
     since he was  sixteen.  What did  that come to?  34?  Big deal.   What
     had it gotten  him?  He had  led several people  to the Lord as  well;
     one now even serving as a missionary in South America for the last  10
     years.   So?  If he hadn't led them to Christ, somebody else  probably
     would have.  As  much as he wished, winning the lost  to  Christ still
     didn't  make him feel any more loved of  God.  He was the chairman  of
     the board  of elders at  his church, too, but  where had that   gotten
     him?   He  and the pastor  played golf  twice a  month, too, but   his
     pastor wouldn't miss him if he were gone.  He had financed the  Sunday
     school addition on the back  of the church but  who cared  about  that
     now?   They got what they wanted and he was still left  with emptiness
     and no body cared about that.  Yes, his wife loved him  and he knew it
     but somehow that didn't change his mood now.  If something happened to
     him, he knew it would hurt  his children but they were young and  they
     would get over it.  He'd lost his father when he was  young and he got
     over it so he knew they would,  too.
          He stopped  his self examination  to listen to the  sounds around
     him.  It was mid day and few birds sang but he heard  a couple of them
     in the  far distance.  He took a deep breath and smelled the freshness
     of the  greenery all around  him.  He felt  the warmth of  the rock on
     which he sat.  He glanced up.  He could see  a little blue sky but the
     foliage was  so thick here and  the trees   so close together,  only a
     small  area allowed light  to filter   through.  He  loved this place.
     He'd  never even brought  his wife   here but  he knew  she would have
     enjoyed it, too.   The tiny little  buttercups growing all around were
     his favorite  but he never knew   why.  He heard  a squirrel somewhere
     but couldn't spot  him through   the  thickness of the  branches.   He
     heard a jet fly far overhead but it was  so high, he could barely hear
     it.  It  reminded him of  reality and  he  then realized why  he liked
     this place.   He could be  alone here,   that was  true, but the  real
     reason was the peacefulness it gave  him.  He had to laugh at that one
     but it wasn't a humorous laugh  now.

          He  heard  his  thoughts  again   inside.    They  had  taken  on
     personality years  ago and he was  weary of them.   In fact,  he hated
     them.   He hated  himself because he  heard them and he  hated his own
     life  without  even understanding  why.    Oh, sure,  he  had  been to
     Christian psychologists.   Why not?  He  had the money to  pay for it.
     Little,  if  anything,  had  ever  helped.    He'd  even  gone  to   a
     psychiatrist a few times but  the prescribed medications only helped a
     little.   He was tired  of life, his  life, and  he was tired  of pain
     which  he  couldn't even  identify.   He  was  no one  special,   he'd
     accomplished  little of nothing  in his  life, and  he had  nothing to
     show for it.  His father was right;  he was a loser and a failure; and
     never should have  been born.   Tears came then  but they didn't  last
     long because he was tired of crying, too.  No one understood and  some
     even ridiculed him.   A Christian shouldn't have these   feelings; not
     if they were a  real spiritual Christian.  They were  right; he wasn't
     worth spiritual spit.

          Hearing a small sound, he glanced around.  A dozen yards away, he
     saw a  snake curling  through the  grass in  his direction.   He  knew
     these woods had poisonous snakes but  he'd never seen one.  He'd  seen
     snakes,  of course, but  nothing poisonous.   He watched  as the snake
     moved closer but he felt no fear; just curiosity.

          Not  more  than 10  feet away,  it stopped  and rose.   It  was a
     copperhead.   Certainly  poisonous.   He watched  the   snake's tongue
     flick the air.   He was hunting for  body heat, he   knew, and with  a
     measure of  detachment, he wondered  if the  snake   could sense  him.
     "Hello Satan," he said casually.  "Have you come to kill me yourself?"
     He knew snakes  also used their tongues   to sense vibrations  as well
     and he wondered if the snake had detected his voice.  The snake stayed
     motionless, all  but his  flicking tongue, and  somehow he  wished the
     thing would come over and strike him.  A  few months ago, that thought
     would  have terrified him.   Now it  seemed almost funny.   Somehow he
     felt no fear of the snake and for a moment, he thought of walking over
     and trying to catch the thing.   If he got bit in the  process?  Well,
     no harm done, he mused.

