Revue: Ultimate Safety

“Nestled,” © 2017 Lynn Abbott Studios.  Used with Permission.

© 2018 Lynn Abbott

Although it’s a classic and I am all grown-up, I still find “The Wizard of Oz” absolutely terrifying.  Yup.  When the Wicked Witch and her flying monkeys appear, I cover my eyes and ears… and I sing very, very loud.

No wonder my family refuses to watch the film with me.   I undoubtedly lose myself in Dorothy’s story.

Perhaps, it’s because I relate to her quest to get home.  Her pilgrimage certainly speaks to me.

And although Baum’s novel is secular and the Wizard himself is undeniably fallible, I nevertheless find some parallels in the story to my Christian walk through this world, a kingdom that is often hostile to Christ.

Just as C.S. Lewis’ Peter,  Susan, Edmund and Lucy were the focus of the White Witch’s venomous envy, Dorothy faces down a jealous foe.

And I am continually reminded that for those of genuine faith in Yeshua/Christ Jesus, the journey is also fraught with peril.  Chosen by Abba from the foundation of the world, those who truly seek to do His will ultimately face the snares of a formidable enemy.

Of course, Ephesians 2:10 assures us that “…we are His workmanship, created in the Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

Nevertheless, Satan and his host do their best to sabotage God’s work.  In other words, when we united with Christ, we became targets much like Dorothy was when she donned those ruby slippers.

And the enemy doesn’t always use the blatantly evil to orchestrate his attacks.  Sometimes, he simply seeks to distract us from God’s purpose with the beautiful or seemingly good.

For me, the image that comes to mind is that field of poppies that stood between Dorothy and the Emerald City.   She and her friends needed to pass through those vibrant flowers in order to reach the Wizard, Baum’s modern-day prophet.  She believed he would help her get home.

Disguised, however, by that beautiful field, danger lurked.  The witch had perverted something of beauty in order to distract and ultimately harm Dorothy.

Satan and his host do their best to sabotage God’s work.

Indeed, our enemy doesn’t always send his “flying monkeys” to harm us.  He frequently uses more subtle methods to ensnare us.

He, too, perverts things that God intended for our good, things of beauty, in order to promote an evil agenda.  Or as our Savior warned, sometimes, the enemy employ wolves that masquerade as sheep, (Matthew 7:15).

Perhaps, like me, you have encountered someone who at first appeared friendly, but as time passed, that person began to undermine your best interests.  What initially appeared fair actually revealed itself as foul…

Satan loves that strategy.  He corrupts poppies in order to forestall or block our way home. He is bent on our destruction.

Balaam qualified as a “wolf” disguised in sheep’s clothing.  In fact, Peter gives us quite a portrait of the seer, known as Balaam, who posed as a friend of God.

In Numbers chapter 22, circumstances looked pretty bleak for Israel. Og, king of the Moabite city Bashan, feared Israel’s numbers.  And so, he attempted to hire Balaam to curse God’s people.

If God’s blessing had depended on Balaam, a greedy seer of dubious faith, Israel certainly would have been doomed.

But God had made a covenant with Abraham.  And our God always keeps His covenants.  In fact, He is faithful even when we are faithless (2 Timothy 2:13).

Yes, God’s promises last from everlasting to everlasting.  And this is as true for those of us who, through faith in Christ, have been adopted into God’s family as it was true for Moses and the people he led–Abraham’s sometimes rebellious descendants.

You see, God has promised His people, ‘No weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you.  This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and this is their vindication from me,’ (Isaiah 54:17).

Does this mean believers will never suffer in this world?  Obviously not. At times, God allows the Balaams of this world to enter our lives.

But we can be sure of this:  in Christ, our souls are secure.  The enemy will not ultimately prevail.  There may be minor setbacks.  At times, Satan may waylay and deceive us.  Yet, ultimately, God holds us sure.

At times, God allows the Balaams of this world to enter our lives.

