The Merry-Go-Round

merrygoround

Motion and I don’t get along very well. I have been known to get nauseous on merry-go-rounds at the park as a child. The world goes round and round . . . and my stomach with it. Unlike some people, the key for me is to always eat well before traveling lest nausea set in for the entire trip.  Unfortunately, there have been times when I wasn’t so diligent to grab enough grub beforehand. The result? A frantic grab for “the bag” in front of me on a plane ride from Canada. Thankfully, the newlyweds across the aisle from me were more compassionate than grossed out. It was just another reminder for me to give my tummy some extra tender-loving care before motion ensued.

Unlike myself, I think the devil likes merry-go-rounds. He has a nasty habit of sending people’s life into a vicious cycle of constant nausea, one problem after another. John 10:10a says, “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy . . .” As he sends a “merry-go-round” our way, we can picture him clapping his hands together in anticipation. Let the nausea begin!

“Merry-go-rounds” can come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. They may come in the form of depression and sorrow. They may appear as sickness and disease, poverty and destruction. They may even come disguised as people, bearing strife and unrest. If the devil can get us on one of these, he knows there’s a chance he can take us out, destroying our stability and peace. Unless we get help, we’re left miserable and less effective for the Kingdom of God.

Unfortunately, his ride doesn’t end with simply getting us on the merry-go-round. He wants nothing more than to keep our focus off the promises of God as we struggle to get off the ride: “. . . I [Jesus] have come that you may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10b) His only working tactic is to convince us that God and His Word are not our solution. So he goes from getting us on the merry-go-round to lying to us again: “It’s okay to be depressed. God didn’t mean Deuteronomy 31:8.” “Ignore Isaiah 53:5! God doesn’t want to heal your body.” “Psalm 91 doesn’t work anymore. That catastrophe is going to destroy your life.” “You’re never going to have enough to pay your bills. Forget ‘give and it will be given to you’!” “It’s crazy to show love to your enemies! I Corinthians 13 is for wimps.”

Here his fun begins! He has not only gotten us on a merry-go-round, but has convinced us that we have to stay on it. That’s when the motion begins, and for the “faint of stomach,” that’s not good news. The merry-go-round begins to spin . . . It’s a vicious cycle of attacks and believing lies, attacks and believing lies, attacks and believing lies . . . Enough to send the average person to the “bag of defeat.”

Though the devil seems to get a great amount of glee from making us nauseous, we don’t have to stay on the ride. The answer is in James 4:7, “Therefore, submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” How do we resist? We rise up in the middle of it all and believe God’s Word. We choose not to focus on the devil’s lies but to focus on the person of Jesus. We use our authority and tell the devil to stop his annoying merry-go-round antics (John 10:19). When we do, we put the devil on his own nauseous ride. Jesus did it on the Cross, so we can freely remind the devil of what it was like.

Our best plan of defense is to not allow the vicious ride to begin in the first place. Keeping a full “tummy” of God’s Word helps us to recognize when a lie is thrown our way in attempt to keep us on the merry-go-round. God never meant for us to be on a vicious cycle . . . or sick enough to want to give up. His love gave us everything we needed on the Cross, a beautiful reminder that we were never designed to be on a whirling merry-go-round, but on the solid ground of His Word. No sick sensations follow believing – only a “peace that surpasses all understanding”! (Philippians 4:7)

“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

John 16:33

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