Puff the Magic Dragon and Dropping the “F” Word - Purity 940
Purity 940 01/13/2023 Purity 940 Podcast
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Today’s photo a “dragon cloud” in the blue skies over an unnamed frozen pond and a somewhat bleak January landscape comes to us from yours truly as I paused for a moment to capture it while working on Skyline Drive in Melrose NY. When I took this photo I thought that the frozen pond would stand out and it was worth taking for that but after getting over the disappointment that my iphone’s camera didn’t see what I saw, I realized that the “puff the magic dragon” was floating just over head and so instead of ditching this photo I am sharing it to remind us all to take a second look at what is happening around us and to remind us of the presence the spiritual forces of darkness in this world that are hidden but that are actively looking to steal, kill, and destroy.
Yeah, as cute and cuddly as the cartoon of “Puff Magic Dragon” may have been and as much as some of us may think that “dragons are cool”, I have to put forth the truth of what dragon’s represent.
Revelation 12:9 (NKJV)
9 So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
So sorry Games of Thrones fans and dragon enthusiasts, dragons represent Satan and his demons and when we display them on our lawns (at Christmas time! )or keep images of them in our homes, we are unwittingly giving a place to the devil in our lives.
Although “Puff the Magic Dragon” was never intended to be anything other than a children’s song many people associate the song with marijuana use.
“Puff magic dragon? “Little Jackie Paper loved that rascal Puff? “Autumn Mist? …. Come on man! That’s about smoking a joint!”
The songs lyrics was written by Leonard Lipton who was interested in writing poetry, and later they were put to music by Peter Yarrow, the “Peter” from Peter, Paul, and Mary.
“Lipton said the track is about the “loss of innocence, and having to face an adult world.” And that it ”surely not about drugs.” The writer is annoyed at the “drug interpretation of his words and said “It would be insidious to propagandize about drugs in a song for little kids.” Yarrow also said someone would have to be “meanspirited” to insert drug references into a song for children. (https://www.cheatsheet.com/entertainment/peter-paul-mary-is-puff-the-magic-dragon-really-about-drugs.html/)”
While Lipton and Yarrow’s comments may have been criticizing Newsweek columnist, Dorothy Kilgallen, who originally made the claim that Puff was about cannabis, I can think of an “insidious” and “mean spirited” person that would love to corrupt the innocent and encourage drug use: that old dragon himself: Satan.
He tried to tempt Jesus, that’s pretty bold, so we really can’t put anything past him and have to realize that He is actively trying to steal, kill, and destroy anything good in this world.
Anyway the thoughts of the “evil that men do” and the spiritual forces of darkness are at the forefront of my mind this morning because I had an encounter last night which could reveal the fact that Satan is still quite active in trying to stir things up.
On the way to last night’s final evening of prayer of the “Pray Together” event that four churches in the Clifton Park area decided to do this week, I stopped to get gas only to discover that all four pumps were occupied.
I waited and when a pump that was facing the opposite side of my gas tank became available I maneuvered my car to back up to the pump. But as I was backing up another vehicle pulled into the parking lot and appeared to be attempting to pull in nose first to that spot. But I was already committed to backing up and even though this vehicle tried to “nose up” into the spot, I continued backing up and got in position to pump gas. The other car pulled around me and parked elsewhere.
As I was pumping gas the cars driver got out and angrily started shouting profanities in my direction as he began walking to go into the convenience store located there. In retrospect I am still not sure if they were trying to get into the spot to pump gas or not but it appeared that I either “got in their way” or “blocked their goal” of getting gas. So this man apparently felt justified to chastise me with some pretty heavy profanity.
Now usually I avoid any confrontation and just remain silent when I run into negative people or criticism. I know what spirit runs the world, Satan right, so I’m not surprised by the anger and hate that is out there. But when this man kept jawing as if he had a right to the space I was backing into righteous indignation apparently rose up in me and I “fought fire with fire” and respond:
“Brother, I was here first! I was backing into the space! And I was here first!”
He went onto say something about me being an “unsafe driver” and when that apparently seemed to not be satisfying enough, he just started cursing at me. I just kept pumping gas and he just kept swearing and then I said it:
“I FORGIVE YOU!”
