Lesson 10: The Not at All Reluctant Dragon

Answer. They did promise and vow three things in my name. First, that I should renounce the devil and dll his works . . .

Your ladder’s first step, R. Your first vow, Renouncing.

To “renounce” means, as the Baptism Service says, “to refuse to follow or be led by.” It does not mean to “give up”: you can’t give up and have nothing to do with the devil, the world, and the flesh - at least, not in this life: but you can refuse to be their slaves or servants.

The devil was once the chief of the holy angels in heaven; he sinned through pride, of his own Free Will; there was war in heaven; Michael and the good angels won; the devil (“Satan,” which means “enemy”) and the bad angels were thrown out for ever {Revelation 12, 7-9); and will be in this world until die end of time.

He does not look like the dragon on the blackboard, any more than you look like the piccaninny with the wind up. But he really is much stronger and cleverer than you, or me, or any one else; and he hates every Christian, because he knows that he or she can be in heaven instead of him.

So he disguises himself in all sorts of clever ways; and shoots into our minds bad thoughts like invisible poisoned arrows (Lying, Being jealous, Hating, Losing our tempers, Bullying, Having cruel tongues. Being stuck-up and proud, Snicking things, Playing impure games), to turn our minds away from God and his good things. He is always “tempting” us, “trying to make us sin.” And his cleverest trick is to try to make us think that there isn’t any devil at all.

But, strong though he is, he is not almighty. He can tempt us, but he can’t make us sin (we always have Free Will); and temptation is not sin.


And you have promised and vowed not to become his slave, to refuse to follow or be led by him. Pray every day to keep your vow {St. Matthew 6, 13)