You might say, God is our “safe-house.”  In fact, the wisest man who ever lived–Solomon–certainly believed this to be the case.

He wrote, “The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe,” (Proverbs 18:10).

Flying monkeys?  Our God has got this.  I need only run to Him.

Poppy field distractions?  If you and I cry out to Him, God will redirect and protect us.

Paul wrote, ‘May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through.  May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.  The One who called you is faithful and He will do it,’ (I Thessalonians 5:23-24, italics mine).

We can be sure of this:  in Christ, our souls are secure.  The enemy will not ultimately prevail.

Just as salvation is a gift of God so also is sanctification.  We all go astray, yet, through God’s grace in Christ, our Heavenly Father invites us to confess our sins and be restored, (I John 1:9).

Daily.

Moment-by-Moment.

Grace.  Ongoing.

This amazing grace–available despite our failures–became ours when we placed our faith in Christ’s substitutionary death on the cross and confessed Him as Lord.

Indeed, Christ’s shed blood sealed our covenant with Yahweh.  We, too, can rest in the promise that ultimately ‘no weapon forged against you will prevail,’ (Isaiah 54:17).

You betcha. Through Christ, we’ve entered into an everlasting covenant with God.

And God never drops the ball.

“The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe,” ~Proverbs 18:10

“The One who calls you is faithful and He will do it,” ~ I Thessalonians 5:24

58 Replies to “Revue: Ultimate Safety”

  1. I hadn’t thought about the Wizard of Oz as an allegory, but you’re right. There are some pretty good analogies. I’ll never look at it the same again! Thanks for posting this!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Good post! Yes, the obvious enemy we can look out for, it is the subtle one that takes us by surprise. And the field of poppies reminds me of the world and how we can be lulled to sleep by our comforts and the endless distractions of the culture. It is so easy to be distracted, and hard to keep our eye on the prize before us!

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  3. The painting is stunning with the crimson poppies in the field. I also freak out a little at Dorothy’s confrontation with the evil witch. It is a good parallel to the deception and struggle we face each day as Christians. We’re not exempt just because we bear the name of Christian. We’re in fact more vulnerable to the arrows of the devil. We need the full armor of Christ. Thanks for this reminder my friend!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You are so welcome. I am so grateful for your friendship and your wonderful words, along with your painting. I wish we could meet someday, but may have to wait until heaven.

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  4. You know Lynn, I commented on this last night.
    Either my comment disappeared, went to Oz or I’m in a spam bucket.
    I had noted that despite poppies, witches, wizards, and wolves…He is faithful even when we are faithless.

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    1. Dearest Julie, I did receive the other comment. My comments are simply moderated, and I’m still not feeling well. Thus, I haven’t gotten around to publishing the comments. Will try to do so before the evening is out. Thank you for your wonderful comments… both of them. Again, as always, you express things so beautifully! Love you much! ❤ ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Amen! I so identify with what you wrote here. I found it so encouraging to a present situation I am being faced with. It spoke right to my heart. So, Thank you, dear friend. It was just what I needed to hear today.

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    1. Oh, I’m so very glad, dear Sue! I regularly preach to myself, and thus, I’m so delighted to know when my writing resonates with a dear friend as well. It’s so nice to do the journey with someone I love and respect! ❤ ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh my! What a range of emotions I went through reading this, Lynn! First as I gazed at the poppy field, I imagined myself walking through it and sitting down in the midst of it, contemplating God’s beauty. Then when you mentioned how the Wicked Witch distorted something of beauty and Dorothy was in danger, I was afraid to imagine myself there anymore. But as I read on how though the devil constantly tries to deceive us, we are always safe and secure in Christ, I imagine myself sitting there with Jesus resting beside me keeping the enemy away. 🙂 Thank you for this comfort and encouragement! Love and hugs to you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, Trudy… you have described it so beautifully! Yes, our Savior is always near! I’m so incredibly thankful for that! Thank you for writing this wonderful reminder! Your friendship is such a blessing to me!! Love and huge hugs!! ❤ ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Love these paintings. I’ll never watch The Wizard of Oz in the same way. Yes, Satan is right there in the midst when we are faithful, but …………..God’s in control.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. What a nice blog! You couldn’t have said it any better. The Wizard of Oz has always been one of my favorites and I will never look at it the same way again (only better). I will always think of this blog! Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Yes we do indeed Lynn live in a fallen World and God’s Discipline is we will reap the evil we sow until we come to Heart Repentance which shows we accept Jesus as our Lord and Saviour but Satan puts us to the test as he did with Jesus, Job, Peter, Paul etc and also uses his follows to hurt us as you shared Lynn and God tells us He does not willingly Afflict us as we see confirmed below.

