The noise all around us can get so very loud – the slinging, the clamoring, the shouting and the bullying, the twisting and the pounding, the clinging and non-relenting.
The relentless noise, noise, noise is but one symbol of the consistent flow of darts and arrows the army of the enemy is launching toward us all the time.
This is war.
But what I have found, is that the more subdued whispers of influence and deceit are what can often do the most damage ~ because they frequently either go unnoticed, or we fail to deal with them once the noise subsides.
Think about war for a minute. Imagine you are a soldier in the civil war on the front lines. You are so busy fighting for survival from all the muskets and canons and other weapons of choice, that you don’t really have time to notice the things that are creeping in to take up residence on your side of this particular battle.
It’s called infiltration.
- Maybe even a spy or two dressed up in clothes that look friendly.
This is the kind stuff that seeps in – to the mind and to the heart. This is the stuff that sneaks around the loud and obvious junk and plants itself somewhere – INSIDE.
This is the evil that remains long after we think the battle is done.
It plants itself and grows, and grows and grows.
Jesus tells us to be on guard for good reason. He tells us to be careful, friends. He also tells us to risk things for His glory and to reach out to others.
Again I say: It’s not either/or.
We may have to lock out the distractions for a season in order to move back to our first love – as it should be.
We may have to regroup and reassess our armor – are we wearing the armor of GOD, or something we made up ourselves because, well, we think our version fits better?
And sometimes we have to retreat – but not just for rest, but to reassess. Sometimes we just gotta clean house.
- Go through a burial process.
- Cleanse the land.
If we forget this step after a battle – if we don’t make sure the last vestiges of the ravages of war are dealt with – nasty things will still grow and thrive in places they don’t belong.
Let’s not allow that simply because we’d rather just be done. Let’s ask the Lord to cleanse us from the inside out – not only during or after we are doing battle, but daily.
I often stand before the Lord in awe ~ in awe of Him and His desire and promise that He will accept that I keep getting so dirty. He doesn’t mind bathing me daily, even when I get into things He told me not to right after he’s put me in my Sunday best. I stand before Him in shock and disbelief at just how much poison and toxins have entered into my heart or mind from one day to the next. I never fail to be surprised that I have so much I need to dump out and ask to be cleansed of within one 24 hour period. Often this mess has been self inflicted – sometimes not. But either way, my loving Father never fails to bathe me and take care of me.
I truly believe that my tendency to get “dirty” is because not only are new things coming my way daily that I “absorb” so to speak, but there is much residue left inside of me that is so deeply rooted, that it will take time for the Lord to remove it – tentacles and claws and all.
But at the same time that I’m fully (hurtfully, sometimes) aware of this fact, I am so thankful that He has brought this awareness to me – that I’m not asleep. It hurts to be awake and aware of the evil as much as the good – but it is far better than living a lie – which I have done as well and which is part of why I’m where I’m at today.
I pray that we ask the Lord daily to cleanse us, friends. He has already saved us and wiped the slate clean if we have trusted Christ as our Savior. At the same time, there is still the reality of walking and living in this human shell. There still is the reality that we are in a battle of the flesh.
What we can truly stand in awe of if we get right down to it, is that GOD has already won the ultimate battle.
So yes – we have to be careful – we have to watch – we have to put on t he armor of God every single day. But we can rest in the knowledge and the beautiful, divine promise that the Lord has us in His mighty hands – and that He will never forsake us.
We have to show up for bath time though.
This is the good news that I am pondering today. I pray that if you feel weary of battle, that you too, can remember that with Christ, it is both/and. And as we trust in Him, through trial or battle, and through seasons of rest and overcoming, we will know….
That He is God.
And He will be exalted.
He makes wars cease
to the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the shields with fire.
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:9-10