Anglican Morning Devotion, 28 August 2021 Anno Domini
The Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Ephesians 6:10-12;all scripture quoted isfrom the King James Version)
The Bird and the Pendant
~ by Jerry Ogles – a devotion of twenty years past slightly edited
Several days ago, my wife was preparing to depart for a visit to Korea to visit relatives. After loading the bags in my truck, she came out with her coat draped over her arm. About halfway to Atlanta, where she would catch her flight, she discovered that a cherished pendant was missing from her coat lapel. It was a pendant with many brilliant stones mounted on its face, and a treasured heirloom from her mother.
I assured my wife that it had probably dropped off on the lawn and that I would find it. I forgot about it for the moment. Several days after returning home, I saw that a bird had been killed on my lawn, apparently by a cat that patrols my grounds. I wondered how the cat was able to catch the bird on the open lawn.
After several days, I decided to remove the dead bird. When I moved its little body, I discovered the pendant underneath lying on the grass.
The truth of the situation dawned on me. Birds are attracted to shiny objects, even though shiny objects hold no benefit for the bird. The bird had become engrossed with the pendant and was oblivious to all that was about him. This is just like the temptations faced by both adults and children along the highways of life. They are tempted by objects or deeds that bear no profit such as drugs, alcohol, or promiscuous sex.
The cat, seeing the bird at a moment of unguarded care, slowly and stealthily crept upon him and murdered him. The cat was not hungry. It is simply in his nature to kill that which he can. The devil has no concern or care whatsoever for your soul. In fact, he covets its destruction. He seeks to destroy the man that God had made in Eden by violence of wars, famine, crime, disease, drugs, famine, or a multitude of other weapons of mass destruction he carries in his war-bag.
We are much like that bird. We are attracted by the shiny lights of the city, by social acceptance, by things which hold no benefit or health for us.
“Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil walketh about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)
When we become infatuated with the cares and shiny apparitions of this world, we are exposing ourselves needlessly to the designs of him who would seek our destruction. The adversary has no use for you other than to murder you. So adhere to those things which are proven, which are true, which are beautiful, which are eternal…and the adversary will never catch you defenseless on the lawn of life.
In the words of the Lord’s prayer, we pray that the Lord will “lead us not into temptation.” The Lord never tempts us, however, He allows us to be tempted whenever we needlessly expose ourselves to the inordinate temptations of the world. Walk not in the dark path and you will not fall into the net of Satan. Constantly subdue the flesh and exalt the Spirit of truth and love. These are barriers that Satan has no power to breech. And guard against the devil’s false lights of deceptions that are truly will-o-the-wisp created by the swamp gases of sinful desires. Follow instead the Guiding Light of God’s Word that never deceives, misleads, or fails:
“I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” (John 8:12)