          Slowly, he reached around behind  him and felt a small rock.   He
     tossed  it  at the  snake  but  missed.   The  deadly  snake  remained
     motionless but he could tell  the snake  knew something  had happened.
     Long moments passed.

          After awhile, apparently the snake found nothing of interest  and
     dropping  to  the ground, it slithered silently away.  Somehow he felt
     disappointed.  Being killed by a snake in these woods might  have been
     a  better way to  go.   When he realized  the life  insurance  company
     would  easily   pay  off   his  coverage  to   his  wife   under  such
     circumstances, he rose  to chase  after the  snake but  then sat  back
     down.  Two  million dollars in  savings was  a whole lot  more than  a
     measly  fifty grand life  insurance policy.   He laughed at  the whole
     scenario.  In  fact, he laughed until  tears flowed down his  face but
     eventually the tears turned into tears of grief and deep sorrow.

          He pulled  the plastic  prescription bottle  from his  pocket and
     looked at it.  He'd been holding back a few pills each  month for  the
     last  6 months  and now he  had more  than enough to  do the  job.  He
     silently wished he'd died  in that car wreck 15 years ago  but  it had
     only laid him up  in the hospital for 6 months instead.  What a waste,
     he thought.

          He  shook the plastic  bottle and   listened to the  pills rattle
     around  inside.   There wasn't  much   movement, he  realized, because
     there were  lots of pills in there.   The antidepressants he'd been on
     for the  last 4 years,  that  seemed  to do little  good, consisted of
     about a  fourth of the  contents of the bottle.  He had saved the rest
     of the  tranquilizers and muscle relaxers: figuring they would  do the
     best  work he planned  to carry out momentarily.  400 tablets  in all,
     as he  recalled, and it  had taken all he  could muster just  to hoard
     that many over  the past 6 months.   He felt like a drug  addict.  So?
     What did it matter now.

          Again his mind drifted.  He mentally knew he was trying to find a
     reason not to swallow the  pills but it was  weak and amorphous so  he
     pushed it away.  He let his anger build.  That always worked, he knew.
     His sex life proved he didn't have what it takes  any longer.  His own
     wife showed no interest in him.  He wasn't much of a man any longer so
     why not.  He could  count on one  hand the number of times he had made
     love  with  his wife  in  the last  5  years  and most  of  those were
     miserable physical failures.  What a   waste.  His mind recaptured all
     his attempts  to cope with the pain   of rejection his failed sex life
     brought him.  The internet had  provided the safest means of trying to
     deal with his brokenness  but now he knew it had yielded absolutely no
     value or  relief.  What  an idiot he'd  been.  Those  images, however,
     simply could  not   be  flushed  from his  mind  and he  cursed  their
     existence in his   heart.  What he needed so  desperately was intimacy
     and  that he    could not  achieve.   The  pornography  had become  so
     commonplace, he   literally felt no reaction  to it any longer.   He'd
     even considered  a prostitute once and had even driven around downtown
     but his   Christian heritage blocked him  from going any further.   He
     probably  couldn't  have  done  anything   even  if  he  had  hired  a
     prostitute in the  first place.   He was a  complete and total  loser;
     that's for sure.  His sexual performance, or the lack thereof,  pretty
     much proved that point.

          He heard his dead  mother's voice then, the  only person who  had
     genuinely loved him, calling  to him.  She was in  Heaven, he knew and
     he knew that's where he  would be soon.  To  hell with all those  self
     righteous Christians  who said taking  your own life was  the ultimate
     sin.  He  wasn't going to hell and  he knew it.  His  salvation was as
     secure as it could ever be.  The voices were louder now  but he didn't
     care.   He was used  to their  threats and tauntings  and accusations.
     Where he was going,  they couldn't come and he laughed  moronically at
     their voices  out loud.   He thought of God,  then, and His  love  for
     him.  He picture the Lord dying on the cross; His blood  dripping from
     his body and falling  to the ground and all  for him.  He cried  then,
     thankful for his  salvation, but still his  heart was broken.   He was
     considered  mentally ill  just because  of the antidepressants  but he
     knew better.  He knew what  the  voices were; he just didn't  know why
     they were allowed to  torment  him as a Christian.   He couldn't think
     of anything he had done  that  gave them the right to invade his  life
     and  he couldn't tell  anybody about  it.  After all, God forgave all,
     didn't he?  He  wished he could have  shared his feelings and thoughts
     with his   pastor but that  was a  lost cause if  there ever was  one.
     Besides,  his pastor  was probably as wounded as he  was but like him,
     too  proud to admit it.

