I recently read that Satan’s greatest weapon is his ability to deceive. That really stuck with me. So many of my recent blogs have been about overcoming mental struggles. Even when there is a tangible issue we must deal with; our battle first starts with our mental perception of the issue.
In order to deceive someone, the fraudster must cause them to accept something as true or valid, when in reality it is actually false and invalid.
Deception can be the act of misleading someone, hiding or bending the truth, or knowingly planting untrue thoughts in order to gain an advantage.
As I pondered this concept more and more, I thought about a movie from my childhood that I still love to this day…
Labyrinth was released in 1986 and starred Jennifer Connelly and David Bowie. I loved this movie about a girl named Sarah, who in her frustration, recites a line from her fantasy book and calls upon the Goblin King to take away her whiny baby half-brother. And the Goblin King promptly obliges her.
Don’t we do that sometimes? Get caught up in the moment of being overwhelmed, and speak things from our emotions without putting much thought to it, or the consequences that it may bring?
As I prepare to celebrate 17 years of marriage tomorrow, I can definitely say with all certainty that this has been my Achilles heel, the thorn in my side, or whatever other metaphor is appropriate for this behavior.
In exasperation I have said mean, hurtful, and destructive words to my husband that were rooted out of anger, disappointment, and periods of overwhelm. And almost every time there is a consequence that could have been avoided if I had just managed my emotions.
Back to the movie…once Sarah notices there is no more crying, and realizes what she’s done, she has a change of heart. The Goblin King gives her an opportunity to rescue her brother, but at a cost – she must solve a labyrinth within 13 hours.
The maze is the heart of the movie – it’s full of interesting characters – some friendly and some deceptive, and it’s full of twists and turns with sections that are visual deceptive and mentally challenging.
The Goblin King also has the power to make changes within the labyrinth at will, giving him an unfair advantage over Sarah. His sole purpose was to deceive Sarah and cause her to lose her brother forever to his kingdom.
As many times as I’ve watched this movie over the last 30 years, I’m finally contemplating it with spiritual eyes. It wasn’t just an entertaining movie with great music and visuals – there were actually some deep spiritual lessons interwoven in this movie. Who knew?
Although Sarah entered the labyrinth alone, she received help along the way. She had some mental battles to win, and had to show perseverance and tenacity, even when the odds were not in her favor. In her own strength, she would have never solved the labyrinth and found her brother. She needed the help of others to triumph.
We also cannot win our battles alone. The Holy Spirit is the most important player in our circle. It is through him we have guidance, strength, counsel, and protection along our way. We also need a team of close friends to pray for us, help us see things in a different way, and hold us up when we don’t have the strength to go on. We were never meant to live this life on our own. Community is critical.
The Goblin King never touched Sarah or physically impeded her way. He used tricks and other characters within the story to impede her progress. But he could only use these tools and mental weapons to try and defeat her. He did not have the power to stop her. Sarah was finally able to solve the labyrinth when she remembered the final line from her fantasy book and recited it out loud.
Likewise, the only thing Satan can do is try to deceive us. He can only cause us to defeat ourselves and hinder our own way and destiny. That is the only power that he can wield, but he has absolutely no power over us unless we give it to him. So, he creates his own labyrinth of mental scenarios and roadblocks, and tries to plant misleading and untrue thoughts in our minds, hoping we’ll believe them and act accordingly.
Our enemy wants to skew our perceptions about areas that are meaningful to us, hoping that we will walk around disillusioned and not living the life we were created to live, and doing what we were created to do.
This week’s Trap Warning is a reminder that thinking before acting is a sign of wisdom, but entanglement in deception shows foolishness and a lack of good sense.
With this guidance, I will be more mindful of this ploy, ensuring that before I act on my perceptions, I filter them through the Holy Spirit. Armed with this information, I plan to take back the power as I march into year 17 of my marriage, and we continue to fulfill the destiny and purpose that God created for our union.
Say it with me – YOU HAVE NO POWER OVER ME!
Incorrect and faulty perceptions can ruin relationships – friendships, marriages, family ties, and even associations at work – something as simple as a response or action that was perceived and/or received different from the source’s intentions. Are there any relationships in your life that need mending due to an incorrect assumption or perception?
Is there something out of whack in your life? Think about your perceptions concerning it, have you come to an incorrect and faulty conclusion? Is there another explanation possible that would change your insight? Take this to the Lord and ask Him to show you the truth about your situation.
Feel free to share your response in the comments section…