Ah yes, Chicken, the game of wills, where the victor with seemingly no fear is rewarded with the title of: The Winner of the Wills (or stubbornness as is duly noted by this former player and member). The principle of the game is for one player to make the other yield instilling fear of the outcome thus making your opponent move first). I once loved this familiar game and all its perceived risk. As a younger fearless teen I would play this game endlessly with family, friends and when I had exhausted all opponents, with myself. In the theater of my mind I began blowing strikes to see which side of me would fair better. Thankfully, I made it out safely from the treacherous mine fields within my mind where chickens peck and hawk-doves fly.
As stated earlier, the basic premise of the game is instilling fear and as of the last few weeks have unfolded I have witnessed a whirlwind of it lately. So, as it crossed the thought process I looked up the word ‘fear’ in The Merriam – Webster Dictionary. It defines the word as an unpleasant often strong emotion caused by anticipation or an awareness of danger. It also suggests that it is a state of mind marked by the same engaging emotion. Like many of our feelings fear amplifies an anxiety we have within, whether this be concern over an issue or another perceived reason for alarm. I have personally witnessed the grip it has had within the depths of this shell called me (i.e. God saying…you’re going to start sharing your writing with more than just your set of lookers) and in those whom I love.
Most often we are gripped in the stronghold of the moment, easily forgetting that we are front and center in the tumultuous playground of the enemy. We are reminded in John 8:44 he is constantly preying upon the weak, searching for the one he can devour. His tactics fall nothing short of confounding the humble while amplifying failure in those who fall into the tangled web of his deceitful and coaxing ways.
As the master deceiver, he cunningly seizes our thoughts. Becoming the gracious host in the playground in which he thrives, while highlighting our anxiousness and giving validation to our fear. In our humanity is is easy for us to be consumed in our feelings and the enemy (being true to his nature) offers complete acceptance of the excuses we concoct within the theater of our minds. It’s no easy task to see this heading our way and many are spearheaded into the trap of deceit which frankly left this blogger wondering; Exactly how are we to bring light into this overwhelming darkness while still actively in the moment(s)?
When it seems more and more people are being consumed with their emotions, giving validation to fleeting moments (and/or lengthy moments of time) of desperation (which non are without), we cannot encourage or be held captive to this fear. As I interact with family, friends and even some general acquaintances the grip of fear (whether it be fear of obtaining, maintaining or losing loved ones or things such as marriages, friendships, jobs, homes, etc.) becomes strikingly clear. He takes many forms, the deceiver, as he masquerades himself well from our eyes and even at times, our hearts.
As a result, there is no finite answer to the ongoing question of how we bring light into the exact moment of perceived fear and therefore, darkness. It is comforting at least to this former chicken player, that God’s word declares, if we search with all our hearts allowing his pureness to infiltrate deep within our own minds and hearts those thoughts and places within ourselves will be guarded in the mind of Christ Jesus for which I for one, am grateful.
The knowledge of his spirit and it deceitfulness can be exposed if we remember this:
That is, the wily one knows where there are forests, easily obtaining camouflage to cover his true self, blending well within ones own nature hunting within the sacred grounds of our minds and hearts. Therefore, let us not grow faint of heart in the realization that victories whether large or small are ours in Christ Jesus. And let us encourage one another in the faith and all our strengths that the spirit of truth burns brighter than the spirit of deceit for the sake of us all.
Written By: Lisa Wooldridge,
Cypress UMC Member & Volunteer