Matthew 12:43-45 – When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, but finds none. Then it says, "I will return to my house from which I came." And when it comes, it finds the house empty, swept, and put in order. Then it goes and brings with it seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and dwell there, and the last state of that person is worse than the first. So also will it be with this evil generation. (ESV)
Today as I walked back from town, I noticed some wire netting that covered a large circular window. The netting is put there to stop the pigeons from being able to perch on the ledges. Many businesses spend thousands of pounds installing such preventative measures, to cut down the nuisance that these pigeons cause. However, in the centre of this particular piece of wire netting was a hole about as big as a man's outstretched hand.
Perched on the wire in the middle of this space was a pigeon looking out! My eyes focused on the window ledge behind the netting and I noticed that there was another pigeon roosting. I admired the opportunism of these birds that had exploited a secure resting place protected by wire and in the shelter of a window ledge.
As I continued my journey, I contemplated how hard it would be for someone to remove these birds now so well installed into their roost. From the recesses of my mind, I remembered today's verses.
Regardless of how hard I try, eventually I manage to let something in past my guard because I am not made perfect. Like whoever left a hole in the wire for the pigeons to get in, I allow things that should not be entertained past the doors of my heart. Sometimes it is through fear, sometimes through lust, sometimes through weakness and laziness, sometimes because of curiosity. No matter how it gets there, God is willing to uninstall it. All I need to do is to come into His presence in humility and ask forgiveness. Yes, I feel embarrassed and ashamed at how easily I have been caught out again, but I would rather trust in God's mercy than end up in a worse state, because Jesus has shown Himself to be worthy of all our trust.
Prayer: Lord, here we are again, red-faced and sheepish, like the children that we are in Your eyes. Have mercy upon us, pardon and deliver us from our sin and evil. Grant that we might serve You once more in the newness of life that comes only from Your grace. Amen.