Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "The Lord's My Shepherd"1 (Lyrics)
Isaiah 26:3 – Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. (KJV)
I have locks on the doors in my house, both on interior doors that lead to bathrooms and bedrooms and exterior doors that lead to the outside. The only reasons that interior doors are locked are to ensure privacy or to hide a messy room. The exterior doors are locked when we are sleeping or not home.
My mind is also a dwelling place. I sometimes think of it as a series of doors. I want to keep all those doors open to Jesus, even the really messy ones. He's very respectful and doesn't barge in. I already invited Him in to my "home", so it's just the interior doors that I need to let Him open. Sometimes, I'm embarrassed by the mess: hidden sin, shame, approval addiction, fear. Some rooms are overwhelming, and I don't even want to walk past them. But my Saviour is able and willing, and actually wants to clean them out, fill them with freshness and light, and even love, so that those rooms are welcoming to Him and to me. He gets rid of all filth and rottenness.
Meanwhile, my mind has exterior doors. Sometimes, the enemy knocks. He is very persistent. As he knocks, he calls out over and over, "I hate you! I hate you! I hate you!" Sometimes, I've opened the door when he comes knocking. He is so mean! He even tries to get me to believe that he is God calling out, "I hate you!" I'm learning to ignore him when he knocks. I don't answer; I don't argue. I don't defend myself when he shouts out all the mistakes and sins and stupid things that I've said. I just ask Jesus to send him away. I remind myself of God's love letters to me that are collected in the Bible.
Sometimes the enemy is disguised, like the evil person who comes to the door in fairy tales. He will come in the form of gossip, edgy entertainment, envy, pride. What's so tricky is that these things are comfortable and seem like old friends. They can look like delicious, but poisoned, apples.
After we have opened our heart's door to Jesus, let's remember to keep our exterior doors locked and dead-bolted when the enemy comes calling. Eventually, he will ease up and go away for a while, and we can invite in real-life friends, even hurting friends, and show them some beautiful, fresh, inviting rooms that Jesus has cleaned out.
Prayer: Thank You Jesus! Thank You! Amen.