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Strategies of Satan How to Detect and Defeat Him(2)

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Teaching Series Taken from Warren Wiersbe book

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Strategies of Satan

“He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature; for he is a liar, and the father of lies.”
And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world.
But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.
For many deceivers have gone out into the world.
Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?”
The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden, we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’”
ONE
The Deceiver
3 trees of the garden, we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’”
3 trees of the garden, we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’”
trees of the garden, we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’”
The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.
Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings.
What we hope to gain from this study?
the targets Satan aims at in your life; the weapons he uses to attack you; the purposes that he wants to achieve; and the defenses God has provided for you.
the targets Satan aims at in your life; the weapons he uses to attack you; the purposes that he wants to achieve;
1.1 SATAN’S TARGET
and the defenses God has provided for you.
1.1 SATAN’S TARGET
Satan The Deceiver
SATAN’S TARGET - YOUR MIND
YOUR MIND
When Satan wanted to lead the first man and woman into sin, he started by attacking the woman’s mind. This is made clear in
.
But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.
Why would Satan want to attack your mind? Because your mind is the part of the image of God where God communicates with you and reveals his will to you. It is unfortunate that some Christians have minimized the significance of the mind, because the Bible emphasizes its importance.
Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him.
4 THE STRATEGY OF SATAN
Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him.
So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart; and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness. But you did not learn Christ in this way, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus, that, in reference to your former manner
of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
God renews our lives by renewing our minds, and he renews our minds through his truth. This truth is the Word of God.
Sanctify them in the truth; Thy word is truth.
THE DECEIVER 5
Sanctify them in the truth; Thy word is truth.
If Satan can get you to believe a lie, then he can begin to work in your life to lead you into sin. This is why he attacks the mind, and this is why we must protect our minds from the attacks of the wicked one.
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honor- able, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell
on these things.
“If it is not true,” Paul writes, “do not let it enter your mind.”
In recent years, science has discovered many fascinating things about the human mind. Like a computer, your mind can store facts and impressions—and even emotions—and recall them years later. Your mind can reach into the past through memory, or it can reach into the future through imagination. Your thinking affects your feeling and your willingness.
For as he thinks within himself, so he is.
The doctor says, “You are what you eat.” The psychologist says, “You are what you think.” Satan knows the tremendous power of your mind, and he tries to capture it for himself.
The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in You.
For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace.
6 THE STRATEGY OF SATAN
For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace.
Your mind affects your whole being.

SATAN’S WEAPON - LIES

LIES
Satan came to Eve as the serpent, the subtle deceiver.
[This is] the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world.
There is no truth in him . . . for he is a liar and the father of lies.
It is important that you notice the steps Satan took in getting Eve to believe his lie.

Step 1-HE QUESTIONED GOD’S WORD.

THE DECEIVER 7

“Indeed, has God said . . .?”

He did not deny that God had spoken; he simply questioned whether God had really said what Eve thought he had said. “Perhaps you misunderstood what God spoke,” is Satan’s suggestion. “You owe it to yourself to rethink what he said.” It is worth noting that in this suggestion Satan is also questioning God’s goodness. “If God really loved you, he wouldn’t keep something from you.” He tried the same approach with our Lord in the wilderness: “If you are God’s beloved Son, why are you hungry?”
you misunderstood what God spoke,” is Satan’s suggestion. “You owe it to yourself to rethink what he said.” It is worth noting that in this suggestion Satan is also questioning God’s goodness. “If God really loved you, he wouldn’t keep something from you.” He tried the same approach with our Lord in the wilderness: “If you are God’s beloved Son, why are you hungry?”

Step 2-HE DENIED GOD’S WORD.

“You surely shall not die!”

It is but a short step from questioning God’s Word to denying it. Of course, neither Adam nor Eve had ever seen death. All they had to go on was the Word of God, but this was all they needed. If Eve had not listened to Satan’s questioning God’s Word, she would never have fallen into his trap when he denied God’s Word.

Step 3-HE SUBSTITUTED HIS OWN LIE.

