Many times, we read the Word of God, skimming over things that become ‘familiar’ to us, refusing to allow God to give us new insights into what they mean. We are probably all familiar with the parable about the wise man building his house upon the rock. Even when the storms came and the winds blew hard, that house stood firm. Yet the foolish man, who built his house upon the sand, finds that his house is demolished by the winds and storms.
Having just found out recently that our house has been invaded by carpenter ants, the Lord showed me a great analogy to our spiritual life. For those of you who may not be familiar with the damage that can come from carpenter ants, let me share that those ants can destroy the foundation of even the very strongest house if you fail to have the house treated for them. One treatment isn’t enough. It requires treating the house every other month. It’s a process of maintaining the house, staying ahead of the enemy ants, so that they don’t attack again. Spiritually speaking, even when your house is well-built, ‘spiritual pests’ can try to invade your house. These ‘pests’ can be in the form of selfishness, failing to deny our flesh and falling prey to gluttony, or ‘comfort’ eating, fear, false idols, too many activities, or even the wrong activities, or even spending our time in foolish pursuits instead of pursuing our God.
Just as we need to do upkeep on our home, we need to do a spiritual upkeep on our temple. All homes will eventually need a new roof, representing that we need to get a new roof in spiritual sense — a new way of thinking. (Rom. 12:1-2) We may need to replace a toilet, representing how we need to get rid of things that are toxic to our spiritual life. (II Tim. 2:20-22) Windows eventually need to be replaced, representing how we need to seal the openings in our spiritual life so that Satan isn’t able to get a foothold in our life. (Eph. 4:27) A new coat of paint can transform a room, and God can transform our lives into His likeness. (II Cor. 3:18) Sometimes we must rewire the house to avoid the wiring to short-out, causing a fire. We also need to be wired to God, through our connection to the vine. It’s only through that connection that we can be fruitful. (Jn. 15)
Many times, we hear the phrase “Out with the old, in with the new.” This is true in our walk with God. I started writing poetry when I was only in fifth grade, and I continued to write through out my high school years. Since I wasn’t a Christian during those years, none of the poems edified the Lord. After having been saved for a while, I clearly heard the Lord telling me to burn all of those poems. I couldn’t believe it! I put my heart and soul into those poems! I felt like a part of me was dying. I was right too. As I burned those poems, the ‘gift’ that I had used in an ungodly way died, and in its place, an even greater gift was born. I began to write things that edified the Lord, and many years later, here I am, writing devotions. Had I not been willing to surrender to God’s will, I believe that I wouldn’t have been able to reap the harvest that I have now.
Maybe you’re not sure how to begin the process of being ‘proactive’ against those spiritual ‘pests.’ First, let me say that you should begin with a daily quiet time with the Lord. Don’t just rush through it so that you can mark it off of your ‘to-do’ list. Take time before the Lord, allowing the Holy Spirit to show you hidden things in the Word.
Second, if you are struggling in a particular area, I would suggest that you find some Christian books on that subject by reputable authors. For me, learning to be busy at home was a major issue when I first quit my job. I had worked full time for years, and I didn’t know what to do with myself. I began to read books on being a godly wife, I read Proverbs over and over and over, devouring it so that it would get deep in my spirit and become part of me. I read books about being a godly mother so that I could sense what this high calling of motherhood was all about and so that I could put it into action. We see many shows on television these days about ‘doing it yourself.’ Not that we can do anything of ourselves (Jn. 15), but if we need help in an area, there is nothing wrong with reading other godly books to help us to be better wives, mothers, time managers, and better women of God.
The third thing I would recommend is that you get connected in a Bible-based church. We need each other! (Heb. 10:25) God has gifted each one of us so that we can edify one another. (Rom. 12; I Cor. 12) If we fail to get connected in church, someone isn’t receiving from us what they need. Also, YOU aren’t receiving from someone else what YOU need.
Do you have any unwanted ‘pests’ trying to eat away at your foundation?
© 2004, Stacy R Miller