    Lamentations 3: 33 For God doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the Children of Men. KJV

    I have been asked why doesn’t God not stop all Evil but if He did like He did in Noah’s time when every thought of Mankind was evil and their actions that followed were the same, than some of those He knows as His own would perish but He is Patient so none will be lost Eternally, He Protects our Soul.

    Yes Wonderfully as you shared Lynn God works everything out for good in our Lives even the yuk Satan motivates, Satan can’t do good, all good things come from God, Satan also doesn’t know God’s Truth, he doesn’t have The Holy Spirit (1Corinthians2:9-16) but he does come as an Angel of Light to share deception but yes he makes it sound and look good too.

    I’m still waiting Lynn for the Dental Clearance so I can have the Open Heart Surgery, 4 teeth are gone but there are more that need removing, I Thank God my Heart has been OK even though it’s been very painful having my Teeth removed and each time it’s hard to eat and sleep,

    Thank you again for your Prayer Support Lynn, God Bless you greatly for your Faithfulness..

    Christian Love Always – Anne.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Lynn, I am always so blessed by your posts. I love the analogies and ways God speaks through you to encourage me. I always find truth treasures when I read your blog. I love your reminder that just as salvation is a gift from God, so also is sanctification. At times it doesn’t feel like it, but God is always working for our good, even when we can’t see it. Thanks for these reminders today. Blessings to you sweet blogging sister in Christ.

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    1. Oh, Amy… your words have blessed and encouraged me more than you can possibly imagine! Thank you for your kindness. And also for sharing your wise insights… I love what you wrote: “God is always working for our good, even when we can’t see it.” What a beautiful and encouraging truth! Thank you. And may God bless you, too, my wonderful sister in the Lord! ❤ and hugs!!

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  11. Amen, Lynn!! I have added this post to my Christian Bloggers board on Pinterest and I am going to add this to the community spotlight for the month of May, it comes out at the end of the month. I really like this!

    It’s true! Deception can come in all forms and often it is coated in something pleasing to our lust of senses sight, taste, touch, smell, and ears. It lures us into a false sense of security and before we realize it is too late. Often times, we don’t have to wait for Satan though. We willingly walk into his traps.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, TR… thank you with all my heart! I am truly honored that you should include me/my blog post on your Pinterest board and in you community spotlight! You are so good to me! God bless you greatly for your kindness toward me. And thank you for your keen insight and wisdom! I love what you say about deception luring us into false security! So very, very true!! ❤ ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m so glad the writing speaks to you. It speaks to me a lot. God is really good at convicting and assurance through His teaching ❤

        🙂 I break up posts, and try to make sure I have everything set by the end of Friday so Saturday and Sunday I have a break.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. I like the analogy you write, concerning poppy flowers and flying monkeys with the way the evil one distracts us from God’s plan. It takes discernment thru prayer and the word of God in order to notice and combat them. Thank you for your insights, Lynn. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  13. A very powerful point: the enemy is real, but he is not invincible. Our God holds the unfailing strength and power to deliver us from anything that threatens a right relationship with Him.

    Great post 🙂

    Like

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