“You will be like God!”

Adam and Eve were already made in the image of God, but Satan tempted them with an even greater privilege: to be like God! This was, of course, Satan’s great ambition when he was Lucifer, God’s angelic servant.
“How you have fallen from heaven, O star of the morning, son of the dawn! You have been cut down to the earth, you who have weakened the nations! But you said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God, and I will sit on the mount of assembly, in the recesses of the north. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’”
Satan is a created being, a creature, but he wanted to be worshiped and served like the Creator. It was this attitude that led him to rebel against God and seek to establish his own kingdom. “You will be like God” is the one gigantic lie that has controlled civi- lization since the fall of man.
8 THE STRATEGY OF SATAN
Satan is a created being, a creature, but he wanted to be worshiped and served like the Creator. It was this attitude that led him to rebel against God and seek to establish his own kingdom. “You will be like God” is the one gigantic lie that has controlled civi- lization since the fall of man.
For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie [literally “the lie”], and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

Satan desires worship and service, and Jesus Christ would give him neither!

Again, the devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory; and he said to Him, “All these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.’”
Satan’s lie, “You will be like God,” motivates and controls much of our civilization today. Man is seeking to pull himself up by his own bootstraps. He is working to build a utopia on earth and possibly take it to outer space. Through education, psychiatry, religions of one kind or another (most of which ignore Jesus Christ, sin, and salvation), and better environ- ment, men are defying God and deifying themselves. They are playing right into the hands of Satan.
to outer space. Through education, psychiatry, reli- gions of one kind or another (most of which ignore Jesus Christ, sin, and salvation), and better environ- ment, men are defying God and deifying themselves. They are playing right into the hands of Satan.

How did Eve respond to Satan’s approach? She responded by making three mistakes that led her into sin.

Mistake 1 - SHE TOOK AWAY FROM GOD’S WORD

THE DECEIVER 9
In verse 2, Eve omitted the word “freely.” God’s original word in was, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely.” We get the impression that Eve caught Satan’s subtle suggestion, “God is holding out on you!” When you start to question or forget the grace of God and the goodness of God, you will find it much easier to disobey the will of God.
SHE TOOK AWAY FROM GOD’S WORD. In verse 2, Eve omitted the word “freely.” God’s original word in was, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely.” We get the impression that Eve caught Satan’s subtle suggestion, “God is holding out on you!” When you start to question or forget the grace of God and the goodness of God, you will find it much easier to disobey the will of God.

Mistake 2 - SHE ADDED TO GOD’S WORD

We do not find the words “or touch it” in God’s original command. They may have been there, but they are not in the record. Not only did Eve make God’s original word less gracious by omitting the word “freely,” but she also made the commandment more grievous by adding “or touch it.” “His commandments are not burdensome” (l ). Satan wants us to believe they are burdensome, and that he has something better to offer.

Mistake 3 - SHE CHANGED GOD’S WORD

God did not say, “Lest you die.” He said, “For in the day that you eat from it you will surely die” (). The penalty for disobedience as presented by the enemy did not seem as harsh; therefore, Eve could consider forsaking God’s will and obeying Satan’s will.
Once you have treated God’s Word in this fashion, you are wide open for the devil’s final trick.
He merely permitted Eve to consider the tree apart from God’s Word. “Get a good look at it! See it as it really is!” It was “good for food . . . a delight to the eyes . . . desirable to make one wise” (). She had to make a choice: God’s Word or Satan’s word? She rejected God’s Word, believed Satan, and sinned.
10 THE STRATEGY OF SATAN
You and I have been suffering from the consequences of her decision, as has the whole human race.
word? She rejected God’s Word, believed Satan, and sinned. You and I have been suffering from the consequences of her decision, as has the whole human race.
God accomplishes his will on earth through truth; Satan accomplishes his purposes through lies.
When the child of God believes God’s truth, then the Spirit of God can work in power; for the Holy Spirit is “the Spirit of truth” ( ). But when a person believes a lie, then Satan goes to work in that life; “for he is a liar, and the father of lies” ( ).

