Whether you believe it or not, there are forces at work in this world which we cannot see. Evil powers that want to destroy us. I've often thought that if I were faced with a demon I would be able to stand my ground and hold fast to my faith. If someone held a gun to my head and asked me to renounce my love of Christ, I would let them shoot me. I've known all along that this probably would never happen to me in my lifetime but what I'm beginning to learn is that the strategy of this dark world is not a full-front attack. I just had an epiphany this morning as I watched Friday's episode of Oprah (while on my elliptical). She had 200 men in her audience who were all sexually abused as children. Some of it was almost unbearable to listen to but I learned a lesson that I bet she wasn't even trying to teach.
Throughout the show, one theme kept emerging. These little boys were victims of cunning and shrewd conspiracies. Their perpetrators made them feel comfortable, made them feel loved, lured them in with promises. One man even said that his victimizer kept donuts and candy on his table at all times to lure him in. And then, and then...when they were fully trusting the abuse began. What is even more disturbing is that once the abuse began, they were made to feel like it was their fault, that they were guilty which shamed them to stay and accept that they were deserving of such treatment. It wrenches my heart and makes me so angry.
We are all children of God and there is a perpetrator out there who wants to crush any semblance of purity and innocence that we carry. He lies to us, the father of all lies (John 8:44). He makes us think that we are not worthy of the love of an almighty God. No, he can't take that love away, but he can sure make us think that God doesn't love us. Oh the devices he uses. The temptations he lays at our feet. Things we didn't even know would entice us and then find ourselves in a mess of sin. How he lies, how he can get in our heads and deceive.
I'm saying all of this because I have been attacked recently by lies. "You'll never be anything. You are a mess and you always will be. You can't get out of the pit your in so you might as well stay there. God is angry with you. You're lost and will never be found. You put on a good show to the outside world, but I know what you really are. Come and play with me, I'll do you no harm. It is too hard to be a Christian...give up that fight already. Surrender..."
I put my nose in the scriptures, pray for God to give me a sound mind, remove all of this darkness from my soul and then comes the truth. Another thing I got out of watching that episode of Oprah was this. Those boys had parents that were oblivious to what was going on. One man even said that his mother didn't believe him and that he was ostracized from his family for telling the truth about his abuse. We have a father who knows. He knows it all. There is no blame, no shame, not even a hint of disgrace. He simply outstretches His arms and welcomes us home. He fights for us when we don't even know it. We must simply take up residence under his authority and dominion and there we shall be safe.
Believing lies will always hold me hostage. The truth, well we know what is said of the truth...it shall set us free (John 8:32). It is truth that I am seeking for in finding the truth, I will finally be free.
You may have seen this before but it is so powerful. We may really never know in this life how loved we are and what Christ has shielded us from.