As he walked through the church he was greeted and hugged by people mom knew and trusted. He talked of having a new job, but not having transportation. He’d had a tough break and now he was getting a second chance. Recently widowed, she considered it a blessing to help someone get a fresh, new start. She offered him the use of my dad’s old truck.
It wasn’t long after he picked it up that things began to unfold. This guy was bad news. There was a warrant out for his arrest. He was a con artist. Friends got wind of the situation and began to get the authorities involved. Two days later he was arrested and the truck was returned to her. Mom felt a range of emotions after it was all over. How did she get into this mess? How was she so deceived?
It’s a great picture of life in the world. The enemy is a con artist. He paints his picture, tells his story and unbeknownst to us we get sucked in. Before you know it we are spiraling down feeling the weight of life being sucked out. We think it’s us.
I know, it happened to me this past week.
It all started with something that appeared to be true. From all indicators it was true. I was oblivious that I was being conned, until things began to unfold. The voices in my head kept convincing me that this was just how life was. There was nothing I could do about it. There must be some reason that God was withholding something good that I longed for. Or maybe it was me. Maybe I was holding myself back.
Before you knew it I was finding things wrong everywhere. If people just spoke differently to me I wouldn’t feel the way I felt. By the end of the day I wanted to give up. It was then my words showed what was really going on in my head. I was being conned.
In the movie The Lord of the Rings, King Theoden has Wormtongue working alongside him. He has no idea that he is evil. Little by little Wormtongue whispers his lies into Theoden. With each con Theoden goes deeper into an avalanche of deception. He becomes brainwashed and immobilized. His kingdom lies in chaos and confusion.
Gandolf comes in sees what’s at play and immediately delivers Theoden. Theoden awakens dazed and confused. What’s going on here? Gandolf tells Theoden that he will remember his strength if he grasps his sword. Theoden then asks for his sword, grabs hold, rises up and casts Wormtongue out of his kingdom. He's now prepared to battle for the kingdom.
I don’t always see the con of the enemy. He sneaks in with his story, which filters into what’s going on around me. He’s realized that the blatant lies don’t work for me anymore. He’s become cunning and subtle. Sometimes it’s hard to see because what seems truest in that moment is being played out all around me.
Scriptures tell me to be wise and sharp, to guard my heart. Head’s up, be on the alert, the devil prowls around seeking who he may destroy. The truth is many of us know more about how much money is in our bank account that we do about the condition of our hearts. Many of us don’t even live as if there is an enemy. We believe it’s just us and our mess, or life around us. We even believe it’s God. We lose sight of our sword, the truth of His Word, spoken and written that sets us free.
The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy. Jesus came that we might have life and have it to the full.
As with Theoden I came out of this past week dazed and confused. How did I get there? I stayed isolated and alone. When I could have called a friend, I didn’t. For you see, at the time, I didn’t believe I had any.
The days are drawing nigh. Time is short. Evil lurks about. Our hearts are at stake. We must stand guard. It’s time to prepare for war. It’s time to rouse the warriors. We are the Bride of Christ.
Proclaim this among the nations: Prepare for war! Rouse the warriors! Let all the fighting men draw near and attack. Beat your plowshares into swords and your pruning hooks into spears. Let the weakling say I am strong!” Joel 3:9-10
©copyright: 2009 Julie L. Todd