Faith in God’s truth leads to victory; faith in Satan’s lies leads to defeat.

However, Satan never advertises, “This is a lie!” He is the serpent, the deceiver, and he always masquerades his lies as God’s truth.
For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.
Satan did not approach Eve in his true nature; he masqueraded by using the serpent. Satan is a counterfeiter, an imitator.
There are counterfeit Christians.
I have been . . . [in] dangers among false brethren.
2 Corinthians 11:26 ESV
on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers;
“The tares are the sons of the evil one.” “You are of your father the devil.”
Another verse on counterfiet christians:
“The tares are the sons of the evil one.” “You are of your father the devil.”
THE DECEIVER 11
There is a counterfeit gospel.
There is a counterfeit gospel.
But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed!
There are counterfeit ministers of the gospel.
For even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness.
There is a counterfeit righteousness.
For not knowing about God’s righteousness and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God.
There is even a counterfeit “church of Satan.”
I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich), and the blasphemy by those who say they are Jews [i.e., God’s people] and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.
And this counterfeit church has counterfeit doctrines.
But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons.
All of this will end, of course, in the appearance of a counterfeit Christ—the Antichrist—who will accept for Satan the worship and service of the whole world.
counterfeit Christ—the Antichrist—who will accept for Satan the worship and service of the whole world.
Then that lawless one will be revealed . . . the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish.
All who dwell on the earth will worship him.
Satan’s target is your mind, and his weapon is lies. What is his purpose?

SATAN’S PURPOSE

TO MAKE YOU IGNORANT OF GOD’S WILL

Satan attacks God’s Word because God’s Word reveals God’s will.

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
I delight to do Your will, O my God; Your Law is within my heart.
Apart from the Word of God, we have no sure under- standing of the will of God. The will of God is the expression of God’s love for us.
The counsel of the LORD stands forever, the plans of his heart from generation to generation.
God’s will comes from God’s heart. It is not an impersonal thing, but a very personal matter with the Lord. He has a personal understanding of each of his children—their natures, their names, their needs—and he tailors his plans accordingly.
THE DECEIVER 13
God’s will comes from God’s heart. It is not an impersonal thing, but a very personal matter with the Lord. He has a personal understanding of each of his children—their natures, their names, their needs—and he tailors his plans accordingly.
God wants us to know his will.
The God of our fathers has appointed you to know His will.
His will. He also wants us to understand his will.
He also wants us to understand his will.
So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
He wants this understanding of his will to fill us and control us.
We have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding.
The result of all this is the believer doing the will of God from the heart.
God’s will is not a duty; it is a delight. The Christian delights to discover the will of God and then obey from the heart. The will of God is his nourishment.
“My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work.”
You and I must pray (as did Epaphras) that we
14 THE STRATEGY OF SATAN
You and I must pray (as did Epaphras) that we
may stand perfect and fully assured in all the will of God.
may stand perfect and fully assured in all the will of God.
If Satan can make you ignorant of God’s will, he will rob you of all the glorious blessings God has planned for your life.
The first spiritual attack we undergo when we want to read the bible-dont know where to start, dont have time Ill read it later, etc.
If Satan can make you ignorant of Gods will- You will make bad decisions, get involved in sinful activities, and build the wrong kind of life.
And, sad to say, you will influence others to go wrong!
Christians who are ignorant of God’s will lose the enjoyment of God’s peace and power. They cannot grow into their full potential, nor can they accomplish what God has planned for them. Instead of traveling first-class, they travel second- or third-class, complaining all the way. They live like paupers because they have cut themselves off from God’s great wealth. They spend their lives—even worse, they waste their lives—when they could be investing their lives.
But the one who does the will of God lives forever.

