Monday, August 29, 2011

THE BIGGEST LIE

Satan.

Our adversary – our enemy.

He is the Father of Lies.

But I've been thinking – of all his lies, which one is the worst?

I used to think it was this one – There is no God.

I remember in college hearing the onslaught of scientific, philosophical, sociological arguments against the existence of God. I didn't buy into any of it.

However, there were moments in the secret places of my heart, when a small doubt would niggle its way in. Human, I think – I'm pretty sure that we've all had that thought cross our minds at some point…

It bothered me more when I was younger – maybe I hadn't yet amassed years of experience that told me otherwise.

So, I don't think that’s the enemy's worst lie.

I think the worst one is this.

God exists. But He isn't good, and He doesn't care.

That one is THE WORST.

Because that is the one that can fool us into moving away from God.

Satan lives in the shadows of doubt. He does his best work taking potshots from the dark. He's the worm in the apple that nibbles its way into the core of our hearts, and eats away at our trust, and begins to rot our faith.

If we listen.

That's the challenge – turning a deaf ear to his incessant lies.

Last year I posted something about his rambling.

I've re-tooled that post a little bit, and I'm going to re-share it with you today!


POLLY WANTS A CRACKER

I'm not exactly a bird lover...but I love a good bird story!

I was lucky enough to know four of my great-grandparents! My mom's dad's parents (did you follow along with that?!) were the sweetest people around. I loved visiting with them. Except for one thing...

They had a very mean parrot!!

Her name was Polly. Ordinarily, the image I think of when I hear the name Polly is, well...that wonderful old Hayley Mills movie "Pollyanna." Pollyanna was such a sweet, lovely young girl. I even looked up "Pollyanna" in the dictionary. Know what it said? A person characterized by irrepressible optimism and a tendency to find good in everything. Yup, that's what I thought. So, this parrot, Polly, should have been a nice bird!

No way...

Think of the scary witch in "Snow White" - enough said!

My best recollections of Polly are how big she was, how pretty her colors were, and the words I inevitably heard the minute I walked in the front door: "Don't get near the cage!" I also remember my grandfather pulling me aside one time, and telling me his deepest secret - "It's OK. She doesn't like me, and I don't like her either!"

Then he winked at me...

I once asked my mom about the story behind this remark. Evidently, my grandfather and this parrot had a loooooong history. My grandfather was one of only two children in his family - the oldest of two brothers.

The parrot played favorites.

She LOVED Walter, the younger brother, and hated my grandfather. He told my mom that he couldn't understand it - he had never done anything to warrant such malice. Never teased her, never poked things at her, never said, "I really wanted a parakeet." It was just one of those things.

But, my grandfather had a VERY good reason for not liking Polly.

She was really a *stool pigeon* in disguise.

Growing up, that parrot would tattle on my grandfather. When he would try to sneak home late (which, knowing him, wasn't very often), Polly would squawk at the top of her little avian lungs, "Donald's home...Donald's home!" Yeah, you get the picture! Polly was an annoying, accusing, threatening, mean old parrot.

ON and ON and ON...

But, she was caged!

You know, the devil does the same thing. Rattling on and on those insidious messages – those cruel accusations – those self-defeating thoughts. He whispers, finagles, twists, pokes, and tangles. He never shuts up…

One night, when I couldn't fall asleep, God gave me a tremendous insight – and a picture came to my mind (Thank you, Holy Spirit!) - Satan is nothing more than a parrot squawking away on my shoulder!

What a glorious revelation!

It completely freed my spirit. The three mistakes we can make about the devil are these:
1) think he doesn't exist
2) underestimate him
3) give him more power than he has.

I have always been sort of afraid of Satan. But now, God has brought him *down to size.* He's just an annoying parrot on my shoulder - always accusing, threatening, and mean.

But, he is CAGED!

How did Jesus resist the devil?

He used Scripture!

• "Put on all of God's armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil...Then after the battle you will still be standing firm." (Ephesians 6:11, 13)

• "...hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil."
(Ephesians 6:16)

• "Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." (James 4:7)

• "We capture [all] rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ."
(2 Corinthians 10:5)

• "Stand firm against [the devil], and be strong in your faith." (1 Peter 5:9)

• "The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet." (Romans 16:20)

• "Then I heard a loud voice shouting across the heavens, 'It has come at last - salvation and power and the Kingdom of God, and the authority of his Christ...[Satan] the one who accuses them before our God day and night...[has been defeated] by the blood of the Lamb...'" (Revelation 12:10-11)


So when that mean old parrot, Satan, sits squawking on my shoulder, "Polly wants a cracker!" - I'm going to give him a little *bread of life!*

Take that, and BE QUIET!!!


How do you resist the devil and stop his squawking?


BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

13 comments:

  1. Hi Sharon, you really have a way of capturing the readers attention and you drew me in with the parrot story. And it's a perfect illustration of Satan. Yep He is making accusations and has some power but not more than our God!

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  2. Hello,

    I have visited your blog and enjoyed it very much. It has lots of encouragements.

    Would you like to visit my weblog which I created in Nov 2010?

