FROG AND THE JITTERBUGS
Note : this writing is allegorical not reflective of the spiritual state of Renewed Life Outreach Center where I attend church. But , rather, this post is a warning to all churches and a call to all members to apply Ephesians 6 . For we are NOT unaware that the Enemy is not only after the body of a man but also THE BODY OF CHRIST! THE CHURCH.
But Jesus turned to Peter and said “Get behind me Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not SETTING YOUR MIND ON THE THINGS OF GOD BUT ON THE THINGS OF MAN” Matthew 16:23
“Hey, brother, what are them bugs that beat up Frog? Are they like skeeter hawks or doodle bugs?” I asked Brother Gerald as the message ended.
“what are you talking about crazy girl ?” Gerald demanded as he grabbed my arm “them are jitterbugs! Don’t you know what them are? Ain’t you ever heard of them jitterbugs?”
Pulling my arm back , “Gerald , there ain’t no such thing as a jitterbug and we ain’t gettin bit by one right ?” I said looking at my very tiny sister Azion. Looking at the three year old child in Daddy’s house ,I said, ” Daddy didn’t make no jitterbugs. Right Azion?”
“Right!!” Azion shouted putting her hands on her hips and nodding her head up and down in equal confidence.
“silly, they ain’t BUGS! They don’t bite they just mess with ya ! They are BULLIES. . . you know what a bully is dont ya!” Gerald replied
“Yes I do” I said stomping my feet ” And I really, really don’t like bullies! i aint seen one in years “I told Gerald.
Azion ran outside. Looking past Gerald, watching Azion run out the door, I remembered where I was first born. I was born in a country full of bullies. They would trap you in a corner, all alone, and put your hands behind you back. You might be just walking round looking at the flowers and singing and suddenly a bully would come up on you stealing something you had in your pocket or accusing you of something you didnt do or hurting you just cause they were strong and you weren’t. I was pretty scared of bullies. Beside all that, Daddy says ” It’s a dark country ruled by a Prince of Darkness where bullies rule,” (1)
But that was long ago . Since then I was born again in a country of brothers and sisters. A country ruled by one Perfect Daddy, One perfect Brother and a One All Time Friend. . In this country i now had no fear. (1) And everyone who lived in this country was ruled by The Prince of Peace. (2)
As I looked back inside Daddy’s house where only bugs like ” doddle bugs” and “skeeter hawks” lived, I felt safe. These were my brothers and sisters given to me in this new country ! They were Folks that , like all critters Daddy makes, moved with purpose and power. Purpose in Daddy’s word and Power in Jesus Blood. They kept me safe. . The more I stood still thinking on my own , the more I presumed I knew everything about this country ,(3)
” hmm.” I thought ” If a “jitterbug” was a bully, it didn’t belong in Daddy’s house .Maybe back where I came from but not in here. “I concluded.
The wind blew against the door. I held the knob to keep it from opening too wide.. Just in case some jitterbug might walk by .
“Well brother,Bring Frog here. Bring him in Daddy’s house” I said cracking the door just enough to let Gerald out quickly.”He’ll get everything back that them jitterbugs stole” I said .
“He don’t feel good enough to come here. ” Gerald replied as he squeezed sideways through the small opening of the door.
“what about the park?” I asked Gerald remembering all the brothers and sisters were going to meet in the part on Tuesday.
“Ill see” Gerald said “Kinda hard to go where you just got beat up. Maybe the law can keep them jitterbugs out of the park” He said as he squeezed through the door.
“Silly ,” I muttered to myself, as I walked away from the door. “There aint no such thing as a jitterbug. But if there were , just maybe if there were, the law aint keeping them away. I’m just gonna shut the door tight. Very tight to keep them out of Daddy’s house”.
As I turned looked back around Daddy’s house. I knew that if Frog came inside ,THIS HOUSE , he would get better. I knew that the blood of Jesus would touch him right smack dab where the bullies hurt him. In a Word, right then, he would be healed. If he would just come, If he would just peek in the door, I would drag him by the arm to the front of the house and our brother, Pastor Chris, would pray to Daddy for him. And. we would all be like we used to be , safe in Daddy’s house . Healed.
“Daddy, Darn, them jitterbugs,, ” I shook my head trying to throw off thinking about them.
