When people tell me that they don't believe in God, I usually respond by saying, "God believes in you." Terribly annoying for the recipient, but I'm not lying. The flip side of this coin is Satan. Some very erudite people have told me that Satan is merely "a psychological construct created by the Church in order to keep the masses in control." Then, all I heard was "blah, blah, blah." For as much as God believes in every person on this planet, Satan believes in them, too. And, worse, Satan wants them to believe the lie that he is merely a psychological construct.
There is a constant unseen battle occurring for our hearts and minds and souls.
In today's Gospel (John 14:27-31a) Christ tells the disciples that he will go to the Father and he won't speak much with them because the "ruler of the world" is coming. However, this ruler has no power over Christ or the Father.
Christians will earnestly give God credit when someone turns their life around or they're able to forgive someone, but what about when something bad happens? Clearly, God can act upon our hearts, but so can Satan. Oftentimes crimes of passion are characterized as someone acting out of their "normal" state of mind. While a person might be responding to evil suggestions during horrendous crimes like murder or rape, what about the smaller ways we give into evil everyday: lying, cheating, giving into anger? I'm not advocating "the devil made me do it" defense, but I have to be aware of the powers acting on me. Am I listening to God or am I being deceived by Satan?
I know who the ruler of the world is, but who is the ruler of my heart?