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I've got no strings To hold me down To make me fret Or make me frown I had strings But now I'm free There are no strings on me.

~ Pinocchio

Ever felt like Pinocchio?

You get up one morning and look and feel like a wooden puppet. You’ve got a tangle of strings attached that control and pull you in all different directions. Life hasn’t measured up and you just desperately want to be real – a real person that is free from constraint. Free from the stress, routines, and demands of life. That’s a Pinocchio.

Maybe you recognize the strings, but perhaps they have been attached for so long that you no longer even see them- the strings are just a part of who you are.

It is a frightening contemplation to believe you are in control of your life; when you actually have invisible strings that are permanently fastened controlling your every move, thought and response.

Sadly, many of us are marionettes, and don’t even know it!

The truth is there is an enemy that wants to be the ultimate puppet master- to be the one to affix and manipulate the strings.

The Devil, Satan, Evil One- whatever you would like to call him- is the master manipulator. He exists and is the father of lies.

Before you scoff, consider, if you don’t know your enemy you can’t see the puppet strings. To deny his existence creates a dangerous vulnerability of ignorance.

The Bible describes Satan as:

A murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. ~ John 8:44

A thief that comes only to steal and kill and destroy. ~ John 10:10

A stumbling block. ~ Matthew 16:23

A roaring lion looking for someone to devour. ~ 1 Peter 5:8-9

An ancient serpent who leads the whole world astray. ~ Revelation 12:9

Satan is a master puppeteer, so much so, that we are oftentimes unware of his influence and abilities--

He can influence our decisions and choices.

He can encourage wrong goals and desires.

He has the talent to sway how we treat ourselves and others.

He whispers lies into our heart that keeps us captive to his whims.

He lures us with luxuries and entinces us with compromise.

He breeds fear, confusion, and self-destruction.

He imprisons us with consuming envy, jealousy, temptations and addictions.

It is difficult to discern his skills that taint and distort how we see the world. If we aren’t careful, keeping our eyes wide open and on guard, Satan will sneak in and fasten the puppet strings.

Ask yourself….

Are you overwhelmed, unhappy, unfulfilled with nothing ever working out right?

Do you feel like someone else is in control?

Are you always searching for peace and contentment?

Do temptations rule you?

Do you feel like you never measure up? Not good enough, thin enough, pretty enough, successful enough, etc.

If you answered yes to any of the above, pause for a moment and self-reflect. What are your motivators and where is your source of truth.

You might just find you have strings attached and the puppet master does not have your best interest at heart!

Once you can see the strings and recognize the source- you can cut them and be free!

Father, thank you for your son, Jesus who rescues us from the domain of darkness and transfer us to your kingdom. There is freedom and a fruitful life for those that choose your truth. Help us to see our lives in truth and recognize when Satan worms his way in to manipulate and destroy us- keeping us from your best.

“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” ~ John 8:36

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