          Unslinging  the water container  from his shoulder,  he unscrewed
     the  cap and took a drink.  He  looked at the bottle in his hand again
     and  realized it would take  a fair amount of  water to wash all those
     pills down.  He  had already made up his mind a long  time ago and the
     numbness his body took  on at that moment  helped  settle any doubtful
     thoughts about reconsidering.  He   began unscrewing the cap from  the
     prescription bottle as tears  crept into the corners of his eyes.

          Suddenly,  he realized  the entire  forest had  gone silent.   No
     birds; no  squirrels; no humming of tiny insects.   He had never heard
     such silence in his life and he dropped the cap he was unscrewing from
     the  bottle and listened.  He couldn't even detect any breeze rustling
     through the  branches.   For a  moment, fear  gripped him  but then  a
     strange calm  settled over  him.   Still he  sat and  listened.   Time
     itself seemed to stop.  The strangest thing, however, was the  absence
     of the voices.  He could not recall  a time in the last  fifteen years
     the voices weren't around.   Where did they go?   The coolness of  the
     forest touched  him and it felt good.   He couldn't remember the  last
     time he felt good.

          He  heard something  but  could  not locate  its  source.   After
     several moments, he realized it was coming from inside of him but   it
     wasn't the demonic voices  to which he was so familiar.  He  listened.
     There were no words and no sound and no voices he  could detect but it
     was an understanding that surpassed  anything he  had ever experienced
     in his entire  life.  He remembered,  as a  little boy  of probably no
     more than 4 or 5 years of age, standing outside his  home and watching
     the large coal  truck back up to  their house.  His father  had opened
     the basement window  and the driver of  the truck had unfurled  a long
     drop chute which  terminated at the window.  Getting back into the cab
     of  the truck, he did  something, and the large  load of coal began to
     slide down  the chute  into the   basement.   It  continued until  his
     father, now outdoors and   standing near the  truck, whistled for  the
     man to stop.  The sound  of all that coal sliding down the metal chute
     died away and  he had  run over  and looked into the  basement window.
     The coal room was   completely filled and he had coughed from the coal
     dust in the  air.   That same feeling  of complete fullness, like  the
     coal room, seemed  to be coming from somewhere,  literally filling his
     mind, and  as he  sat and  waited, it  stopped when  he   felt totally
     replete.   Although he still heard no  voice, he knew a   solution was
     available for him and that he had been given what  he  needed to reach
     that point in his  relationship with God.   He  didn't even  bother to
     try an analyze the information or how he  might reach  its conclusion;
     somehow he knew  it would happen.   Now he had something  worth living

          A strong revulsion surrounded and  permeated him.  He looked down
     at  the prescription  bottle  in his  hand  and felt  sickness  in his
     stomach.  He cocked  his arm and threw the opened bottle  as far as he
     could, and as high as he could,  into the dense trees surrounding him.
     He heard the  tiny pills scatter among the thick foliage as they fell;
     sounding  like large  rain drops  striking  the leaves  of the  trees.
     Suddenly he heard one lone bird singing and it was his favorite.  He'd
     never heard a  cardinal in this forest  ever before but there  was one
     now.  As he got to his feet to make his way back down the trail to his
     car,  he somehow  wondered  if it  wasn't really  an  angel singing  a
     cardinal's song just for him.   Retracing his steps down the path,  he
     smiled on the inside.   Though he knew it would take a  lot of work on
     his behalf, he felt alive for the first time in years.

