When People Pull Your Strings, Abide in the Vine

I. Controlling People Know What Strings to Pull

Controllers like to pull people’s strings to make them move. Instead of dangling like strings from a branch, Jesus invites us to live as branches as we draw upon Him, the vine. In so doing, we’ll bear good fruit. Do you see the difference? Strings are flimsy but a vine is strong. But people tend to come with strings attached. The question is, who pulls those strings?

When someone knows what strings to pull to get their way with you, then maybe they have too much control over your life. If they know that pushing certain buttons makes you jump, they’ll just keep pushing them until they drive you mad.

There’s a word for that. It’s called “emotional manipulation,” which is a form of abuse.  Abusers take advantage of needy people who are desperate for affirmation. With a smile for a lure and a hug to reassure, they draw their little “fish” into a cozy little nest.

The “s” inside the nest stands for “security.” If your security is in man, then the “s” will fall out of the nest, leaving you with nothing but a net.

It doesn’t feel like a net, though, until you realizing that you’re gagging. Then you see that the relationship is not as nearly as strong as it first appeared to be. The flimsy threads have become a trap for you, because to please the person you must follow their rules. Like a robot, when they pull your strings you must obey.

 

II. Pulled Strings are Tied to Fear

When people strings get pulled, they often have knee jerk reactions. Such reactions may come in the form of an automatic “I’m sorry” which pops out of one’s mouth before the other can explode. Knee jerk reactions usually cause more harm than good, however. It’s like throwing grease on a fire, because such reactions spring from fear:

Fear of what the person thinks;

Fear of what they’ll do;

Fear of any and all repercussions resulting from their anger (repercussions the Grim Reaper cannot cushion).

Fear attracts more fear and makes anger escalate. People try to placate anger, thinking  they can make it stop. But it simply doesn’t work that way.

 

III. The Fear of Man says “Man Will Save Me,” Breeding Insecurity

The fear of man lays a snare (Proverbs 29:25).  When we look to people to make us feel secure, we put way too much pressure on them to provide for us.

There’s an old country song where a man pleads with a woman, “I’ve got to know if your sweet love is going to save me.”

Is he kidding? God’s word is clear: no mere human love can save us. Salvation comes from God alone, in the form of His only Son Jesus Christ whose blood shed on a cross paid for our sins to be forgiven. He didn’t come to pull our strings or push our buttons. His goal was not to manipulate us into obeying God’s laws in order that we might somehow earn our way into heaven. On the contrary, He became THE bridge that draws us near to God. He didn’t come to take from us but to give us abundant life (John  10:10)

Instead of commanding us to, “Do God’s will or else,” he invites us to abide in Him so we might bear much fruit: the fruit of His grace.  (John 15:1-5; Ephesians 2:1-9;  Galatians 5:22-23).

Isn’t it time we as believers found our identity in Him instead of looking to man to tell us who we are?

Where Can These School Shooting Victims Find Healing?

The school shooting described in Speed of Sight, a Superhero Adventure has many victims. First there’s Jack Tamer, the genius boy with the super high IQ. The slime that hits his head is clearly toxic, but he refuses to see a doctor. After all, he’s convinced he’s going to die, so why bother?

Jack’s own pride turns him into quite a victim. It does him more damage than the shooting itself.

Secondly, we have the bullies who shot the slime. They’re running scared, victims of the very fear that caused them to attack the innocent. The school shooting that they perpetrated has traumatized them as well. Yet the unseen forces driving them to crime show no signs of giving up.

As for the driver of Jack’s bus, he shows no real signs of alarm. In his mind, Jack’s head needs nothing more than a quick wipe with a used handkerchief. Then there’s a nearby policeman who gets a glimpse of the shooting but does nothing to stop it. He’s too busy doing paperwork, a victim of excessive rules. Like most good citizens of Jericho, he has no time to see the bullies brought to justice. Like the rest of the town, he’s too busy being tolerant to protect his own citizens from harm.

“But what about the other adults in charge of keeping order?” you may ask. Sadly, the teachers are too busy packing up for summer break to pay any attention to the parking lot. The few security guards on staff are taking a class on how to be polite to everyone. However, the thought police are out in full force. Nobody is safe.

Meanwhile, guilt hounds mild-mannered Pete Plain because he wasn’t fast enough to shop the shooting. How he wishes he had the strength and speed to protect his best friend from the gooey blob – not to mention super powers with which to heal him!

And what about the illegal comic book Jack gave him to hide – the comic book with the ability to transport its readers to a different realm? Can it empower him to be the hero he always wanted to be?

