“Belinda and Tempest”
Belinda was a good girl. She tried to keep the right kinds of friends and together they tried to stay away from things they knew their parents and teachers would not approve of. Most of her friends were from the church so they listened closely to the sermons, the Sunday school lessons and other instructions they got at church to make sure they knew what was right. Belinda also did as she was taught and read the Bible and prayed even though she didn’t always understand what she prayed and if she prayed with her eyes closed, sometimes she went to sleep.
One day daddy brought home a new pet. His name was Pete the Parakeet. For several days, everybody had fun talking to Pete but he didn’t say much. But it was clear that Pete had come to the house to be Belinda’s friend. So he lived in her room.
“Wake up Belinda.” Pete suddenly said as she dozed off reading her Bible.
“Did you just talk to me?” she said to the little bird. She had a hard time believing that Pete the Parakeet would actually speak to her.
“Yes, it’s my job to talk to you. I have been sent here to do this. I am called to be by your side to help when you have trouble like sleeping when you should be reading your Bible.”
Well it was clear that God had sent Pete for a very special mission to help Belinda with her faith, in struggling against her weaknesses and to advise, comfort and teach her. That’s a pretty good parakeet.
One day, Belinda met Tempest. Tempest wasn’t like the other girls, she was new, exotic, kind of exciting. So Belinda wanted to know Tempest more because she felt that Tempest could teach her some of those grown up things that other people would tell her about because they always treated Belinda like a little kid.
Belinda starting finding times to be with Tempest when nobody knew about it. She found her best times with Tempest were always when nobody knew she was around and the thing she was telling Belinda were secrets. Secrets are fun.
“You know most of the things your parents and the church say are bad aren’t bad.” Tempest told her.
“Really? Why would they lie to me?” Belinda objected. “I know they love me.”
“They do love you but they think you have to be protected because they don’t want you to have the fun things they have. God could let you have fun things like smoking and drinking and staying out all night but he knows the adults should keep things fun things all to themselves.” Tempest lied to Belinda. Sadly, Belinda started to believe her. It was so easy to want to be like Tempest and to try to please her.
As Belinda was walking home from spending time with Tempest, she was thinking about trying a few things she liked to do. After all, it was a secret so nobody would know. Plus she would still be a good girl to her friends and family and at church. Her fun times with Tempest would just be a little secret between the two of them. Suddenly Pete the Parakeet landed on her shoulder.
“How did you get out of your cage?” Belinda objected.
“You would like to box up the voice that reminds you of your moral duties but it doesn’t work like that,” the little bird said to her sternly. Belinda didn’t like be lectured, particularly by a bird but she knew he was right. “Tempest is leading you astray from God.” Pete continued. “God knows what is going on so your little secret isn’t a secret and if you develop sin habits with her, they won’t be a secret long from your parents and friends either.” He said insistently.
Belinda felt so much guilt and conviction in her spirit because of what Pete was telling her. But she was confused because she wanted it both ways. She wanted to be good and have the respect of God and her mom and dad and the church but the fun things Tempests offered were so hard to resist. Finally, she did start to give in and met with Tempest to try some things.
Tempest laid all of the exciting forbidden things on the table in front of her at Tempests house when nobody was around. There it all was, the cigarettes, the alcohol, the bad magazines and tapes, a connection to the internet already on some naughty sites. All she had to do is reach out and take it and nobody was there to stop her.
Suddenly she looked out the window and saw Pete the Parakeet in the tree out side the window and his eyes were fixed on her. She thought she could hear his voice in her head. But this time he wasn’t lecturing her or making her feel bad.
“None of that will satisfy you Belinda.” The voice said. “All of these things are Satan’s cheap substitute for the perfect joy and love that Jesus gives. Right now Jesus is inside you giving you the strength to get up and walk away from these sins. You can feel him can’t you?” The voice said.
“Yes, I can feel him.” Belinda said out loud.
“What?” Tempest responded. “Who are you talking to?”
“Don’t use your own strength to resist the sins Belinda.” The voice said to her. “Use God’s strength inside you and get up and walk away and go home and have a Bible study with your pet bird.” It helped her.
And that is what she did. She stood up and just turned and walked away. God’s strength inside her even helped her resist arguing with Tempest but instead she just put Tempest behind her and treated her like she didn’t even exists. Belinda had learned an important lesson about resisting the devil and his desire to make you sin. You can too. You are the believer, like Belinda. And you will get temptations, like the ones Tempest brought. But the Holy Spirit’s job is to “come along side and help” you resist temptation, just like Pete the parakeet did. If you look for your own Pete, you will hear his voice and he will help you feel God’s power to resists temptation in you too every day.
No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it. [1 Corinthians 10:13]