The Still Small Voice

Perspectives Through Pressure: Put a Brick through the Magnifying Glass


Chapter Seven, Part Seven


Put a Brick through the Magnifying Glass

The enemy’s favourite weapon is a magnifying glass. (Alex Buchanan)

The enemy loves to shine a magnifying glass on an issue to make it appear too huge for us to deal with it. We also risk focussing so narrowly on some scheme, situation or squabble that we find it hard to think of anything else.

Because soul and spirit run close together, something that begins as a genuine burden in the spirit can then ‘tilt’ towards the soulish we can easily end up ground down by it.

As Shakespeare warned in Hamlet, ‘The devil hath the power to assume a pleasing shape.’ None of us are above being deceived! On a long coach journey in my immediately post student days, a haze of well-being settled on me: a warm fuzzy environment that was entirely conducive for the reception of weird and wonderful imaginings. This was when I ‘heard’ that I was going to marry someone whose passion for the Lord had bowled me over. There was no substance whatsoever to these enticing thoughts, but they got me excited (and hopeful!) at the time!

Such experiences are a timely reminder of how easily our emotions can lead us astray. As we have already considered, we should be wary of considering any one ‘word’ on its own to constitute sufficient for embarking on a major change of lifestyle. If it is genuine it will usually be confirmed in other ways.

The powers of darkness score significant victories when we become taken up with fears and fantasies. They know full well that although the Lord gives grace to cover real problems, He cannot give it for imaginary problems. They go flat out, therefore, to tie us up in inner knots by injecting unhelpful thoughts into our mind, just as they try to keep important ones out. They love to exploit our character weaknesses by shining their high magnitude glass on suitably selected issue and then see us writhe as they grill us under the power of its blinding condemnation.

Saints, we don’t need to stand for this torture! The power of God is greater far than our problems and our failings.

For Reflection and Prayer

For the light of God’s glory to remain in us, we must seek to keep our hearts free from all trace of lust, bitterness, envy and other devil-aiding, faith-quenching emotions.

Lord, we confess wrong thoughts and deeds to You right now, before we have a chance to rationalize them and deny that they are wrong. Keep us from filling our minds with fantasies that would be evil were we to act on them: for if the act is wrong, then so too is the intention.

Let no delusion hold sway in our hearts. In faith we put a brick through any magnifying glass that is being directed against us and declare the opposite. In Jesus’ name, Amen.