Sunday, November 13, 2011

NOPE. Chuck Testa.

Sometimes, I wonder why I develop strange obsessions with certain youtube videos. I honestly can’t decide on how I feel about this in my life, but the one thing I know for sure is that God intentionally put some of these videos in my life because He wants me to write about them. So that’s what I’m going to do.

This particular video is a television commercial for Ojai Valley Taxidermy, located in California. Before you read any further, you have to watch the video, and for two reasons. One, it’s absolutely ridiculous and will either make you laugh or sit there in confusion, and two, if you don’t, you will have no idea what I’m talking about from this point on.

As a quick summary, the owner of this taxidermy company, Chuck Testa , tries to lure people in by declaring that, “[he] specialize[s] in the most lifelike dead animals anywhere. Period.” In other words, you won’t even know your animal is dead because it looks so lifelike! Example #1:

Girl: “Oh no there’s a bear in my bed!”
Chuck Testa: “Nope. Chuck Testa.”

And after a few strange clips of animals driving cars, sleeping in beds, and ordering drinks at a bar, we finally understand how lifelike his animals are, no matter how ridiculous the clips may be.

I think the most interesting part of this video is that since Chuck Testa’s taxidermized animals are so good, they appear to be lifelike when they actually aren’t. In other words, if we didn’t know they were dead, we would think they were alive, which is a lie.

Yes, that’s right. Chuck Testa is so crafty that he can get us to believe a lie.

Without fail, this made me think of all the lies we believe today that aren’t true at all, Lies about ourselves, other people, how valued we actually are. And the unsettling part about this is that Satan is the mastermind behind these lies. Chuck Testa is to craftiness as Satan is to craftiness: they’re both professionals at getting us to believe something that’s not true.

We believe these lies everyday, and they’re so convincing that sometimes we think we’ve made them up ourselves, so they must be true. To me, this is extremely frightening. I’m sure you’ve believed at least one thing about yourselves or others that’s just not true. Here are some examples of common lies:

-There’s nothing special about me
-I’m not good enough
-God can’t use me
-I’m fat/unattractive/not smart
-I’m not worth anyone’s time
-The Bible is full of contradictions
-I’m a failure
-I can’t be forgiven for that
-My life is not making a difference
-No one will ever love me for me
-God doesn’t love me like others

These are just a small sample of all the lies Satan can get us or has gotten us to believe. It’s so hard to have these lies penetrating our lives and suffocating our potential. In my life, these lies have been a huge problem. For example, I constantly think that if I try at something, I’m going to fail, so as a result, I never try and never get anything done. This particular lie is the reason why I haven’t posted on here in so long.

Another lie I struggle with is that “I’m not worth anyone’s time.” I have so many wonderful friends here, but I constantly believe that they don’t want to hang out with me because I’m too annoying- I’m just not worth their time. And this has resulted in unnecessary fear and stress in my life that holds me back from living the life God intended for me.

These lies hold me back because the thing is, I know they’re not true, but I still believe in my heart that they are true. And how do you get over that? The good news is that these lies won’t kill you, but the bigger question is, how do you kill these lies?

The most important thing to do is to acknowledge that Satan is a real and active force in your life. However scary this may sound, it’s actually not, because Satan can’t break us- Jesus has already won the battle. 1 John 4:4 proclaims that, “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” Because of this, we can confidently declare that Satan will never be able to conquer us.

This is one of the most important things to do because simply ignoring Satan is even worse. It means that you’ve already lost the battle- if you decide to flee, you’ve already lost the fight, and by already losing the battle, you’ve given Satan power over your life.

But DON’T flee, because there’s no reason to be afraid! God is always right beside you, and he’s even given you ways to fight and defeat the enemy. In Ephesians 6:10-20, God gives us all the armor we need to go into battle. He gives us the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the shield of faith, the shoes that give us readiness given by the gospel of peace, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the spirit.

All of that right there shows us that God loves us, that he doesn’t want us to be conquered, and that we don’t have to be conquered. By giving us these tools, he’s saying, “I. Want. YOU. And I will pay any price, overcome any obstacle, to have a relationship with you. I’m fighting for you, I’m going to battle for you, and with Me, there is NO WAY you can lose.”

How awesomely encouraging is that?!

And not only must you reject the lie, but you must also defeat it by replacing it with biblical truth. For example, say you believe the lie that God doesn’t love you like others. The way to actively defeat this lie is to go STRAIGHT to the Bible and say, “That’s not true, because Ephesians 1:3-14 says that I have been chosen by Him to be holy and blameless and to represent him throughout this life I’ve been given.”

And by this, we realize it is clear that God WANTS us to win this battle- he’s given us the power and resources to do so. And even if we’ve given up on winning the battle, he will STILL fight for us.

I hope that this helped you in some way in your life. I hope this gives you the confidence and clarity to say, “NOPE. Just Satan.” You have the power to defeat these lies because God is with you. What do you have to fear anymore?

*A big thanks to Mike and Tammy Smith who spoke about this at H2O fall getaway in October. Without their outline, I wouldn’t have been able to organize my thoughts and write this!