YOUR DEFENSE

THE INSPIRED WORD OF GOD

Only the inspired Word of God can reveal and defeat the devil’s lies. You cannot reason with Satan, nor (as Eve discovered) can you even safely converse with him. Man’s wisdom is no match for Satan’s cunning. Our only defense is the inspired Word of God.
Satan’s cunning. Our only defense is the inspired Word of God.
THE DECEIVER 15
Satan’s cunning. Our only defense is the inspired Word of God.
It was this weapon that our Lord used when he was tempted by Satan in the wilderness.
Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry. And the tempter came and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.”
But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’”
Then the devil took Him into the holy city and had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down; for it is written, ‘He will command His angels concerning You’; and ‘On their hands they will bear You up, so that You will not strike Your foot against a stone.’”
Jesus said to him, “On the other hand, it is writ- ten, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’”
Again, the devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory; and he said to Him, “All these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me.”
Then Jesus said to him, “Go, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.’”
Then the devil left Him; and behold, angels came and began to minister to Him.
Our Lord did not use his divine power to defeat Satan. He used the same weapon that is available to us today: the Word of God.
to us today: the Word of God. Jesus was led by the Spirit of God and filled with the Word of God. As we shall see in a later chapter, the Word of God is “the sword of the Spirit” (); and the Holy Spirit can enable us to wield that sword effec- tively. If you and I are going to defeat Satan’s lies, we must depend on the Word of God. This fact lays several responsibilities upon us.
16 THE STRATEGY OF SATAN
Jesus was led by the Spirit of God and filled with the Word of God.
As we shall see later, the Word of God is “the sword of the Spirit” (); and the Holy Spirit can enable us to wield that sword effectively. If you and I are going to defeat Satan’s lies, we must depend on the Word of God.
to us today: the Word of God. Jesus was led by the Spirit of God and filled with the Word of God. As we shall see in a later chapter, the Word of God is “the sword of the Spirit” (); and the Holy Spirit can enable us to wield that sword effec- tively. If you and I are going to defeat Satan’s lies, we must depend on the Word of God. This fact lays several responsibilities upon us.

We have several responsibilities laid upon us.

1. WE MUST KNOW GOD’S WORD

There is no reason why any believer should be ignorant of his Bible. The Word of God is available to us in many translations. We have the Holy Spirit within us to teach us the truths of the Word (). There are a multitude of Bible study helps available.
We can turn on the radio and listen to excellent preachers and Bible teachers expound God’s Word. In local churches, there are pastors and teachers who minister the Word; and in many areas, there are seminars and Bible study groups for further study. If an intelligent believer today does not know his Bible, it is his or her own fault!
This means, of course, taking time to read and study the Bible. No one will master God’s Word in a lifetime of study, but we should learn all we can. We must make time, not “find time,” to read and study the Word of God. Just as a machinist studies the shop manual, and the surgeon studies his medical texts, so the Christian must study the Word of God. Bible study is not a luxury; it is a necessity.

2. WE MUST MEMORIZE GOD’S WORD

Our Lord did not have a concordance with him in the wilderness! He reached back into the Books of Moses, selected Deuteronomy, and quoted three verses from that book to silence Satan.
THE DECEIVER 17
Most adults think that Bible memorization is for children in Sunday school, when actually it is for every believer.
Adult Christians need the Word far more than the children do, although it is good for children to memorize God’s Word.
Deuteronomy, and quoted three verses from that book to silence Satan. Most adults think that Bible memorization is for children in Sunday school, when actually it is for every believer. Adult Christians need the Word far more than the children do, although it is good for children to memorize God’s Word.
Your word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against You.
The law of his God is in his heart; his steps do not slip.
I delight to do Your will, O my God; Your Law is within my heart.
If you do not have a systematic Bible memory program, get one started. Your pastor can give you counsel and no doubt provide materials for you. Check your local Christian bookstore for Bible memory helps.

