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Keeping the Devil Out


Here’s another 1960’s old-school sermon from minister J. Ronald Schoolcraft. And even a near half-century later, this message still has words of truth to help us in the year 2009 and beyond!

“To Scare the Devil”

By J. Ronald Schoolcraft

A young warehouse worker took his customer’s order and started down one of the long aisles of the warehouse to get the desired parts. As he went he was whistling gaily the tune “Just Whistle While You Work” from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. “My, he’s a happy fellow!” the customer remarked. One of the girls looked up from her stack of records and said “He says he does that to keep the devils out of his mind!”

This is quite interesting, because most of us know that the Devil has a way of getting into the mind of even the most sincere Christian occasionally.

Many people have suggested many ways to deal with wrong thoughts in the mind, but what may be effective for one person may not be effective for another. Whistling or singing does repel wrong thoughts, and constantly signing to one’s self will shut out much that otherwise might germinate and grown into lust and sin. There is a chorus which lends itself very fittingly to this:

“Singing I go along life’s road

Praising the Lord! Praising the Lord!

Singing I go along life’s way;

For Jesus has lifted my load!”

We are not responsible for wrong thoughts but we are responsible for letting them stay in the mind and develop into lust and sin. When thoughts of anger, wrath, resentment, fleshly lust or revenge come to mind, a silent prayer, a “merry whistle-tune” or a silent Gospel chorus will do much to dispel it. Many have found that silently quoting a verse of Scripture – a particular promise – is of tremendous assistance.

Of course first and foremost there must be a desire to live above the baser things of life. A sincere desire to live a life that is approved by the Lord Jesus insures use of his presence with us. Long ago the prophet Azariah told King Asa, “Hear ye me, Asa, The Lord is with you while ye be with him; and if ye search for him, he will be found of you; but if ye forsake him, he will also forsake you” (II Chron. 15:2). God always honors and blesses our efforts in righteousness but it is foolish to think that He will take us and force us to live clean and upright against our will. God’s promises are conditional – God promises that He will do certain things, IF we will do certain things first.

Paul offers a good suggestion in Phil. 4:8 when he says, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true,…honest,…pure,…lovely,…of a good report: if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, thing on these things.” To this add his great statement in Phil. 4:13 and you have success guaranteed: “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

Try prayer, try Scripture, try singing, try whistling – but try! And the Lord Jesus will come to your aid.

One Response to “Keeping the Devil Out”

  1. on 11 Oct 2009 at 1:48 pmRay

    It’s important to be aware of anything that wants to stay in your mind as if it has a will or a power of it’s own.

    Have you ever had a song that seemed to “stick in your head”?

    That is an indication that it’s not godly, that there’s something wrong with it.

    There are even songs we have sung in church that have had that ability to haunt one’s mind. It’s usually because of a religious spirit.

    Usually songs or hymns that speak of the blood of Jesus are spiritually clean, but I have found one of them that even had something wrong with it, and it too haunted my mind.

    When that happens with any song, search for a song or hymn that
    is clean and start singing or whistling that.

    Sometimes I have sung a song on Sunday only to find on Tuesday, or Wednesday that it is haunting my mind. That’s not uncommon.
    It might take days to haunt your mind, but if it is unclean, it seems to me that it likely will at some time if you have been singing it.

    Putting our mind on something else replaces it, though it may try to come back. If it does, it will tire your mind. You won’t be experiencing God’s peace or quickening of his spirit because of it.
    I wonder what other effects it can have on the body.

    Putting scripture in our mind to replace the thing can not only help,
    at times it may be a particular scriputure that has the power to “break” it and put it to flight.

    If within the words of the song that part of it that is off the word of God is replaced with the Right word of Christ, that power to break it’s spell will be found. That can happen when the Right word (a particular right word) from the scripture goes exactly contrary to the particular manner of the
    words that were wrong.

    You might find yourself telling another Christian about a song you both sang at church last Sunday, and when you tell them that it was haunting your mind, they may think there is something wrong with you, and they may say, “I always liked that song.” or “I like to sing that song all day.” But, trust what really happens to you. So many people react to something without being aware. They are often quick to speak and too slow to investigate.

    You might try suggesting to them that they sing it today, and see if sometime during the week it begins to haunt, or occupy their mind
    causing them to tire of it, while it seems to want to stay in their mind as if it had a mind of it’s own to do so, and then have them call you as soon as they are aware of it. Tell them to not be surprised if it is days later.

    Sadly, some Christians might be so spiritually unaware that they seldom seem to know what goes on in their mind or even aware of how they walk.

    Ask the Lord to teach you about these things.

    If someone says, “There’s something wrong with this song, don’t just trust them, but do be open to search out together what it may be. Pray about it, and investigate it. Many of the “I worship” songs
    that are more about us than God have this ability to haunt the mind of the believer. Sometimes we are not aware of what we worship.


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