I started running through the house ” I’m gonna think like a butterfly like you made me. I’m gonna fly from person to person, looking to see Jesus’s face in every brother and sister. Like a butterfly getting all sticky with pollen, I’m gonna go from brother to sister to catch some of your mercy and grace for myself.(5) And I’m gonna take it to my room and put it in on paper. And I’m gonna look at it all week long to think about how beautiful Jesus made the world for me. . . .I myself WILL NOT BE AFRAID OF NO JITTERBUG messin with me!!
But Gerald wasn’t the only one talking bout bullies these days. Lots of other folks in the house were talking bout them. While I was busy drawing pictures of butterflies, our brother Pastor Chris, kept talking’ bout Daddy’s Enemy,the Bully of All . He acted like that bully was everywhere. He kept telling us all how to get dressed so we wouldn’t get beat up by this bully when we moved about.
But not only when we moved about was the enemy after us. Our Brother Chris sounded like we were supposed to be dressed in a bunch of heavy armor even when we were sleeping. It just seemed like there was so much to wear:, helmet, breastplate, belt, shoes. In addition to all that, he said that Daddy said we also had to have a shield and sword in our hand at all times. I dont know how folks could ever go swimming or biking or running or playing tag with all this stuff on their bodies.
Pastor said Daddy paid a big price for this armor stuff . And He said that Daddy himself laid it out for each of us every day. And , he said, that we better put it on or we might get hurt or die.
” It just awkward and kinda out of date wearing all these old school accessories,” I would complain. Half hearted with the warning , I would often wear just a helmet and a belt inside Daddy’s house , leaving my breastplate parked outside the church door.
“Well, dont think you are going anywhere without putting ALL the armor of God on” the brother would say pointing his finger at me .
I didn’t much listen to him . Most times, I just kicked off my sandals and sat down to draw pictures of butterflies. Even though the brother told me a whole lot about Daddy’s word, i would pick out what I wanted to believe. And I believed that without wearing that ole heavy breastplate I was more free to fly. Besides, I was always wearing my underwear, the robe of Righteousness.
” Im telling you sister if you don’t wear it All, EVERY SINGLE PIECE, you will get hurt!” he kept warning. “The Enemy is after what’s in you!!” , the brother would shout while I stretched out in my seat at Daddy’s table(4)
“Blah, Blah, Blah Enemy Enemy ” I kinda got tired of folks talking bout “The Enemy ” in Daddy’s house. All my brothers and sisters would scream ” I rebuke you Enemy” over and over again. They acted like he was standing right with us holding our hand. He is so different than us that I didn’t think we would be holding his hand in the house. So, I thought it very strange they thought he could be among us.
He is COMPLETELY different than us !! I wanted to scream. He is AGAINST Daddy and we are FOR Daddy. We are minding Daddy’s business and The Enemy is minding everybody else’s business. He keeps count of everything when we are getting more from Daddy than we can count. (5) Surely we lived in a different House and stayed in a different Town than that scoundrel they called “Satan”.
But, Pastor, and Paul , Peter, and John and the tiny book of Jude,kept screaming about this enemy. They told me not to consider it strange. (7) , They said that this enemy was after us , hunting us, dividing us, accusing us , hurting us. Eager to beat the living Jesus out of us.!!!!! No matter how much I read and heard I wasn’t believing it all. I couldn’t believe cause I just didn’t think Satan could get in the door of Daddy’s house . It was my job to stand by the back door and watch it (6). As I looked out the window ,through the blinds, I didn’t see a jitterbug or devil I could only see my breastplate laying by the railroad track and Azion running across the track going home..
“You okay?” a brother and sister asked.” Yep , just thinking bout stuff”. I said follow them. Soon, some folks stopped me and asked me to to go to a room I had never seen. I didn’t ask Daddy or the Holy Ghost first. I just went with them . I wasn’t watching (8) where i was going at all, I was just excited to go anywhere in Daddy’s house.
When I got to the room , It didn’t feel like Daddy’s house anymore. It didn’t feel safe. It smelled and felt like the other country where I was first born. Not where I was born again. Words I had never heard before came in the air from faceless faces. Harsh accusations and false assumptions fired like arrows through the room.
