Thursday, February 24, 2011
Recently, Bob and I were flipping (Well, he was flipping, I was watching) through the channels and came to the first Transformers movie, that came out in 2007, and is about technologically advanced robots coming to earth and having a war. Thankfully, there were “good” robots to be on the human’s side- otherwise Shia LaBeouf and his world would be toast! The evil robots are called Decepticons. You can easily recognize where the writers got their name from; the word “deception” It’s true that evil is deceptive. In the Bible Satan is called “the father of lies” (John 8:44) , where as Christ calls Himself “the Truth” In the very beginning of the Bible all of man’s troubles begin with Eve being deceived by the devil. (Genesis 3) But back to the movie, Bob noticed something neither of us had before; Before Shia’s character, Sam knows what is going on, he runs from his car which is a good robot named “Bumblebee” and he runs into a police car which he thinks is good and will help him escape his car who he thinks is bad, but little does he know, that the police car transforms into an evil decepticon!
The funny thing Bob noticed that Sam didn’t was that instead of saying “To Protect and Serve” on the side of the police car it said, “To Punish and Enslave” Just as the “bad guys” in movies seek to do this, so does Satan!
Lately this subject of Satan seems to be coming up in my life. I was recently sharing with someone the Bible verse that says that Satan can transform himself to appear as, “an angel of light” (II Cor. 11:14) Jesus had this to say about Satan in John 10:10, “The thief (i.e. Satan) does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”
This Fall I read a book by Neil T. Anderson called, “Victory Over the Darkness” which was so good I immediately began on his book, “The Bondage Breaker” right after. I was immediately drawn to, “The Bondage Breaker” because of the broken chain on the cover and the speech I delivered to the 5th graders at Byron Elementary called, "Chains" (September 2010). But Mr. Anderson mentioned in the beginning of , “The Bondage Breaker” , that it would be most beneficial to read, “Victory Over the Darkness” first, and I had that one also, so I did. I was just finishing up, “The Bondage Breaker” when we went to Florida the day after Christmas to visit family and some friends. It just so “happened” that a friend of ours brought up the very subject of “Satan” and “Bondage” – so I finished the book while we were down there and gave it to him. Bob and I also emphasized how important reading God’s Word is. Some of Neil T. Anderson’s teaching may not line up with every churches doctrine. But don’t “throw out the baby with the bath water!” Joyce Meyer doesn’t line up perfectly with Baptist doctrine either! If we are learning God’s Word AND praying for understanding we can learn to be discerning. Solomon said, “don’t believe everything you read” (Ecc 12:12 Amp.) and Anderson has many good points that we need to remember. His list about “Who we are in Christ” every Christian would do well to memorize!
In Acts chapter 17 this sort of discernment is commended: “Then the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea. When they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.” (verses 10-11) Also in 1 Thessalonians 5:21 it says, “Test all things; hold fast what is good.”
“It cannot be emphasized strongly enough just how important the Bible is to our lives. Studying the Bible can be compared to mining for gold. If we make little effort and merely "sift through the pebbles in a stream," we will only find a little gold dust. But the more we make an effort to really dig into it, the more reward we will gain for our effort.” From: http://www.gotquestions.org/why-read-Bible.html
Another movie my family loved was the animated Disney movie, “Up”- In it a elderly widower attaches balloons to his house and floats down to South America with a young boy who stowed away on his porch! Down there they meet a dog named “Dug” who becomes their fast friend. Dug and a group of other dogs have these things on their necks that allow them to “talk” and it is just so hilarious! The bad guy owns the dogs and they are trying to find a rare bird who the man and the boy have also befriended. When it is found out that “Dug” helped the bird get away they punish him and his punishment is the “Cone of shame”.
Well, I want to tell you about when I had to get my dog, Bobby (she’s a girl but she’s named after my husband, Bob who did not want a dog) a “Cone of Shame” and an analogy I discovered from it. Bobby had a tumor on her leg and she had it removed and the incision was stitched up and it was bandaged, but when it came time to leave the bandage off, she just wouldn’t leave it alone! It would not heal. I even had to take her back to the vets, they’d put a bandage on it again, we’d change it every couple days but when we’d take it off, she’d lick it until it was bleeding again. I purchased this thick stuff called “Corona” at the Tractor Supply (on the recommendation of my neighbor), which helped a little. Finally, last month I took her to the vets again and asked for a cone and they gave me one. In two weeks it was all healed up! I took the cone off one morning before we went to church by the time we got home she had that thing bleeding again! I’m wondering now; “Will my dog need to wear this the rest of her life!” I went through my vets bills to see when exactly Bobby got that tumor removed. Guess what? It was April! That was over 9 months ago!
I feel like Bobby is a lot like people who have been hurt by others and God tries to “operate” on them and remove those bad things from our lives but when we don’t forgive what people have done to us, we don’t get better. When we won’t “let it go”, forgive and stop talking about that person that hurt us, that parent that didn’t encourage us, that teacher that embarrassed us, the friend that betrayed us, the spouse that mistreated us…we too won’t heal! I’ve said before that I like to listen to Joyce Meyer. She was sexually abused by her dad and God told her to buy him a house! And to take care of him until he died! He had not admitted what he did or apologized! I don’t know if I could do what she did….her dad finally apologized to her, got saved and would watch her on TV every day. He’s passed away now, but my point is; if God can help her forgive that, can’t He help us forgive people for what they’ve done to us? If we don’t, we’re really only hurting ourselves. We’ll have to be punished with that “Cone of shame” When I first put that on Bobby it was like she was paralyzed! She couldn’t move! This is how Satan desires to “lock you up” and “punish and enslave” us! But Jesus came to “heal the broken- hearted” (Luke 4:18) In John 8 Jesus says, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (verses 31-32) And then He says, “if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” John 8:36
“How sad it would’ve been if I had spent my life holding on to all that bitterness and unforgiveness. To continue to hate all men because some had abused me or hate all my family members because some had rejected me or hate all church people because some had betrayed me would rob me of living a happy and satisfying life today. Life is too short to spend it hating other people.” Joyce Meyer
The truth won't hide
Don't believe the lie
Like a thief it will come to steal and kill and destroy
But you don't have to let it take your joy
Anymore....Matthew West, “The Lie”
Recommended Reading: "Do Yourself a Favor; Forgive" by Joyce Meyer