Monday, December 10, 2012

Wintergreen Witch

A Devotional by Margot Cioccio 

2 Corinthians 10:3-5 (NIV1984)
For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

"Why does everything always happen to me?" Says Crazy Quilt Dragon who has had a whistle stuck in his throat. Thankfully the whistle still worked and it did cause Fee Foot the giant to come to their aid, to help them get back to the picture frame that leads to the witches house. They no sooner go through the picture frame when they run in to Wintergreen the Witch. 

"So you don't believe the Wintergreen Witch can magic things"

She threatens to turn the twins into white mice, the dragon into a pincushion, and Cinnamon Bear into a door mat. Judy tries to trade a little looking glass for the star - but it turns out that witch freaks out and will do anything to get them if they take the mirror away. She even gives them the star back. So off they go into the Root beer ocean and back to the Maybe Land mainland.  Time for a little rest but as Crazy Quilt leans back you hear a cracking sound and now they have a broken star. What to do, oh what to do?

You should visit this link to listen to the story.

Just like Judy and Jimmy we often think that kingdom of darkness either does not really exist or has no real power. We may even read passages of Jesus casting out demons and think that to be just superstitions of un-educated people. We may think that the miracles that happened were just science that the people of that time could not explain. Generally we kind of skim over the parts we can't explain or rationalize it in some way to fit our paradigm of belief . We think if we just ignore it all that it will go away. I'm not saying you need to be looking for demons in your cupboards or to pop out of your stinky laundry basket. But why bother to put this passage from Ephesian 6 even in the Bible if we did not need to know this information as believers? 

Ephesians 6:10-  10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place,15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions  with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

The Reformation Study Bible has this to say about Ephesians six. "The Christian duty of unity and purity is complicated by the presence of hostile spiritual powers. Christ’s cross and resurrection are the devil’s undoing (Col. 2:15 note), and at Christ’s Second Coming, Satan’s defeat will be completed (Rom. 16:20). But the peace of the Cross is experienced in the meantime in the midst of spiritual struggle. The forces of darkness are defeated, but not yet harmless."

We have been given spiritual authority but I think we often forget that it is ours to use. The enemy helps us to paint a mental picture that we are trapped, stuck and hopeless. He tries to convince us that God will not come to our aid and that we should just take things into our own hands before its too late. 

Luke 10:18-20 (NIV1984)
18 He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19 I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. 20 However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”

Matthew Henry writes “If wicked men be as serpents to you, and you dwell among those scorpions (as Ezek. 2:6), you may despise their rage, and tread upon it; it need not disturb you, for they have no power against you but what is given them from above; they may hiss, but they cannot hurt.” You may play upon the hole of the asp, for death itself shall not hurt nor destroyIsa. 11:8925:8.

I think this passages about powers and principalities are not only about the words of men that sting and try to poison us. Yet I don't want to take words too lightly. We have all had things said to that have affected how we think about our selves. To many of us have heard the message that you are not good enough, or you will never amount to anything. Or we have believed that we are un-lovable or our sins are too much to ever think we can really be forgiven. We have believed the lies from the messages that have come out of the mouths of people around us. Some well meaning and others malicious. Still their message has poisoned us and left its scars upon our lives. The truth is like Judy in the Cinnamon bear we don't even realize that we have at our disposal the tools we need to counter the enemies lies as well as what we need to be protected from future darts and arrows. 

You may not have not ever seen demons manifest and flee because of the Name of Jesus or by the power of his blood. Its not something I go looking for but in my 30 some years of walking with the Lord there have been some occasions where I have seen this battle first hand. I have been in hostile volatile situations and prayed and bound the demonic presences and released the presence of God into the situation and seen things instantly change. I have seen people acting irrationally and prayed quietly for the demonic to be bound and seen them settle down and become rational. I have prayed with people to get free from things that have kept them defeated and seen them little by little learn how to stand their own ground to keep their own freedom. 

 Luke 11:24-26 (NIV1984) 24 “When an evil spirit comes out of a man, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ 25 When it arrives, it finds the house swept clean and put in order. 26 Then it goes and takes seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that man is worse than the first.” In general I prefer the quiet version of setting people free to the big show. In my experience becoming free is a process. We have good days and bad days. It helps to have people around us who will encourage us to not give up when things are hard. Helping people to forgive and repent is a big key to getting and staying free. Helping people to see the lies they have believed in light of the truth of the Word of God is also powerful weapon. 

A lot more could be said on this subject but I don't think these passages in our bibles by accident. If you are feeling depressed, oppressed, or discouraged it might be time to pull your head out of the sand and acknowledge that there might just be a spiritual battle going on around you. It might be time to learn to use the mighty weapons of our warfare. A

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