Thursday, May 10, 2012

So Long, Sparrow!

Hi there! Remember me???
Sorry so long since my last post, but life has been...well...challenging lately...
Without going into detail, our family has been going through the most difficult season of life we've ever experienced...big stuff like illnesses, injuries, financial issues; and little stuff like the inconveniences of a household appliance on the fritz or some other minor thing, which doesn't really matter at all in the grand scheme of things, but the moment it happens feels like someone rubbing salt in an open wound...physical afflictions, emotional stress, depression, anxiety, guilt, shame, fear, conflict...we've experienced it all over the last few months.
We recognize the source of all these flaming arrows being flung our direction - it's the devil and all his evil little minions.  God's Word calls them the "spiritual forces of wickedness" in Ephesians 6.
Of course, we know the only way to fight this war is on our knees, spiritual armor firmly in place. We take it all to the One Who has already won the victory. We remind the evil one that He will soon crush him underneath our feet. We declare TRUTH out loud. I am so very thankful that my Father has not left me helpless against the enemy and his evil schemes. He has given me authority to take back the ground the enemy has stolen.
He reminded me of this as I sat out on the patio sipping my coffee and spending time with Him this morning. 
Mr. Ed, the Bluebird Man, built us a bluebird box last spring, but every time bluebirds try to move in, a naughty little house sparrow chases them out and attempts to take up residence. Now, this sparrow is cute and all, but the house was meant for bluebirds, not sparrows. In talking with Mr. Ed and researching it myself, I have discovered that sparrows are very territorial. They build messy nests and despite what we typically might think, their song is anything but pleasant. It's downright obnoxious, especially when one is trying to enjoy a nice, hot cup of coffee and some quiet time with her Lord!
My twelve year old and I have foiled every stubborn attempt of this annoying little guy to take up residence, but despite stringing fishing line across the top (which was a trick we read online), placing a cup upside down inside the box (so there's no room to build a nest), and placing a flowerpot on top (so there's no place to perch), he is still at this moment, as I glare at him with disdain, taunting me, precariously perched on the wobbly edge of the pot! 
I am not a violent person. I like animals. But the Texas-born girl inside came out and I found myself wishing I had a gun to take care of this nuisance once and for all.
Then it struck me. The only way this critter is going to leave is to do so dead. Because you see, as long as we keep trying to politely, humanely "ask" him to leave by putting up barriers, not only are we keeping him from building a nest, but we are also keeping OUT the very ones we wish to have in there - the sweet bluebirds.
I am reminded of the Bible story of Jesus casting out the legion of demons from the man who lived in the tombs of the Garasenes (Luke 8). However, Jesus didn't just cast them OUT OF  the man, He cast them INTO  some nearby pigs, who went crazy and jumped off a cliff to their deaths.
The bluebird box represents my own house. I have built my nest and fed my baby birds with the Word of God. They are preparing to fly from this nest and be used mightily in the Kingdom. I have always prayed that my ceiling would be my children's floor. They will preach the Kingdom, they will heal the sick, they will raise the dead, cleanse the leper, and cast out demons (Matthew 10:7), they will love The One and love the one, and the enemy obviously isn't happy about that. He has stubbornly tried to take up residence, and while we have been fighting back, the time has come to not only cast him OUT of our home, but to cast him INTO the pit of hell where he belongs.
One of the songs that I have sung a lot over the last few months is John Waller's Our God Reigns Here.
It names various evil spirits, commanding them to leave in Jesus' name. It is very powerful! I recommend you listen to it by going to the link above.
Today the line that stands out most to me says, Go back from whence you came, 'cause our God reigns here...
And so, I sing that over my home again today, but with renewed determination. I am taking back the ground the enemy has stolen. I am rebuilding my nest and reminding my baby birds (regardless of their ages or attitudes) of their greater purpose now and when they fly away: Love The One and love the one...