Speed of Sight, a Superhero Adventure holds the answer to these questions. It is available for purchase on Dove Christian Publisher’s website. You can also find it on Amazon – currently available in print form, soon to be available as an e-book.

https://miracle-times.com/book-blogging/poking-fun-powerless-religion/

https://miracle-times.com/spiritual-gifts-like-super-powers/

 

 

The Fear of Man Kills Miracles

The fear of man kills miracles because it names mankind

As the remedy that meets one’s needs. Such fear can blind,

Eclipsing poignant truth that points to God as one’s supply,

While stating that “On ‘me, myself and I’ I must rely.”

 

Either that or, “I’ll make someone slave away for me.

I cannot let them off the hook. They’re my security.”

But who beholds the fear of man which will not let us be?

For only God does miracles. It’s He who sets us free

 

So that on other people we do not have to rely.

After all, why place your trust in someone who will die?

Because the bully known as “fear of man” wants company.

Then, when it gets your company, it zaps your energy.

 

The fear of man finds wily ways to take up all your time.

Then, as you fret over lost seconds, it scarfs up each dime

Of lunch money you earned, but won’t say “sorry” for its crime.

I am afraid this awful fear has no reason or rhyme.

 

The fear of man desires to control your very soul.

How then can you find healing and how can you be made whole?

For miracles arise through faith, but fear is forged through doubt.

It’s like a trap. Once you fall in, it will not let you out.

 

To try to get free by yourself leads to a vicious cycle,

Based on the “Me, myself and I” that fear loves to recycle.

“But I am not afraid,” some people say. “No, not one bit.”

Then some poor parent asks them how they’d like to babysit

 

A little boy who might just misbehave and/or act wild.

But they won’t even use a ten-foot-pole to touch the child.

Truth is, we all fear something, but the proud will not admit it.

Unknowingly, they welcome fear when it drops by to visit.

 

Still others freely share the fears that press upon their hearts,

But in a way that magnifies the devil’s fiery darts.

They tell their hurts to people who’ve no strength to bear the weight,

So when they feel the shock of it,  their nerves absorb the hate

 

Related to the fear that snares and will not let them be.

But God can do a miracle. He wants to set us free.

If we’ll free others from the debt we think that they owe us,

And choose to trust God with it, then we’ll never need to fuss.

 

The bully known as fear of man will have to let us go,

For Christ has power to cast it out. To leave it won’t be slow.

He is the king who paid our debt. His grace can heal our heart.

If we’ll allow Him, He’ll extinguish Satan’s every dart.

 

He’ll free us from the chains of sin that want to keep us bound,

And heal us of all hurt and pain when in His grace we’re found.

According to His glorious riches, not based on our deeds,

For when we trust Him, we need no one else to meet our needs.

https://miracle-times.com/enemies-of-miracles/dont-bully-remember-grace/

 

 

https://miracle-times.com/jesus/gods-miracles/

 

 

Attempted Pay-off

“Forgive the intrusion,” said Ahab,

“But you have a plot that I love.

Your vineyard is fragrant and fertile,

With grapes that drip dew from above.

 

“Yet your workers are poor. They lack money

To pay taxes and cover their rent.

Your wife can’t afford bright apparel,

Because all your money’s been spent.

 

“Allow me to pose a solution

To rectify your many ills:

The finest of healthcare a la Jezebel,

Who cooks up the strongest of pills.

 

“Her potions can kill any virus.

I should know. I have sampled a few.

She stirs up a mighty rank cauldron.

Have you ever stewed in her brew?

 

“Why look you so hesitant, Naboth?

Why do your eyes shine with alarm?

Your people are ripe for a transplant.

Let me hire them to work on my farm.

 

“The silver and gold are in my hands,

I own cattle on hundreds of hills –

The ones that survived that long famine we had.

To think of that dearth gives me chills.

 

“I hope you don’t blame it on me, though.

I just did what I must to survive.

My wife’s a great queen. She deserves it.

Her heart is to see us all thrive.

 

“Bitter herbs are the answer, she tells me,

All her doctors agree. It’s the rage!

Bread and wine aren’t enough. We need healthier stuff.

Our menu requires a new page.

 

“To that end I beg you, dear Naboth,

In lieu of such spiritual fruit

As love, peace and joy (which may tend to annoy),

More practical produce to toot.

 

“Allow me to purchase your vineyard

And replace it with down-to-earth food,

Like envy and anger that grows like a weed

And puts you in one rotten mood.

 

“I’m just looking out for your welfare.

Your vineyard I’ll gladly replace

With a substitute crop based on following law.

Forget all this teaching on grace.”

 

But the man told him no, he would not compromise.

So, Jezebel continued the chase…

 

Can you relate to Naboth? Does some bully want your good stuff? Have you ever caved in and let them have what they wanted? If they got it, was it ever be enough?