Autumn. I love this time of year. The cool breezes requiring a sweater or jacket. The warmth of the sun that energizes. The aroma of the crisp air and changing season. The beauty of God’s palette: crimson and cerise, yellow and honey, apricot and orange.
Autumn also evokes the thought of harvests. Which made me think the other day about scarecrows!
Definition of a scarecrow: an object, usually made to resemble a human figure, set up to scare away creatures from disturbing and feeding on recently cast seed in fields, from growing crops, or from those crops about to be harvested.
Something resembling a human figure and scares creatures away from a harvest! Hmmm! Sounds like our old nemesis to me. Occasionally, that ol’ enemy loves to work through others to trip us in our Christian walk. He also loves to work through circumstances to scare us out of our faith or to tempt us by invading our thoughts.
That enemy scarecrow uses whatever he can to frighten us away from the seeds of God’s Word that have been sown in our hearts and the harvests God has waiting for us.
But how about this: we need to reverse that and be our own scarecrow to shoo the enemy away from what we have sown and to keep him from destroying our harvest. We have the power to command him to back off. Jesus told the disciples, “Look, I have given you authority over all the power of the enemy.” (Luke 10:19 NLT)
And it is just as true for us. We have the authority to forbid the devourer from stealing our seeds and destroying our harvests and to keep him from sowing weed-seeds in our harvest field.
How do we do that? In one parable, Jesus said, “The sower sows the word.” (Mark 4:14 NKJV) In another parable, He said, “He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man.” (Matt. 13:37 NKJV)
All those living in Christ are also sowers, for we sow the seed, which “is the word of God.” (Luke 8:11 NKJV) In The Living Bible’s version of Mark 4:14, it says, “The farmer I talked about is anyone who brings God’s message to others, trying to plant good seed within their lives.”
When we have planted God’s Word in our hearts or in the lives of others or in our or others’ circumstances, when we have watered, cared for, prayed over, worked at something, and then the enemy comes along and tries to scare us away from it all with his taunts, alarms, and distresses, do we run in the opposite direction with our tail between our legs? Or do we become the scarecrow and frighten him away?
When others behave in a mean, hateful, or other negative way, we forget that, as Paul warns, “We are not fighting against people made of flesh and blood, but against the evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against those mighty powers of darkness who rule this world, and against wicked spirits in the heavenly realms.” (Eph. 6:12 NLT)
The enemy sometimes works through others and merrily dances among us. PBS occasionally airs one of my favorite murder mystery series called Poirot, the great Belgian detective, by Agatha Christie. Once, as Poirot’s “little gray cells,” as he calls them, pondered a puzzle of murder clues at a masquerade party, he said,
We may not see him physically (which may be debatable), but we can see his handiwork. The devil waltzes around, dangling temptations before our eyes and whispering criticisms in our ears to steal our joy, kill our faith, and destroy our fellowship with God.
That ol’ scarecrow does all he can to divert our focus away from God and to delay or defeat His answers to our requests.
In other words, he tries to snatch your seeds and pick your harvests clean! Always dancing in delight as he does it. Therefore, put on your most intimidating scarecrow garb and “Be dressed ready for service” (Luke 12:35 NIV), “so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” (Eph. 6:11 NIV)