Harry Brown bends over to tie his running shoes. He pulls the laces as tight as he can, so the shoe will stay in place for his jog this morning.
“Give it up Harry,” a little voice says. “You’ll just get halfway around the block and come home again anyway. What’s the point.”
Harry keeps tugging at the lace, tying it in a double knot and stands up.
“You’re really going through with this? Give it up Harry. You know you’ll never stick to it.”
The voice gets a little louder, a little more persistent. “Besides, you’re too weak, and you have no willpower. You might make it through today, but you’ll quit trying again tomorrow, like you always do. You’re a loser Harry.”
With that, Harry pulls at the heel of his shoes with his toes, and kicks them into the corner of the room. He drops on the couch and turns on the tv again.
“Yah,” he says to himself. “Why waste my energy. I can’t change anything. I’m just a loser anyway, always will be.” And with that, begins flipping channels with the remote.
Harry needs to learn how to become a fire-fighter.
And he needs to learn how to use a spiritual fire extinguisher to dampen the darts that keep him, for the most part, immobilized.
Attacks come in many different forms, and through different sources, convincing sources. Harry believes the little voices. He listens to them because they sound so convincing, and they seem to line up with his own personal belief system. Harry is an easy target.
In the physical world, we can see things coming at us, and prepare ourselves. But in the spiritual domain, attacks are much more subtle. Once words enter the thought realm, it’s there the battle takes place.
“You’re not good enough. You can’t do anything, and you’ll never be anything in this life.”
“Nobody cares about you. Why should they? You have nothing to give.”
Satan’s arrows are filled with the poison of such words, words that land convincingly into our hearts, our belief system, and burn there, creating a pain that can paralyze for days. In some cases, a lifetime. We can be goaded into reacting to the words, most times inappropriately, or encouraged to withdraw. Both reactions serving the evil purpose.
So how do we dodge the darts. How does Harry get up off the couch and convince himself he’s worth the effort. To tell himself he’s worth involving himself in life, that he has something to give.
Ephesians 6:16 tells us to take up the shield of faith, with which we can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. It doesn’t say to duck or swerve to miss them. It doesn’t say to block them out, or ignore them. Or even to argue with the perpetrator. But it says to stand firm, holding up a shield of faith. Stand firm in who we are. Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:17).
The only thing that can successfully extinguish a lie is the truth.
Truth that comes from the Word of God.
The next time Harry bends down to tie his shoes, and the small voice starts to speak, Harry might try walking over to his Bible first and opening it up to Ephesians 1:1-8 and read it out loud. Over the roar of the voices in his head.
There are a lot of scripture passages that Harry can read, that tell us our worth in Him. We are, after all, created in the very image of God.
God has left us with a powerful fire extinguisher that can put a damper on the darts as soon as they enter our thoughts.
You’re not a loser Harry. You are a child of the King.
Now, lace up the running shoes, and start the jog.
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