I had an unusual and exciting time last night. While opening a closet to get some paper towels, an ugly black rat suddenly jumped at me from out of nowhere. As if a flying rodent wasn’t enough to totally freak me out, it also ran right across my BARE feet, then scampered off SOMEWHERE into my house. Eeeeeewwww!
Once I finally stopped flailing my arms around violently and screaming with panic, I vacuumed and mopped my entire house, then took a steaming hot shower. It was a fruitless attempt to get rid of the feeling that the disgusting little creature had left with me. I guess I’m a little OCD, but I was pretty creeped out.
Meanwhile, my dog sat by quietly watching the drama unfold without so much as a whimper in my defense. I’m convinced that he and the rat are cohorts with some grand scheme to steal food from my pantry.
As a result of the random rodent attack, I became vigilant in preparing for an ongoing battle with the nasty critter. First, I researched “exterminating rats” on my computer for almost an hour and developed a plan. Then, I set four old-school mousetraps around my house. Opening closet doors was no longer a mindless act, but done with focus…and a broom-in-hand expecting a fight. Last, but not least, with great confidence and determination I declared out loud to the tiny hidden monster, “This war is ON!”
As I began searching my house this morning, in hopes to find my nemesis helplessly stranded in one of my traps, I began thinking about spiritual warfare.
Ephesians 6:10-18 says, “Put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Why is it we have a heightened sense of urgency to exterminate pests out of our lives, but we don’t guard against sin with the same sense of urgency? Just like a filthy rat, a seemingly innocent sin that goes ignored can breed and cause major damage to a home. Being apathetic can actually give foothold for infestation. Now, THAT is utterly disgusting!
We must be diligent to learn God’s Word. It’s the best way to prepare for battle against temptation. It also gives us strength and courage to fight a good fight. But most importantly, we must remember that Christ has already conquered sin on our behalf, when He died on the cross. If we just surrender to His will, not our own, we can live in victory.
Take THAT you pesky varmints!