The sound of the rain began as a welcome, gentle trickle, bouncing off the maroon-coloured leaves of the bushes just outside of our porch. I sat protected from the rain, and watched as the rain rapidly grew into a ferocious downpour, drowning out the songs of the birds, which had likely headed for cover. Within minutes, there was a steady stream of water rushing down the street in front our home, filling the ample ditches and seeking to fill any empty spaces.
The rapid, unpredictable development of the storm reminded me of Jesus' parable of the unclean spirit, because, as a child, I never really knew, when I walked in the door of our home, whether I would find the house clean and orderly, with a warm welcome, or filled with evil spirits and a ferocious storm. Like the rain storm, things could change quickly.
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)
Prior to becoming a Christian and coming to know the mercy and grace of Christ, I had lived a life of my own accord, reaping the harvest of ungodly seeds sown in ignorance and selfishness. Growing up with wounded, alcoholic parents, I was frequently left to my own devices and lived in a state of perpetual fear. I experimented with drugs and alcohol at a very early age, and when I did not know where to turn for answers, I sought the advice of fortune tellers. I lied, stole, behaved badly, and operated under a near-total veil of deception.
The results were disastrous, and after I became a Christian, the thought of returning to that state was frightening and unsettling, to say the least. The devil can be relentless, invading our thoughts, pointing out our past failures and shortcomings, and distracting us from the mercy and grace of God.
Thankfully, God took the time to point out how the evil spirits would attempt a return. He also provided us with the tools needed for effective combat.
Ephesians 6:13-18 – Therefore take up the whole armour of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints. (ESV)
Still resting protected under the porch roof, I took solace in the provisions of our Father.
Psalm 91:1-2 – He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, "My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust." (ESV)
As quickly as the rains had started, they subsided, and the birds once again began to chirp and sing, jumping and dancing among the moist blades of grass, plucking out juicy worms for sustenance. It was a joyful sight.
With my new life in Christ fresh in my mind, I gave thanks for His teaching and my armour. My sustenance comes from the Lord!
Do you remember your past, or the glorious hope of your future?
Prayer: Dear heavenly Father, we thank You for Your mercy and grace that is new each day. We pray that You will keep us strong and focused on our new, glorious life in Christ. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.
Listen to this devotional
Listen while you read: "Tell Me The Story Of Jesus" (Lyrics)