I kid you not. I almost can’t believe it myself!
Anyway, unswayed by my offer of forgiveness, he just continued to swear before going into the store.
I was quite shaken by our little encounter but just kept pumping the fuel into my car.
I wasn’t done pumping when this man reemerged from the store and he still wasn’t finished. He swore at me a few more times and stated that I was “lucky” because he didn’t want to go back to “prison” because otherwise he would beat me up.
I paid him no mind and that just seemed to make him even more angry as he shouted out some more curses.
Oh yeah, I should also tell you that he apparently he had a buddy with him in the car riding shotgun and while I never really saw his friend, I sure heard him because just like a rapper’s hype man, he was also throwing out his curses and threats. Like “Yeah! What he said!” “Yeah boy!”
So being wise enough not to respond, I just finished my gas and got in the car to drive away.
Like I said I don’t know if they intended to get gas because as I pulled out of the parking lot, they rushed at me with their car as if they were going to hit me.
I was mildly annoyed at that but I somehow knew that this gesture of coming at me with their car was just another empty threat. Although I was a little concerned when they continued out of the parking lot following me.
“Great I’ll drive them to the prayer meeting!” I thought just before they turned off and disappeared, may be to turn around and go back to get the gas they never pumped?
Anyway, adrenaline was pretty high on the drive to the church but then I decided to pray for those men to know the Lord and to pray to the Lord for forgiveness in case my “righteous indignation” wasn’t so righteous or my backing into the space was unsafe or selfish.
And that’s what I want to point to really, the ability to go to the Father in prayer for our enemies and to get peace.
I used the phrase “blocked their goal” because that’s what Dr. Neil Anderson says is behind our angry emotions. When we get angry it is because someone or something “blocked our goal”. I apparently blocked these men’s goal and so they were angry. So I understand. But I think there was some unseen spiritual warfare going on here.
The way the guy came at me indicated to me, and apparently my spirit , that he wasn’t used to being talked back to and probably was used to intimidating people and getting what he wanted.
Like it was quite out of character for me to respond, but apparently this men’s hatred and tactics of intimidation and condemnation made me speak out.
I was there first. Although he may not have understood what I was attempting to do when he pulled into the lot, I had done nothing wrong. And so when that barrage of condemnation didn’t let up, my “spirit” cried out stating what was true and in essence said that I wasn’t going to accept his condemnation.
Romans 8:1 (NKJV) says
1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.
That’s my life verse and while I will admit it and seek forgiveness when I make a mistake, I didn’t feel I had made one, and if anything, I prevented him from taking the space that was “rightfully mine”.
If I Monday morning quarterback this situation, I suppose I could have waited behind one of the other vehicles in order to not have to back up but what I did wasn’t necessarily wrong or unsafe. But you know what, I asked God for forgiveness anyway. I know I am not perfect and would rather be right with God than stand on my “rights.”
So after I prayed for myself and these men to forgive me, and to find Jesus, I went into the Church at Newton Road to pray. The topic of prayer for last night was for our leaders, those in authority of our local, state, and national governments and in business.
My prayers were a little more passionate than you may have thought they would have been but because of my recent encounter at the gas station I was extremely thankful for the law and order that our society does have. After all according to my new foul mouth acquaintance it was only the threat of “prison” that prevented him and his shotgun riding hype man from putting a beating on me!
So I prayed for our leaders with a particular emphasis on law enforcement! Just think of 2020’s and other lawless riots of the past and you should be thankful and pray for the authorities that keep people in check.
Despite its auspicious beginning, for me, the evening of prayer was a success as many Christians joined together in unity as the body of Christ to pray.
After I went home I decided to unwind by using the One Minute Pause App to do the evening session of the “30 days to Resilience” program I am doing. And as thoughts of the encounter at the gas station tried to invade the session, I was encouraged when God “spoke” through the app.
As I was wondering about whether or not I had done “wrong” in this situation, the recorded voice of John Eldridge stated this:
“Crisis is what tests our convictions; crisis reveals what we truly believe. Does your reaction to crisis affirm those beliefs?”