3. WE MUST MEDITATE ON GOD’S WORD

Meditation is to the inner man what digestion is to the outer man. If you did not digest your food, you would sicken and die.
This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.
But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night.
Do you sincerely delight in the Word of God, or do you read it only out of duty? Do you rush through your “morning devotions,” or take time to feed on God’s truth?
18 THE STRATEGY OF SATAN
Measure yourself by these statements by the psalmist:
Do you sincerely delight in the Word of God, or do you read it only out of duty? Do you rush through your “morning devotions,” or take time to feed on God’s truth? Measure yourself by these statements by the psalmist:
How sweet are Your words to my taste! Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth!
I rise before dawn and cry for help; I wait for Your words. My eyes anticipate the night watches, that I may meditate on Your word.
I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies, as much as in all riches.
The law of Your mouth is better to me than thousands of gold and silver pieces.
Therefore I love Your commandments above gold, yes, above fine gold.
Here is a saint who would rather have God’s Word than food, sleep, or money!
Early in the morning and late at night he meditated on the Word of God and enriched his soul. It is this kind of a Christian who is able to use the Word of God to defeat Satan and his lies.
4. WE MUST USE GOD’S WORD
The believer’s mind should become like a “spiritual computer.” It should be so saturated with Scripture that when he faces a decision or a temptation, he automatically remembers the Scriptures that relate to that particular situation. It is the ministry of the Holy Spirit to bring God’s Word to our minds when we need it.
THE DECEIVER 19
particular situation. It is the ministry of the Holy Spirit to bring God’s Word to our minds when we need it.
“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.”
But the Spirit of God cannot remind you of something that you have not learned!
You must first let him teach you the Word.
You must memorize the Scripture that he opens up to you. Then the Spirit of God will be able to remind you of what you have learned, and you can use that truth to battle Satan.
Please keep in mind that:
Satan knows the Bible far better than we do! And he is able to quote it!
The Spirit of God will enable you to use the Word of God in the battle against the devil. The Spirit will show you when Satan is “using” the Bible to promote his own lies, as he did with Jesus in the wilderness. Satan quoted , but he adapted it for his own purposes by omitting “in all your ways.” God promises to protect us only when we are in his ways. If we foolishly go our own way, God is not obligated to care for us. This explains why Jesus replied, “On the other hand, it is written” ().
Jesus was comparing Scripture with Scripture. He was taking into consideration the total message of the Bible and not stopping (as did Satan) with one isolated passage.
Satan enjoys taking verses out of context and using them to “prove” his false claims. You and I must have a grasp of all Scripture if we are to detect Satan’s lies and defeat them.
It is important, too, that we look at the world around us through the “eyes” of the Bible. We must
20 THE STRATEGY OF SATAN
It is important, too, that we look at the world around us through the “eyes” of the Bible. We must
walk by faith, not by sight.
If we try to evaluate things around us on the basis of our own thinking and knowledge, we will get into trouble. We must believe that what God says about things in his Word is true.
Therefore I esteem right all Your precepts concerning everything. I hate every false way.
A business proposition may “look right” to the natural mind, but if it is not based on the truths of God’s Word, it will fail. A marriage may seem like “just the right thing” from the human perspective, but if it contradicts the Word of God, it is wrong.

TAKING INVENTORY

1 Do I spend time daily reading God’s Word and meditating on it?

and meditating on it?

2 Do I systematically seek to memorize Scripture?

Scripture?

3 Do I find myself automatically “thinking Bible” when I am tempted or when I face decisions, or must I telephone my Christian friends to get spiritual guidance?

Bible” when I am tempted or when I face decisions, or must I telephone my Christian friends to get spiritual guidance?

4 Do I find myself better able to detect Satan’s lies?

THE DECEIVER 21
4 Do I find myself better able to detect Satan’s lies?

5 Are there any lies in my mind right now that I am believing?

6 Do I know God’s will for my life? Do I really want to know?

7 Am I delighting in God’s will and doing it from my heart?

8 Am I guilty of telling lies? Why do I do it?

9 Am I willing to take as true everything God’s Word says about everything in my life? Or do I occasionally ask, “Has God really said that?” Do I argue with God’s Word?

I occasionally ask, “Has God really said that?”
Do I argue with God’s Word?

10 Is the Word of God becoming more wonderful to me? Do I enjoy it more than the natural pleasures of life, including eating and sleeping?

wonderful to me? Do I enjoy it more than the natural pleasures of life, including eating and sleeping?
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