Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, Ephesians 614
Silver-tongue controlled the Princess through refusal. “You have no reason to expect anything of me” he said, as he quoted the Gestalt prayer by Frederick S Perls;
“I do my thing and you do yours. I am not in this world to live up to your expectations, and you are not in this world to live up to mine. You are you and I am I, and if by chance we find each other, then it is beautiful.”
His smooth words were as beautiful as they were hateful, and her resentment and anger grew. She lived for his approval and wanted to make him happy, but that was gradually changing, for her eyes were now upon the King.
As the Princess walked beside the King she felt haggard and deathly tired. They surveyed the ground that she had gained from the dragon. It was devastated and barren. Nothing had been able to grow there. The King asked her to look at him. She looked into his wise eyes, eyes that contained the wisdom of the ages. In his presence she could feel his power and authority, and with Him she was safe from the dragon.
The King said “I know you are tired of fighting, but you are going to have to go back into battle again.” She was weary. “Lord, I’m tired. I have no strength for my sword or shield. The dragon was your enemy long before I came here. He only hates me because I’m yours. You go kill it, Lord.” The King replied “You must fight. This is your ground. You have to make a stand or you will never know any peace.”
The next day she prepared for battle. “Lord, I cannot see you, where are you?” she cried out, again and again, trying to shoulder into her breastplate, which had grown too heavy and tight to put on. At last, the Lord appeared. “I cannot help you. You need to put on your armour first.” “I know that, Lord, and I am trying!” she sobbed.
“Why does it not fit?” she asked in despair. “The breastplate of my righteousness cannot fit over resentment. You can only wear one or the other” the King replied sternly. “Then Lord, help me get the resentment off” she begged. “No, I cannot. Only the one who put it on you can take it off. You must go and ask Silver-tongue” he replied.
“If your brother sins against you, go to him and show him his fault. But do it privately, just between yourselves. If he listens to you, you have won your brother back.” Matthew 18:15
The dragon laughed at her mockingly, for he knew she would not be listened to. Her eyes narrowed as she remembered her crook. “What is that in my cottage by the fireplace, you dragon scum? Who gave me that! Don’t you know that the King gifted that to me with words, and his promise that His house will be my home for as long as I live! Do you know the authority that I have over you in my King’s name! I am a child of the King, and I now KNOW that He hears me, you liar. I know my birthright and I will not be cheated out of it. I will be heard!”
He backed off quickly as she resisted him, using words would bring the King into his dark realm. Later she smiled up at the King through her tears. “Lord, I can live with you, but not Silver-tongue. You want me to deal with my resentment. You want me to show him his fault. How can I when he thinks he is perfect?” The Lord said “Don’t run ahead. I will use your relationship with Silver-tongue because he draws out your enemies.”
She went to walk away. “Where are you going?” the King asked. Her reply was bitter as she said “Forgive me. The resentment is at times too much to bear, and in your presence I remembered it. I know that you will not lift it off, but neither will Silver-tongue, for it seems he does not care about me. I know that I cannot wear the armour of righteousness and faith over resentment, so I went to go to the land between the rock and the hard place”.
The King made the Princess look at him saying “Child, seek my face.” She replied “When you said, come seek my face, my heart said, your face, Lord, will I seek. Psalm 27:8
“Why do you head for this hard place where you know you will find no comfort, when all you have to do is seek my advice?” He asked. “Lord, I have no right to seek you in this matter between Silver-tongue and I.” The King asked “Who determined this right?” She paused.
“Uncertainty did, Lord” she finally answered. “Remember what princess Eve said? You must come to me with certainty” the King replied. She nodded, and then bowed at the King’s feet. “I have no right to ask for your help, for I know I am not righteous.” The King replied “No man is. All have sinned and fallen short of my law.”
There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. Romans 3:22-24
This was redemption. Looking up in gratitude, she replied “You have taken my sin, my wrong-doing in exchange for the great gift of your righteousness. How can I thank you?” She stood, and the King helped her shoulder into the breastplate of righteousness. As she put it into place He promised “I will lead you along the right paths, for my name’s sake.” Psalm 23:3
Following Him, she replied “Please show me the right path, for I am in no man’s land, and have lost my way.” The King led her through a gate onto a narrow path, and said “Your path is here, at the beginning of wisdom. It is the path that leads to life. We will walk on this path together. At times you may slip, but if you trust me, I will direct the steps that you are to take. You will gain wisdom and understanding.”
The King stopped her at the first step on the path, looked at her sternly and said “I am not happy that you were again giving in to the demands of the man you call Silver-Tongue. Now turn around and instead ask him for what you want.” Fear of man whispered to her.
She replied “I am afraid of the refusal. Lord, I don’t know how to ask for what I want. I used to wait for what I wanted, and then I would prompt with clues, and wait again. My needs would be ignored. When I finally asked, in beggar’s clothes and resentment, Silver-tongue would say “I hadn’t asked in the prescribed manner.”
He has found so many ways to refuse me; “I have used the wrong language”, or “it was a demand”. I have stopped asking, and have ended up expecting nothing for myself. In so doing, my trust and hope have died. Yet his demands are constant, and he expects to get what he wants. He does not like the word ‘no’.”
The King replied “You must overcome your fear enough to ask. In this you will learn what manner of man Silver-tongue is.
“Love is not ill-mannered or selfish” 1 Corinthians 13:5
She walked with the King on the road he had brought her back to, and marvelled at his wisdom. She learned that the road He called ‘the everlasting way’ would grow brighter and brighter the further she travelled on it, like the sunrise. Picking up her lamp, she smiled at the King and started following Him on the long journey towards the brightening horizon.
The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter till the full light of day. Proverbs 4:18