Are You Leaving the Door Open?

This past weekend Vicki and I had an unexpected guest in our home for a few days and what made the experience even more interesting was that we weren’t sure who our guest was or that it was even in our home. The only way we knew we had company was by the trail of destruction and the sounds we heard.
First of all, on Sunday morning I backed my car out of the garage and I rode over the garden hoe. It was standing in the corner and apparently had been knocked over. Then Sunday night we were watching TV when we heard a noise sounding like something had been knocked over, however because we hear other sounds like that from time to time I didn’t bother to investigate. Then Monday morning I walked into the garage and I noticed the doors underneath the barbeque grill were open and the grease pan was all chewed up and lying on the floor, and after looking around some more I noticed a bunch of stuff had been pushed off of a shelf on to the floor. And when looking at the floor I noticed some fresh nuggets of doo doo. I began to get a little nervous, wondering who it was that was watching me.
Being the tough guy that I am, I decided I would hunt that little critter down so I opened both garage doors, but first I had to take care of some business at church (OK, yes I was actually scared and was hoping it would leave while I was gone). Of course the problem with my strategy was how would I know if our destructive, and by now unwelcomed, guest was actually gone when I returned home.
Well, because I had to be gone the rest of the day, I stopped at home to close the garage doors hoping I had given the mystery critter time to leave. However, when I arrived home later in the day and opened the garage door, there it stood, it was huge! Although not quite sure, at first glance it looked like an angry mountain lion ready to attack. Seeing my headlights, it turned around and scampered under our steps in the garage. I quickly opened the other garage door, but then entered through the front door, hoping it would leave while I ate supper. After supper I had a meeting and as I was sneaking around the corner to my car I happened to catch our guest leaving the garage; I was so relieved as I saw that dirty rascal racing alongside the neighbors garage.
As I reflected on how that vicious scavenger got in the garage, I remembered I had grilled on Friday night and because it got a little bit smoky in the garage, I left the door open for a few hours to air out and I suppose it was drawn in by the aroma of my tasty ribeye steak.
All that to say this; when it comes to our spiritual lives, how often don’t we carelessly leave the door open for Satan to wreak havoc in our lives. No, maybe not intentionally, but carelessly we invite the devil in through television, the internet, or other books and magazines. Or how about the times we give the devil access to our homes through anger, resentment, bitterness, and unforgiveness; not to mention all the ways we allow the devil to invade our hearts through idol worship and spiritual adultery.
And like me, who at first was too lazy to respond to that initial noise, how often don’t we ignore the Holy Spirit’s promptings to rid those vices from our lives. You and I both know that we must be self controlled and alert because our enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour (I Peter 5:8).
As I continued to reflect, I wondered, have I carelessly opened the door and allowed the devil to take residence in my heart in an unsuspecting way? And have you? My prayer for all of us is that we might be relentless and deliberate about ridding our lives of all such things as sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires, greed…anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language…(Colossians 3:5, 8).
Oh and by the way, our viscous guest wasn’t a mountain lion after all, it turned out to be an opossum.
Grace and peace, Mike

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