Blinds closed. Curtains drawn. Outside flood lights off. Doors shut. Thermostat set. We did everything we could to make our bedroom as dark and pleasant as possible to foster the best sleep possible. Around 4:30 in the a.m. a slew of birds in our backyard started their ensemble. It did not matter to them that it was darker than charcoal outside or that the sky was crying. They sang despite their circumstances. I wanted to shoot a string of expletives out of my mouth from our window like some BB gun “because of” my circumstances. Isn’t that really what it comes down to? Praises or curses.
I thought: “So God you are now using BIRDS to teach me lessons?!” Besides the morning serenade we received, along came these birds called Barn Swallow. They built nests under our top deck in our backyard as they characteristically roost inside of sheds and barns, and under bridges and decks. Their steel blue backs and cinnamon color necks and forked tail make them distinct. However, that is not what got my attention. They dart through the air like a Stealth Bomber as they execute quick, tight turns and dives. You have not lived until a Barn Swallow bird has darted or dove at your head at close range.
Even though they are beautiful and interesting fowl, my family got a little weary of the presents they left us. We nicely discouraged them from taking up residence close to where we lived before they laid eggs in their nests. Nonetheless, they persistently flew in and out from underneath our bottom deck with twigs and mud in their mouths, bound and determined to build another nest immediately after we had taken their nests down.
You obviously cannot keep birds from flying around your noggin, but you can keep them from making a nest there. Likewise, you and I cannot keep the enemy from filling our heads with lies but we can keep those lies from colonizing in our brains. Isn’t it interesting that Satan in Hebrew means “prosecutor”? So what is our defense against “the” prosecutor?
Paul offers some ready advice from 2 Corinthians 10:5b. He wrote: “…and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ”. How do you do that? Here is an example of what I tell God: “God I reject the lie that I have to earn your love. You love me unconditionally!” Guess what? The lies dart away.
The slanderous lies about yourself can be the biggest set back to your progress as you continue to sojourn with God. Do you feel more vulnerable to the prosecutor’s attacks because your circumstances have caged you in? Consider two men who were unjustly put in prison. How did they react? Acts 16: 25a reads, “About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God.” They sang and prayed despite their circumstances. I wonder if their singing also combated the enemy’s lies? What lies have you believed?
pictures courtesy of “Nelson & His Nikon”.