Fighting your enemy
The bird in this photo has been attacking my window for a few weeks now. The theory is that it sees another bird in its territory, and is determined to run it off. However, the exhausted bird is unaware that it is fighting a no-win battle against another bird that doesn’t exist; it is merely seeing its own reflection. As a result, he can’t quite figure it out, but believes that its perceived enemy is imitating his every move, and is always right where he is. Thus, the frustrated bird fights with beak and claw, battling with his every ounce of strength, to overcome and beat this formidable rival.
With unending days of this constant banging on my window (about every 10 minutes), it is now covered in the dirty scratches of claw marks, the visible scars of a battle still being fought. I so badly want to clean my window, but then the bird’s reflection will be more distinct and clear, and I fear for this little bird’s beak breaking from such resolve!
Yes, it’s time to compare this feisty bird to our lives.
I keep fighting with myself, when I am not my enemy. I feel like I am banging my head against a window or a wall. I keep doing the same thing over and over, repeatedly, hoping that I will get a different and better outcome. But I don’t get the desired result. Instead, it takes me down an emotional spiral, and I am exhausted, frustrated, and confused. (Can you relate?)
As this bird believes of its circumstances, we each also face something difficult every day: a battle, but one that’s in our minds and hearts. These days we wake up depressed, our joy is out the window, our hearts are heavy from so much negativity and violence lately, we fear our loved ones could get Covid-19 or have had it already, our spirits are low from being couped up, and our budgets are tight or in the red from job losses. Frankly, we just want to curl back up in bed and sleep with the hopes of waking up and learning this spring was all just a bad dream.
“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lionlooking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.”
1 Peter 5:8-9
The difference between us and this bird is that we DO have an invisible enemy, who is extremely determined to undermine, overcome and destroy us. His weapons are not talons nor beaks, wings nor strength; they are doubt, fear, and pride.
The thing is many of us don’t have the energy to want to fight our enemy anymore. It is so much easier now to just give in and let him take over.
Our battle is a spiritual one in a physical world.
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
Who is our common enemy? Here are a few hints: it’s not a political party, it’s not people of a different skin pigment, it’s not an ideology. Your enemy is my enemy – the snake otherwise known as the evil one, the fallen one, the imitator and false god, the lying devil also known as Satan.
We need not bang our heads relentlessly against a window or wall in hopes of prevailing by our own strength. Our strength to deal with and conquer the enemy comes not from ourselves, but from our Lord. He is the one that knows in detail the ways of the evil one! He alone stands up to Satan and say “I have already defeated you”, and then turns to remind us that IT IS FINISHED! He has already won, so now all we have to do is trust in Jesus, ask for His strength to overcome and defeat our enemy for this day, and trust that all things will work together for good.
Doubt, fear and pride – the most widely used weapons of the evil one – have no place in the life of a believer in Jesus. If we doubt, that shows we lack faith. If we fear anything other than God, then we do not trust that He is far greater than anything and that He isn’t in control. If our pride gets in the way, then we put too much emphasis on ourselves.
Our best weapon to fight the hidden enemy is the Word of God. In it we find God’s truths of faith, kindness, patience, peace, selflessness, forgiveness, gentleness, and real love. In this day of such hatred, anger and pain, our lives being lived for Jesus is what will overcome the enemy and thwart his plan.
Remember that we as christians – those elected to be children of God – must reflect the One who saved us, and we will if we truly love Him as He loves us. We must see others as Jesus sees us.
Our heavenly reflection in the windows of other lives just might draw them to our Lord!
Food for thought: 1 John 5:4-5
“For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. 5 Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?”
Fun facts: Many birds do attack windows or car mirrors as they fall for the belief that their reflection is competition for territory. The best thing to do is just let it play out. When the breeding season ends, so will the attacks on your windows. Rarely do birds become fatal victims of their own actions against reflective surfaces, but their beaks can become damaged.
Photo By: Kari Wiseman – The Bird’s battle at my window