Monday, August 09, 2004

"The Wizard of Oz"

"Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!"

Misdirection. It's one of Satan's most effective tools. Satan is the best magician you'll ever encounter. He is an artist that makes Harry Houdini look like a child showing you that his thumb can come apart. Great magicians make large objects disappear in front of our eyes. How? Misdirection. "What the eyes see and the ears hear. The mind believes" (another movie reference).

Just like the Wizard of Oz, Satan uses our own fears against us. In the Wizard of Oz, he used fire and all sorts of loud noises to scare those around him and control them. However, Satan is much better at it than the Wizard of Oz could ever be. Satan knows our greatest fears, he knows what makes us tick, he knows our weaknesses and he exploits them at will. He lets us think that we have things under control and then he has us, the trap closes around us and we are caught. Once we are caught, then he feeds off our our fears, fear of failing (again), fear of humiliation, fear of pain, fear of rejection...the list is endless as is his patience. He has forever to wait.

"Look over here!" He keeps our attention on things that are innocuous while he comes up from behind and then it's (seemingly) too late. To leaders he says, "Do you see what is happening in YOUR Church? They want to clap during worship service! YOU CAN'T ALLOW THAT!" Meanwhile, he is torturing the single mother right under your nose making her feel alone and unwanted, he is keeping that worker so busy mowing the front lawn or publishing that bulletin or decorating that potluck that she has stopped reading her bible and hates going to church.

To the elder he says, "Why are so few men wearing ties to 'Church' on Sundays?" Meanwhile, divorce is running rampant through the congregation (and the community) and the Lord's Church sits and says "what can we do?".

To the deacon he says, "Let's call together a crack team of members and study which color carpeting in the fellowship hall should be." Meanwhile, God's people stop worshipping him and start "playing church". "Look over here!", he says and we look and he keeps us jumping and meanwhile....

Meanwhile the elephant has appeared in front of our eyes and we wonder where it came from. We are astonished at what has happened. How could this happen? We have been toiling and laboring for the Lord, why did HE put that elephant here? The answer is simple, HE didn't, Satan did, and he did it RIGHT IN FRONT OF US. How did he do it? Misdirection.

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"...Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit." 2 Corinthians 3:7-18