Proverbs 19:27 – If you quit listening, dear child, and strike off on your own, you'll soon be out of your depth. (MSG)
Psalm 1:2 – They love the Lord's teachings, and they think about those teachings day and night. (NCV)
I had put off cleaning out the shed behind the house for the whole summer. Recently, my son and I remedied the situation. In so doing, we found no less than four mouse nests. One mousy, brown rodent, with a clutch of babies hiding beneath her, gazed up at us with wide black eyes seemingly pleading for the lives of her offspring. Heartless when it comes to rodents living in my shed or my house, I evicted them into the high weeds where they can flourish. I pray that they will not move back.
This event reminded me of our tendency to let things go until we are faced with a serious situation. We tend to procrastinate when it comes to matters of faith. We neglect our Bible reading, or read a shorter section. We throw up a quick prayer, or none at all, risking weakness in our spiritual defences. The trash of bad attitudes, habits, and behaviours builds up, pulling us away from God and making it easier to sin. Then when troubles come our way, we are less than prepared to deal with them. Worse still, with weakened faith, sin more easily creeps into our lives, like the mice creeping into my shed and then multiplying.
What ought to be done? The best remedy is to do a deep cleanse of our souls. First and foremost, we need Jesus to be the Lord of our lives, not simply our Saviour. Then He grants the Holy Spirit to enable us to do a thorough and fearless moral inventory. He shines the light of God's love into our souls, enabling us to locate and toss out the spiritual trash to keep it from becoming a breeding ground for more sin. Through our reliance on the Holy Spirit and the power of prayer, Jesus can enable us to put off our old deceitful desires and toss out the trash of sin in our souls.
In the case of my shed, consistent cleaning would have eliminated an environment that mice found favourable for nest-building. Likewise, routine diligence in prayer and reading of Scripture can keep sin from overrunning our souls like the mice overran my shed.
Prayer: Father God, we pray that the light of Your love would shine into our souls, enabling us to locate and toss out the spiritual trash in our lives. Enable us to make Your Word foremost in our hearts and minds so that sin will not multiply like rodents and overrun our days. We ask this in Jesus' name. Amen.