John 8:34 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin.
I got a picture/vision while in prayer this morning. I saw me sitting in a room. It was dark outside, and it appeared to be in winter. There was a fireplace, I was sipping a hot drink (let’s go with hot cocoa my fave), and I was reading a book. It was an abnormally peaceful scene considering it was sans my children or husband. I was alone but content.
Perhaps too content.
All of a sudden I noticed the door was ajar. It was just barely cracked open. But I didn’t seem to care because I was warm and comfortable. But slowly it opened more and more. I ignored it. Eventually the fire burned out and I could see my breath. This cozy space became frozen.
I paused. I recalled a conversation I had with someone yesterday.
“We can’t leave any room for the enemy. If we crack open the door to darkness, it will want more.”
Imagine if I told you that I killed my neighbor and hid their body under my porch. Then, I followed that statement up with all of the wonderful things I’m doing for others and God. I’m sure after the initial shock of that statement you’d be thinking, “You are not a good person. You’re a murderer!” What do you think the chances would be that the authorities would say, “Well, it’s just this one person. She’s nice to everyone else. It’s ok.” If they were following the civil (and biblical Torah) law, I would deserve punishment. That could mean death.
The above scenario is obviously absurd. No sane person would do or say something like that. And yet, how often do we use our successes to negate the moral failures of our life?
It is just that one person I’m bitter at. That one juicy piece of gossip. One lustful look. One time I worked on Sabbath. One shady internet search. One angry outburst. One deception. One affair. One fear.
The list could be endless. I typed up some random scenarios. The point is, it starts with one but it doesn’t end there. Once you crack open the door for the kingdom of darkness, Satan will gladly come in. He will never ever ever be content with a crack. Sin will devour anyone that entertains it. Every time we hit the snooze button on a Holy Spirit nudge we crack the door open a little more. Eventually, if not careful, our conscience grows dull. If left in that condition too long, it becomes seared.
1 Peter 5:8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
Ephesians 5:15-16 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.
I believe God was warning me, and giving me a message to share, that we must live obediently, vigilantly…wisely.
God doesn’t really care about the areas you are-or think you are-doing awesome in. Yes, He will reward us one day. But, God loves us too much to leave us as we are. The Father cares about the cracked doors. Those things that invite the enemy in. The sins we don’t want to deal with. We tend to not deal with those sins because it’s disruptive. One minute we’re on the fast track to our goals and plans, and the next God calls us to humble ourselves, prostrate in repentance before God.
Let me tell you, sin disrupts. And once the effects are noticeable, it brings destruction. I promise you.
Recently God personally dealt with me on a particular sin I was sure I didn’t possibly have. Greed. I have been doing some investing and made far more than I thought possible. All of a sudden I felt the temptations that come with it.
Luke 16:13 No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”
I have been reading the book of Judges. What a heavy, somber read. One thing is super duper clear. Our hearts are deceitful. Living in the flesh will never glorify God or bring Christlike behavior.
Today, I want to challenge you. God loves you, and for this reason I’m sharing this. I pray for the souls and spirits that read this. Be free. Don’t be a slave to sin. Don’t crack open the door. This isn’t to shame you. God doesn’t convict to make you look inward to feel bad. God convicts so we look upward to Him so He can deliver us, heal us, strengthen us, and transform us into the image of Messiah.
We’ve got a job to do, and I don’t mean your title. Lost souls abound. The Church needs a clean up. We need to wake up to what’s going on in this world.
Friend, shut the door and leave it shut. I speak victory over you in Yeshua’s name.
Something I pray: Father, help me be more like You. Reveal to me any areas of my life that grieve You. Give me the strength to do what you ask of me. Thank you Lord for loving me and for the cross. I receive your forgiveness. You forgave me when I didn’t deserve it. You loved me at my worst. Help me show that to others. Your word doesn’t return void, so give me wisdom to speak Your word to bring life, hope, healing, salvation, and love to others. Fill me as I hunger and thirst for righteousness. Amen.