I laughed out loud I had certainly had a crisis! And perhaps I should have just remained silent but my loud response of “I FORGIVE YOU!” certainly indicated to me that the crisis revealed what I truly believe. Instead of returning evil with evil, I sought to forgive in the heat of the moment.
It is ONLY because of Christ in me, that this would happen!
So, its Friday – Thank God! And whether or not someone blocks your goal today or not, let me encourage you to keep walking and talking with God because He is working in you to make you more like Christ and the longer you go in His direction the more He transforms you.
God bless you all.
Well this testimony took too much time. So the verse of the day from The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”. will be back tomorrow.
As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian theologians and counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk.
Today we continue sharing from A.W. Pink’s “The Sovereignty of God”
As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase Bonhoeffer’s books for your own private study and to support his work. This resource is available on many websites for less than $20.00.
THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD
By ARTHUR W. PINK
SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD IN ADMINISTRATION concludes
4. God governs angels: both good and evil angels
The angels are God’s servants, His messengers, His chariots. They ever hearken to the word of His mouth and do His commands. “And God sent an angel unto Jerusalem to destroy it: and as he was destroying, the Lord beheld, and He repented Him of the evil, and said to the angel that destroyed it, It is enough, stay now thine hand.… And the Lord commanded the angel; and he put his sword again into the sheath thereof” (1 Chron. 21:15, 27). Many other scriptures might be cited to show that the angels are in subjection to the will of their Creator and perform His bidding—“And when Peter was come to himself, he said, Now I know of a surety, that the Lord hath sent His angel, and hath delivered me out of the hand of Herod” (Acts 12:11). “And the Lord God of the holy prophets sent His angel to shew unto His servants the things which must shortly be done” (Rev. 22:6). So it will be when our Lord returns: “The Son of Man shall send forth His angels and they shall gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity” (Matt. 13:4). Again, we read, “He shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other” (Matt. 24:31).
The same is true of evil spirits: they, too, fulfil God’s sovereign decrees. An evil spirit is sent by God to stir up rebellion in the camp of Abimelech: “Then God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the men of Shechem, which aided him in the killing of his brethren” (Judges 9:23). Another evil spirit He sent to be a lying spirit in the mouth of Ahab’s prophets—“Now therefore, behold, the Lord hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these thy prophets, and the Lord hath spoken evil concerning thee” (1 Kings 22:23). And yet another was sent by the Lord to trouble Saul—“But the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord troubled him” (1 Sam. 16:14). So, too, in the New Testament: a whole legion of the demons go not out of their victim until the Lord gave them permission to enter the herd of swine.
It is clear from Scripture, then, that the angels, good and evil, are under God’s control, and willingly or unwillingly carry out God’s purpose. Yea, SATAN himself is absolutely subject to God’s control. When arraigned in Eden, he listened to the awful sentence but answered not a word. He was unable to touch Job until God granted him leave. So, too, he had to gain our Lord’s consent before he could “sift” Peter. When Christ commanded him to depart—“Get the hence, Satan”—we read, “Then he Devil leaveth Him” (Matt. 4:11). And, in the end, he will be cast into the Lake of Fire which has been prepared for him and his angels.
The Lord God omnipotent reigneth. His government is exercised over inanimate matter, over the brute beasts, over the children of men, over angels good and evil, and over Satan himself. No revolving world, no shining of star, no storm, no creature moves, no actions of men, no errands of angels, no deeds of Devil—nothing in all the vast universe can come to pass otherwise than God has eternally purposed. Here is a foundation of faith. Here is a resting place for the intellect. Here is an anchor for the soul, both sure and steadfast. It is not blind fate, unbridled evil, man or Devil, but the Lord Almighty who is ruling the world, ruling it according to His own good pleasure and for His own eternal glory.
“Ten thousand ages ere the skies
Were into motion brought;
All the long years and worlds to come,
Stood present to His thought:
There’s not a sparrow nor a worm,
But’s found in His decrees,
He raises monarchs to their thrones
And sings as He may please.”
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Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship
 Arthur W. Pink, The Sovereignty of God (Swengel, PA: Bible Truth Depot, 1949), 51–53.