It's a well-known fact that Martin Luther once threw an inkwell at the Devil. His adversary was prowling around, looking for someone to devour, and Martin would have none of it.
Some modern people might think him hopelessly superstitious, deluded, perhaps needing therapy. I on the other hand, think he was -- realistic. More and more in my life, and especially as I grow older, I find hidden wisdom in Martin's view on things.
We all have demons to fight, demons that try to keep us from doing the work God has called us to do. Some of us hear the devil hiss in our ears, "what you do does not really matter; you are really quite insignificant." Others hear, "what others think of you is what really counts." Or, "It has to be perfect. You can't make a mistake." Or, "You are justified by what you do, not who you are." Or, "You can't do that! You are (too old, too young, the wrong gender, ethnicity, not smart enough, or talented enough)."
We all have demons to fight, and anyone, even the nicest, most God-fearing person can be the devil, at a certain moment in time. When Peter said to Jesus, "This shall never happen to you, Lord!"(about his crucifixion), Jesus said to his best friend, "Get behind me, Satan!" Sometimes we have to say it, too.
When I was going to college, and people asked me if I would be getting my "Mrs. degree," implying that the only purpose for college for me would be to find a mate, I should have thought to myself, "Get behind me, Satan!" When I told someone I was going to be a pastor in South Dakota, and they said, "Oh, that's too bad," I should have said "Get behind me, Satan!" When people imply that the social justice work of the church is not integral to our congregation, but somehow peripheral and unimportant (and that I am somehow unimportant), I need to say, "Get behind me, Satan!"
We all have persistent demons to fight, as we seek to be faithful to God's call in our lives. And one of the keys to success is recognizing the demons when they appear, both within and without. The other is recognizing that we are first, last, and always, children of God.