1 Thessalonians 5:16-24 – Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil. Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it. (ESV)
Anakin Nibbles is rather a spoilt old gentleman guinea pig that enjoys being out in the run in the garden sunshine, as the weather allows, and grazing the grass. In winter, when it is cold enough, he comes into the conservatory, and in the evenings, he runs about in the living room.
We love our garden, full of nature, which includes the fox that thinks that he owns it. He pinches food off the bird table, and he gives me disdainful looks as he jumps right over the six-foot fence.
The fox and I have fallen out recently after he would not take no for an answer. Despite my shouts and gesticulations, I caught him licking his lips, mesmerized by the guinea pig in the run. Having shooed him away six times, he came back right up to the wire. Anakin had the sense to hide in his little shelter out of sight. Eventually, after having frightened him with a stone that banged off the wooden fence next to where he was loitering, he decided to give up and run off.
So, I was rather surprised when I caught him again trying his luck digging under the run to get at the guinea pig. However, this time, it was enough for me to growl at him with intent from the door, for him to get the message, and he was off.
My neighbours are much older than I am and consequently not as agile. The fox's presumption was that I was the same and that he could come into the garden with impunity. Now that he knows the score, he is more circumspect.
It is my experience that evil and temptation can be like that. If we are not wholehearted in our dismissal of it in the name of Jesus, why be surprised when it loiters and tests our determination to resist?
So, let us live in this truth:
James 4:7 – Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (ESV)
One verse from God in our heart can see off evil. Hallelujah!
When you are struggling and feeling vulnerable, remember:
Proverbs 18:10 – The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe. (ESV)
Let us dare to put our lives in the hands of Jesus when nothing in the world says we should, or it seems impossible. Remember that it is not a fair fight: God is far greater than evil. Nothing can separate us from the love of God, and He is willing to keep us safe. I have known it and seen it first-hand.
Prayer: Lord, we rejoice that You are our fortress and our refuge in times of trouble. On You we can rely and trust. Thank You that in Your tender care we are never alone, for You are always watching over Your children. Even in the small hours of the night, You will deliver us from temptation, fear, and evil. Praise You! Amen.
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Listen while you read: "Hiding In Thee" (Lyrics)