    My husband and I are Iranian and live in the UK. We love Jesus and our weblog is mostly about our Lord. Since we are Iranian we have added some Persian articles to the weblog, but you can read and watch English ones.

    Our weblog is http://creation-to-eternity.blogspot.com

    God Bless,

    Afsoon

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  3. Great parrot story, Sharon! Really quite a picture of a spiritual truth - that's what I love about how God can speak to us in metaphor - and maximize His Word impact! Won't easily forget that caged bird view of our adversary! Will need it as I step into this school year. Interesting experiences ahead for me there - praying the Lord leads in all things!
    Joy!
    Kathy

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  4. Great, great...giving him more power...yes, yes...instead of magnifying him, Magnify the Lord...and remind the devil of his future...Hell.

    Thanks...now I will never see a parrot the same way...too funny on telling when your grandfather got home.

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  5. I really liked this one had so many things in it. First of all I love Pollyanna's attitude and the parrot was no Pollyanna. I do get what you say about the devil and how he sits on your shoulder and self talks to you about the bad things. You have to give him a punch.

    This would be great for 'a' book of sermons.

    Love,
    sandie

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  6. What a parrot! I figure if quoting the word of
    God was the weapon Jesus used then it's the
    one we should use too! His word never fails-
    to protect, comfort, advise, encourage, or
    anything else we have need of! The devil is
    a lying loser and he knows it and one day
    he will have to bow his knee and confess
    that Jesus Christ is Lord!!
    Blessings~

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  7. Hi Sharon -

    I chewed on this with earnest. Thank you.

    Particularly, I love these comments that you expressed, "I have always been sort of afraid of Satan. But now, God has brought him *down to size.*

    "How did Jesus resist the devil?

    "He used Scripture!

    "Put on all of God's armor

    "I'm going to give him a little *bread of life!*"

    I love what you're feeding, Satan, our rabid enemy.

    Glory to GOD for His sustenance in ALL that concerns us!

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  8. Wonderful post from beginning to end. How do I resist? Well, sometimes I rat him out to my Godly friends, and they help me quiet him. More often, I have learned to rat him out to God. And then I use scripture to stick a cork in him.

    Mostly? I pray.

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  9. And he does plenty of swawking! He sure has been trying to get at me with lies lately and I have read several blogs having to do with Spiritual warfare. Seems that old parrot is getting desperate.

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  10. Ohhh Sharon another book worthy post of such intriguing thoughts and entertaining twist! I love how clever you are in your excellent style. Who would ever associate a Pollyanna parrot of great granddad with the adversary. Yet the comparison was undeniably true! The scriptures are great! Once again you have summed it all up very well from the comparable characteristics to the tactics, including tattle taler in disguise.
    This description was fabulous:

    "Satan lives in the shadows of doubt. He does his best work taking potshots from the dark. He's the worm in the apple that nibbles its way into the core of our hearts, and eats away at our trust, and begins to rot our faith."

    And I love the "bread of life"... the best way to silence the squawker!

    It sounds like Debbie knows best in how to resist!!! Excellent Debbie! I'm still learning how to resist and discern the enemy and his strategies and lies but it's only through the Word, the Holy Spirit's power and commanding him to leave in Jesus name and authority that I begin to fight. Putting on my full armor sure helps but I like Debbie's way, of calling in the troops to stand with you! AMEN! Rat scat... doubt out... lies fly XXXX (for flee)... Jesus wins, no more sin... SING a song of praise until that evil's raised and scared right back to where he belongs... defeated, caged. Hallelujah!
    To God alone goes the glory!

    Thanks Sharon for delighting my heart with another great lesson, no mistakes about it!
    Top notch!

    Always... love,peace,and God's grace & power,
    Peggy

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  11. Hi Sharon,

    Great post, very well said. We had similar thoughts during our lesson on suffering in church yesterday. He, satan, exists yes, but don't give him too much credit. Jesus is the stonger power, nothing happens without God allowing it, the reason why, we may not know until we meet Our Lord face to face.

    God Bless - Nita

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  12. Hi Sharon,

    This week has been so hectic, I haven't had time to concentrate on blogs and leave many comments. Just wanted to wish you a blessed weekend and tell you that you are still in my thoughts and prayers.

    God Bless - Nita

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  13. OK, so great to hear from all my fellow *parrot* fighters! Glad to hear that we're all trying to quiet the squawking out there. I think the enemy is getting more desperate...

    It's so important to bring him down to size. Remembering always, we serve the One who defeated him - once and for all.

    And there is one tremendous *offensive* weapon in Ephesians 6 - it's that trustworthy Sword of the Spirit - the Word of God. May we learn to use it first in all our daily skirmishes.

    Fight on, fellow soldiers - we are battling a nasty old bird.

    But he's caged!!

    GOD BLESS!

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"So [I] have been greatly encouraged in the midst of [my] troubles and suffering, dear brothers and sisters, because you have remained strong in your faith. It gives [me] new life to know that you are standing firm in the Lord. How [I] thank God for you!" (1 Thessalonians 3:7-9)

Thanks for your comments - it is such a joy to be sharing my journey with friends like YOU!

(NOTE: Anonymous comments will be removed. Thank you for understanding.)