Then suddenly, very suddenly, I felt a sharp pain. It was a sting not a hug. It was bitter not sweet. It was a lie not truth. It put a chain on me so I couldn’t move. Then, it stabbed real deep like a fiery dart in and through my heart . It entered so deep that it felt like it went all the way through me and was fixin’ to stab someone else if they got behind me. Before I could say “Help Jesus” , I had fallen wounded. I thought I was a casualty in a massacre not a war . Daddy seemed far away, Jesus seemed busy and the Holy Ghost seemed like He left on the last train through Greenville. Life stopped.
Then, as if the Holy Ghost was standing outside the door, He came and pulled me to my feet. I ran out of the house crying.
Other brothers and sisters stood outside saying “I cant believe you let the Enemy get you. ” “how could you let that happen” You need to go back and give back what was given to you’ “punch harder”” fight meaner”” get allies” . And some just screamed “get the hell out” . Everybody acted like they forgot what house I was running out of. Everyone acted like they forgot it was Daddy’s House!
Pushing past them, I saw Azion , “don’t cry, Its gonna be alright. Jesus says its gonna be alright” she called out.
” What if I have a lethal dart in my heart ? Is it really gonna be alright? All RIGHT? All that night,, crying , I thought of the sting. Its a dart. Its just a dart from the enemy. It ain’t no body. It ain’t no bug. It aint even the Enemy. Its just a dart from him. . . A firey dart. See, Vanessa, Frog got hurt in his lungs, where Daddy makes good air and you got hurt inside your heart where Daddy makes His love. And both of us are now flat on our backs wounded. ” I talked to myself.
I called out to Daddy like my brother Job cried in the dark. “Who can help me put on this armor now? I am cripple and down. Is it too late to dress my heart as I lay wounded ? Who can take the stinging pain ? Who can lift this mourning gown and give me a new dress not stained with tears?”
As I grew weary with my words, I found the breastplate stiffly faithfully held me on my back in the bed in the dark of the night (8).
Daddy , Daddy , i cried. Daddy I’m soo sorry ! I’m sorry I did not wear what you told me to wear!! I didn’t listen to where you told me to go!! Jesus help me ! Holy Ghost whats happening? Jesus , Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, . . . ” I drifted to sleep. I started thinking bout a poem Daddy wrote me. I started thinking bout Psalm 34.
In the night, Daddy gathered the tears . Motionless on my back . I could not toss . I could not turn. I could not escape a righteousness outside myself. It immobilized me . I felt The hard heaviness of His hand over my heart protect me from new darts. Darts coming from within me and about to shoot out of me. Darts of anger and resentment. As the original dart was released into His hand ,a flow of warm clean water washed over the wound.
Daddy had recycled ever tear in the night to wash and soothe my heart.
Slowly waking I felt the soft interior of the breastplate. It bandaged the wound left on my heart. A two sided righteousness overwhelmed me. Squeezing tight over me, it forced a new song from me . I awoke singing “who put this breastplate on me ? but my King! My King Jesus!! It’s All right!! It’s all Right!! He has dressed me in the Night!! He has Dressed me in the Night!! . . ..
Return child to His RIGHTEOUSNESS! Dress rightly today with both the breastplate and the robe!!
““What do you need to put on Church? What do you need to put on to fight the fiery darts accusing you ? What do you need to put on Church? What do you need to put on to not take offense at your brothers or sisters? THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS. It’s His righteousness not your righteousness, NOT EVEN their righteousness . It’s His righteousness! Anyone’s RIGHTNESS IS ONLY FROM HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS!” Pastor Chris Peterson
- Ephesians 2:1-3 tells us that we were dead folks in a land “walking, following the course of this world, following the Prince of the Power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience.”
- Isaiah 9:6 tells us that we are now under the rule of the King of our Souls and “the government will be upon his shoulder and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God , THE PRINCE OF PEACE
- Numbers 14:44 it is said of some folks that thought to do something apart from Daddy’s direction “But they presumed to go up unto the hill top: nevertheless the ARK OF THE COVENANT of THE Lord and Moses, departed not out of the camp.
- Ephesians 6 :10 – 18 commands Children of God to put on the whole armor . It begins with the position of “STAND” and ends with the attitude of “KEEP ALERT WITH ALL PERSEVERANCE” This is a confident not casual stance in His Might.
- 1 Chronicles 21:1 Then Satan stood against Israel and incited David to number Israel
- Isaiah 21:6 For thus the Lord said to me: “Go, set a watchman; let him announce what he sees.
- 1 Peter 5:8, I John 3:8-10, Jude 8-9
Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, Ephesians 5:15