Perception

I love old churches. The architecture, the history, the beauty. Since childhood they have held my fascination. Several times I have taken trips just to go look explore historic churches. Although I am not Catholic, I love those churches the most with stain glassed windows, statues and often little gift stores attached.

Last night we were walking through the French Quarter. It was dark, but the steeple with the cross on top towered above the surroundings buildings. The road leading to church was not as lit up as Bourbon Street. The road was scarcely populated. The statue of Jesus lifting his hands positioned before the church had a light illuminating it. There were several blocks between us and the church building, but it looked grand.

We paused and I borrowed my friend’s phone to take a picture as my phone was charging back at the hotel. As I glanced at the church through the camera screen I saw something more eerie. The dark shadow on the church looked demonic. The shadow of Jesus’s hands looked more like horns. His body like an elongated face. I no longer wanted to walk closer, despite being able to clearly see the Jesus statue directly in front of us.

I thought about how Satan tries to make himself bigger than God. He tried in Heaven and failed, but he tries to do the same thing in our lives. He mimics what God does because he is not creative. He turns the beautiful dark and tries to make us turn to the darkness instead of the beauty.

As we walked away, the music of Bourbon Street blared around us. The solicitors offering beads, shots, beckoning is to come in the the dark clubs. The brightly lit stores with names of darkness like voodoo selling goods that glorify the darkness.

When we made it back to the hotel, I showed my friend the picture as I pulled up a demonic picture on the internet to help her see what I was trying to explain. We live in a physical world, but the spiritual realm is also very real. It manifests itself around us if we pay attention and are discerning of the spirits as God tells us to be.

It is important as believers to remember that Satan is not God’s equal. He is a powerful angel, but no match for the Spirit of God that resides within every believer. We must guard our hearts to not give him too much credit and thereby give him a strong hold in our lives.

How we perceive our circumstances greatly influences what we say. In turn, our words impact our actions. It is important for us to not underestimate Satan; we also would be wise to keep a right perception of God.

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