In the UK, robin is a smaller bird than the American robin, but despite its cute appearance and popularity on Christmas cards, also its lack of fear in coming close to people to look for food, it can be very territorial and tends to fight with other robins for dominance! It also has a beautiful song which it can sing at any time of day or night, usually perched at the top of a tree or chimneypot…..
A few days ago, I caught sight of a few birds fluttering and scattering, out of the corner of my eye, then heard what sounded just like the winning robin singing its victory song or battle challenge from a nearby rooftop. Then I looked up to see where the robin was, and saw the larger, ragged outline of a starling!
The starling is called “Sansonnet” in French, which literally means “without a song”….or at least, without a song of its own, rather an uncanny ability to imitate accurately the song of other birds, or even sounds like a referee’s whistle, or the rattling sound of an approaching London Underground train!
Similarly, I was thinking that the Devil, whom Jesus described as having no truth in him (John 8:44), is not able to sing a song of his own – perhaps because he was the leader of music in Heaven before his rebellion against God and desire to be worshipped for himself, so lost his music along with his front-row place in Heaven – so he tries to imitate the voice of our own mind, or even the voice of the Lord Himself. But there are some things that “give the game away” – that Satan’s voice will never bring a sense of peace or joy, and his accusations will be vague and condemning, pushing people away from God and making them feel too unworthy ever to go near God’s throne again.
Philip Mantofa from Indonesia, author of gripping book Warrior for Revival (published by Destiny Image) tells of how the voice of the Enemy tried to stop him crying out for God’s mercy and healing, after he had lost his way and got heavily into martial arts, violence and self-hatred:-
“I had already decided that it was better to enter hell than to meet the Lord. I was disappointed in my family, my friends, and my church. Why was I close to evil spirits?
Because the only place I could express my true feelings was when I meditated. I was deceived, because I had come to believe that the Lord was evil. In my eyes,the heavenly Father carried a whip in His hand, like a father who liked to punish and constantly pointed out my mistakes……
I was also under a spirit of condemnation. I thought Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross was for everyone except the worst sinners, like me. I thought I was the exception, that the Lord Jesus died only for good people…the Devil had reversed the truth.”
Thank the Lord, Philip did not commit suicide that night – a phone call from his pastor’s wife came just at the right moment, and he now has an international ministry of evangelism and healing:-
“God miraculously showed His grace to me when I was in a precarious place, in a free fall to hell. I know that I am just a piece of trash, like a cigarette butt plucked from a burning fire. I am purely a product of grace.”