          Arriving at  his car, he recalled he had  not locked it.  Pulling
     the door open, he sat behind the wheel and started the engine.  He let
     it idle  as he felt the sweat  trickle down his back.   He was hot but
     soon the  wind would be streaming  in through his  windows and cooling
     him.  He pulled the door shut and put the car into  gear as he glanced
     at his  watch.  It  read exactly  1 o'clock and  00 seconds.   Had the
     batteries died?  That couldn't  be because the display would be  dead;
     nothing would be showing.  He tapped the face of the   watch.  Then he
     noticed  the digital seconds were clicking off.  The watch was running
     again.  It had stopped totally the entire  time he had been out of his
     car because he clearly remembered checking the time before walking the
     trail to the  bolder.  He stared  at the seconds clicking  rapidly by.
     He stared  for a full  three minutes at  the watch as it  continued to
     run.  He  sat back in  his seat and listened  to the soft purr  of his
     car's motor.  Glancing down,  he stared at the digital  clock embedded
     in the car's dashboard.   It now read 3  minutes after 1 o'clock.   He
     had  no idea  what  had just  happened but  it  was something  totally
     unexplainable.  He knew for an absolute fact he had been gone for over
     3  hours.  Yet  his watch  had frozen  in time.   What did  that mean?
     Suddenly,  the presence of God's holiness filled his car and this time
     his tears had meaning.



          A  persistent  sense   of  inadequacy  or  a   tendency  to  self

          Inferiority can  be intricately complex or very simplistic.  Some
     people know  they have  it but  most never  recognize it  for what  it
     really is.  I never realized I had it until the Lord revealed it to me
     and by then, I  was 50 years old.   I was  even more surprised when  I
     discovered the origin of my inferiority.

          My father, in my eyes, was a great man.  He loved the Lord and he
     was a hard worker.  He always got up at least two hours before work in
     order to  pray and study  God's Word.   I watched  him lead people  to
     Christ.  I listened to him preach as he took his family  to small Iowa
     farming  communities on  Sundays to  preach in  churches too  small to
     afford a full time pastor.  I love being with my dad and we fished and
     camped and flew  kites together.  I felt  proud that my dad,  who only
     made it to the 8th  grade, was the chairman of  the deacon board of  a
     church  running over 1,000 members.  I never  knew my dad to be sad or
     fearful or without confidence.  I did notice one thing which caused me
     to wonder about  my dad, however, and  I asked my mother  about it one

          Frequently,  my  dad would  get  into  the  car and  just  drive;
     sometimes for  hours.  Mom  said, when I  asked about it,  that my dad
     just liked getting away and  praying and being alone once and  awhile.
     She said  it relaxed him.   That sounded  spiritual to me so  I forgot
     about it.   I never  thought any  more about it  until my  father died
     unexpectedly when I was  only 11 years old.  Two  years later I gained
     some insight to who my dad really was.

          Mom and  I were  going to  see her  relatives in  Kansas for  the
     weekend.  Mom loved to drive fast and it never seemed to me, as a kid,
     that  it  took us  very long  to  get anywhere  when she  was driving.
     Several times mom would touch 120  miles an hour, just for the  thrill
     of it, but never for very long.  She easily  drove far above the speed
     limits, however,  on the  highways most  of the  time.   I had  always
     dreamed of my mother driving in the Indy 500 some day.

          On the way to Kansas that Friday  night, I began asking mom about
     dad.  We all hadn't said  a whole lot about him since his  death.  Mom
     told me how he died and how the Lord Jesus Christ Himself had appeared
     at his  bedside.  Mom  not only saw Jesus  but spoke to  Him and said,
     "You have come for him?" Mom said He replied that was why He had come.
     I  asked mom if Jesus looked like a ghost.   She said, "Oh, my no.  He
     looked just like a real human being.
      I could have reached across the bed and touched Him if I had wanted,"
     she concluded.

