A Spinning Fox – A Letter From Jim

A Spinning Fox – A Letter From Jim

Dear CCW family,

Please read the poem. It isn’t what you have ever been called perhaps — “a spinning fox.” But it may describe you at times. Demons are real and they are spirits that have the nature of their father, Satan. Like that father, they are riled by righteousness. They cannot help this; and, they will never reform. Like their father they wish to destroy you in every way they can. Jesus called Satan “a liar and a murderer” (Jn 8:44).

With that power, his minions might send you into a spinning fit, looking every which way, by deceiving you or manipulating you, threatening to seize and hurt you, or bring you to mental distortion — maybe death. It’s a serious game. It’s not recreation to them, it’s their business and passion.

The difficult part is that demons study you and know what you are like, where your weak points are, what you give in to, how you land when you sin, when temptation always works, and what exactly triggers it. I don’t think they read your mind exactly, but read you observationally, like a mother knows a child as if she was a mind reader. You, as uncomfortable as it might sound, are watched all the time.

God is a watcher, always, for your good. But the demons and good angels may be allowed into your space to watch also. Remember how well Satan knew Job. The Christian is endowed with the Spirit to help us, and we also have the help of good angels. They watch in order to help us (“Are they not all ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation?” Heb 1:14). The Apostle Paul talks of the church, the people of God, being on display before “the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places,” meaning we are before angels and demons of varying authority. Concerning Satan, God says, “Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour (1 Pet 5:8). Satan is a spirit but isn’t omnipresent like the Holy Spirit. Demons carry out this prowling on behalf of Satan. Some demons are likely very familiar with you. Since God watches us, and demons and angels may well be there also, we never do anything without being seen. We should get used to this. It would help us to know more of how this guerrilla warfare works. Pull the shades down, lock the door, but it doesn’t change this reality. It’s a little unnerving, but on the good side, quite wonderful.

Demons’ main work is in deception. Like the serpent in the garden, Satan is always attempting to convince you that “God has not said” whatever he has said that you are to believe or obey. Lies abound. He presents them in various ways. He attempts to take our thoughts captive to wrong religious beliefs, for one thing, which in one place is called “doctrines of demons.” Demons are quite theological, and schools of higher learning can be good hangouts for them, including seminaries. And, when we set out to do something that is permissible, such as use our computer to search for data needed for that project, images may appear that were not sought, but those images may excite your thoughts to do more. We would likely be surprised how actively demons entangle us.

But they also can cause fear. For instance, just the power of the deception mentioned above may create fear in you, knowing that they are active around you for your ruin. But beyond that they delight in incapacitating you by fear. We could become frantic, like the spinning fox in the face of the hounds.

So what should we do?

The answer is “THINK RIGHT”— about them and about Christ. Their power is not what you might believe. They are powerful, for the most part, by their deception, but not powerful “in fact,” like the legendary Wizard of Oz. Demons are especially weak because of the powerful blow of Christ’s death and resurrection, by which he removed Satan’s power to ultimately dominate in people who trust. So, like the spinning fox who should stop spinning and leap over the hedge, we should think correctly about the truth of Christ’s victory as the way out. Jump over what you conceive to be true to what is actually true. Christ has decimated the enemy and he is encamped here, on this very ground.

Peace is sword enough. Paul told the Philippians not to allow themselves to be “frightened in anything by your opponents. This is a clear sign to them of their destruction, but of your salvation [deliverance], and that from God” (Ph 1:28). Oh yes, God can allow some work of Satan against you to prevail as an aggravation for the demonstration of his glory, such as a Roman prison was for Paul, but Satan was foiled in it. The believer engages in real experience, but has the victory, and therefore the peace, which he should confess and believe adamantly. He stands in the evil day (Eph 4:10-20). “Resist him; firm in your faith” Peter said (1 Pet 5:9). It’s Christ’s power to win and yours to believe.

You say, “But I am weak.” Granted. But leaping in your mind over your present comprehension to the truth means that your weakness has appealed to his strength. That is precisely where you find help.

Now, please read the poem above again, perhaps a few times, aloud, until you understand it. They are always best read that way. Then meditate on it, and live it. Think right!

A Special Note About Our Future

Recently, God has led my wife and me, and the elders of Christ Fellowship of KC (where I have served as one of the elders for 22 years), to transition out of our very rewarding pastoral ministry and wear just the one hat of CCW president. That’s a big change for us. Even with all that is joyfully anticipated ahead, our hearts are working hard to “catch up” with what we know is right for us. We love serving the people in our church.

A vital portion of CCW’s labors has been to motivate, instruct, and counsel pastors, missionaries, church planters, evangelists, and other faithful leaders within the churches. We’ve wanted to give special attention to those who have a deep interest in the local church. We’ve tried to offer the sure guidance of the Bible. We’ve been so pleased to see how our involvement in our own local church, one which Pam and I were privileged to initiate, has dovetailed with CCW. We’ve sought to share what we’ve learned in the crucible of a real church with its God-given glory and its human warts. We think that is important.

We’ll continue in Christ Fellowship as members in this next stage by belonging to another of our several congregations which make up the larger church. We feel encouraged by the church as we go forward but also continue to need the prayers of the CCW family. Thanks so much for carrying our needs to God as we offer more of our ministry attention and effort to CCW ministry goals. And may the Lord be pleased to give loads of opportunity and grace.

Yours with Joy, Jim and Pam Elliff, with Steve and Patty Burchett