The bellbird is actually a member of the miner bird family, and is more correctly known as a “bell miner”. Last Tuesday, in “The Bellbird, Part 1”, we learned valuable lessons in unity and selfless giving from these interesting birds; but as I continued to read up on the bell miner, I would learn other inspiring facts about the specie…
Apparently the bell miner aggressively and communally defends its colony against any and all other insect-eating birds who might compete for their favorite food, the psyllid bugs that feed on eucalyptus sap. It made me think: What if we, like the bell miner, were to also aggressively and communally defend the church from intruders?
I’m not referring to human intruders here, for we are told that our battle is not against flesh and blood: “For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” (Eph. 6:12 NLT). Rather, I am talking about the various and serious attacks of the devil.
This would, of course, include every temptation that comes our way. Imagine how strong the church would be if we were to stand up with one another and fight against any temptation that our fellow brothers and sisters in the church might be facing. If we could stop being judgmental, we would create an atmosphere where those who are weak would feel comfortable sharing their struggles with us. It would open the doors to being able to pray for them and to encourage and strengthen them in their faith. When we stand by one another, when we pray for one another, we are building each other up, we are making each other strong, we are encouraging each other, we are assisting each other in defeating temptation.
Is it for nothing that we are told multiple times in the New Testament alone to encourage one another? “So encourage each other and build each other up…” (1 Thessalonians 5:11 NLT; See alsoHeb. 10:24-25;Eph. 4:29;1 Cor. 14:26;Rom. 14:19, etc).
Of course, temptation isn’t the only tactic used by our spiritual oppressors. Illness is another of their favorites, and this is why the bible teaches that we should pray for the sick: “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.” (James 5:16 NLT). What if we were to take lessons from the bellbird and band together to pray against this “predator” that is trying to claim the wellbeing, even the very lives, of our fellow brothers and sisters?
Another type of spiritual attack is addiction. Most of us don’t feel comfortable admitting we have addictions. We are afraid others will point the finger and we will be criticized and ostracized; and maybe we are just a bit too proud to admit our weaknesses. What if we were to remember the bell miner? What if we were to join together in prayer instead of pointing the finger at those who are bound by addiction? What if we were to reach out in spiritual warfare and battle alongside these victims of the devil’s oppression? What if, instead of judging one another, we were to encouraging each other? What if we were to fight the good fight side by side? Imagine how empowered those with addictions would feel! Imagine how encouraged, how better able to rise up and fight!
The list could go on, but the point is, the bell miner’s habit of aggressively and communally defending its colony against intrusion teaches us a valuable lesson in aggressively and communally defending the church against spiritual intruders!
Think about it!
In His love,
Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author — “Aboard God’s Train — A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer”, Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, andScriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, withAnswers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.
(To access the entire “The Bellbird” mini-series, please clickhere.)