          During our conversation  about dad, I asked her about how he used
     to get into  the car and drive to  be alone.  Mom then  revealed to me
     that my dad  was on  tranquilizers.  When  I asked why,  she was  very
     vague and to  this day, I cannot recall she actually  gave me a direct
     answer.  Some  37 years later, the  Lord Himself would have  to reveal
     the truth to me.

          during an intercessory prayer session  with a friend one day, the
     Lord took me to my dad's death bed.  The Lord revealed to me in prayer
     that I had inherited character traits  of my father.  Some good;  some
     bad.   He showed  me that my  father felt  inferior, incapable,  and a
     failure.  Yet I  never noticed any of these things  concerning my dad.
     When, as I prayed,  I asked the Lord why, He  began to explain through
     impressions in my thoughts.

          My father was  born two months after the  unexpected death of his
     own father.  In other words, when he  was born, he had no father.  His
     oldest brother,  Fred, was in  the 8th grade  at the  time so he  quit
     school to help run the farm and to raise his brother and  sisters.  My
     uncle Fred  was a wonderful man and loved the Lord.  He did everything
     with my dad and was  more a father to him than a brother.  Yet, my dad
     knew  he did not have a father of his  own and there was a void in his
     life as a result.

          During my prayer  time, I  asked the  Lord why  my father  became
     confused about his identity.  The Lord revealed to me that during this
     time of my father's childhood, a demon took this opportunity to  plant
     lies into my father's thinking.  I  do not have time to explain it now
     but I  have no doubt  my father,  at 46  years of age,  died an  early
     death.  The  reason?  He  gave up.  He  had not given up  preaching or
     living for the Lord but  when he became suddenly ill, he lost his will
     to live due  to the lie of  inferiority he carried through  his entire
     life.  In other  words, he wasn't  better than his father.   How do  I
     know my  father had  this attitude of  inferiority?  Because  I recall
     saying the  very same thing to myself more than  once: I am not better
     than my father.  Don't feel badly for me or  for yourself, if you feel
     inferior because  we are  all in  good company.   Elijah,  one of  the
     greatest  men of God who ever lived,  said the same thing right at the
     peak of his powerful ministry.  (See 1 Kings 19:1-4).

          Inferiority  can show  up disguised  in many  different ways.   A
     parent telling  one of their children, "Oh,  you can never do anything
     right."   "Can't you get  anything right?"   "Look at the  mess you've
     made.  You  always mess everything up."   "You're just like  your dad.
     He always talked that way."  "How many times do I have  to tell you to
     clean up your room?  Don't you listen?  Can't you get anything right I
     tell you to do?"   Some statements are more direct.   "You idiot.  You
     are so stupid.  I wish you'd  never been born."  Further complications
     set in when these statements  are confirmed by friends, relatives, and
     teachers at school.

          As I wrote this booklet, the Lord brought a memory to my mind and
     as I began  praying over it and  seeking God's truth about  lies which
     were planted in  that memory event, I  couldn't seem to find  the root
     cause for my emotional discomfort.  What I had done  was sin but I had
     confessed it as  sin at that very  moment.  I turned the  memory over;
     looking for other possible problems.  Finally  I asked myself, "How do
     you feel?"  I heard myself saying, "I  failed God again."  What?  That
     wasn't in  the memory but it was.  I  then realized the real source of
     that feeling was not in that memory.  I am still waiting upon the Lord
     to lead me to the  real source of that statement I made  about myself.
     So,  in  short,   I  am  continuously  on  my   healing  journey  from
     inferiority.  Praise God, though, He helps me find each place and then
     speaks  His  truth and  the  pain is  eliminated  and another  door is
     slammed on the devil.

          In the fictitious  story of Chapter 4, the  successful man wanted
     to  die, kill himself,  because he felt  inferior.  Yet,  as the story
     describes, he was  quite successful.  His inferiority  opened the door
     for  demonic influence.   He  had tried  everything, according  to the
     story,  and yet  he felt worthless.   Fortunately, in  this story, the
     Holy Spirit revealed truth  to him and he  sought for it.  Do  not try
     and tell  me my story  is less than  real because I, and  many others,
     know otherwise.  Your inferiority can be healed completely and you can
     walk in maintenance free confidence.

                               End Of Chapter 4

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