On a scale of 1-10 (1 being ‘not at all’ and 10 being ‘yes and then some please’), I would admittedly be a 2 on an ‘enjoys things that are gross’ scale. Here are a few recent scenarios for you to see where you might fall.
- A few weeks ago, I was talking with my oldest son in the kitchen. He had just gotten up and we were talking plans for the day, projects due, etc. When I happened to notice, just past him, that there was something on the ceiling. As I was outwardly still carrying on the conversation with him, inwardly I was thinking ‘ugh…is that a spider on my ceiling?! Gross!’ I began to walk toward Isaac, and just past him, staring at the ceiling the entire time. As I got just underneath this mystery figure up above – it suddenly came clearly into view. It was in fact not a spider…but a scorpion. (I will repeat that for those in the back…) There was a scorpion…in my house…on. my. ceiling. For the absolute love! I could not scramble fast enough to get something to get rid of this thing. The whole time I was looking around as if an army of them were about to come screaming from the corners of the room, and my son went into action grabbing a shoe and smearing (yes…that was a fun side effect)…smearing it dead across the ceiling. So gross!
- Where we live in South Carolina we experience a lot of humidity throughout the year. It is normally crazy hot…but always always humid. This, coupled with the surrounding wetlands, and the result is good old fashioned mold. If you are diligent about keeping your water lines flushed out well and not letting the humidity become too centralized inside your house you can combat it pretty well. But let’s face it – how often do you get to keep your showers and bathrooms completely dry and beautifully spotless (if your answer is anything other than ‘hardly ever’ – you should probably exit stage left.) In truth, I just forget. I forget that the possibility of mold showing up is there. I forget to take those extra measures to dry things up. I just forget. Until moments like last week, where I was having a good old fashioned – I’m gonna stay in this shower until all of the water runs out – kind of shower and I began to look around. Suddenly in every corner, all along each edge I noticed pink moldy streaks. Within minutes – I was out of the shower, somewhat dried off and sprinting for the bleach (yes…bleach. I’m a tired mom who just needs to knock the stuff out – don’t judge). I went from shower to shower – armed with bleach, an old tooth brush and a mission to clean. An hour or so later – every shower and every bathroom sparkled and seemingly let out a thankful sigh of relief. Once super gross – now beautifully clean!
- My husband and I have been married for just over 24 years. It was around year 8 when we had our first child, around year 18 when we had our last child, and around year 21 before the first (and most likely last) pet entered the doors of our home. We appreciate animals – we are just not what you would call ‘pet people’. (I know I use bleach AND I don’t watch kitten videos – who am I even?) But despite this we found a little dog that seemed to be the right fit for our family of six. She will never be any bigger than about 5 pounds. She doesn’t have fur or pet dander. She doesn’t shed or make us sneeze. She is too little to destroy furniture. And if she barks – though a little annoying – it’s minimal at best. A good deal of our hesitation in getting a pet – beyond our mere disinterest in having to have another mouth to feed and life to maintain – came from a fear that given the extreme passion and gusto for life that my children seem to possess – that any critter we brought into these four walls would likely NOT survive. Amazingly enough though – this little pup has been with us over 3 years now and somehow survived all of the love she has been ‘forced’ to endure. All is not too bad for our little pup as one of the perks of living in a house with active energetic boys is that they are always eating and never careful about where their food lands. Translation – all kinds of yummy things hit the ground often enough that she plants herself firmly under their feet each night at dinner. She’s not a stupid animal. Normally this works out well for her, but on occasion, like a few mornings ago, they will drop things like the crumbs of their chocolate muffin. (Again, I said it was a wonder she was still alive…I wasn’t kidding.) I could tell she was a little off, and sat down on the floor next to her. She cuddled me for a moment and then slowly and methodically puked on the carpet beside me. Oh my glory – it was so completely gross. I scooped her up and got her settled in a more ‘puke friendly’ environment and then cleaned the mess like we were in a hospital, and the next patient was coming. I cannot truly express how gross!
Maybe these scenarios don’t bother you at all. Maybe you could deal with one, but not so much the other. Maybe you would have ignored all of them. Or maybe you would have been like me – grossed out by each in their own unique way. Regardless of how these things fell on your scale of 1-10 – I would wager that you would do the same thing that I did and get rid of the gross. Realistically, it is not wise to have live scorpions roaming around your house. While initially a seemingly mild thing – mold can potentially grow and cause genuine health issues. And dog vomit, when deposited directly in the middle of your living room floor, is just not something you look at and say ‘you know I was thinking this room needed a little something. Perfect.’ No. You get rid of it. When things are disgusting, potentially harmful or problematic like these – we are quick to take care of them and rid our selves of them. Why then, is this not the case when it comes to the enemy and his hold over you and me?
Satan has a knack for sneaking into areas of our heart and mind and setting up camp. It is almost as if he takes a flag and plunges it in declaring that this space, this experience, this insecurity, this past choice, this past event that now causes you grief or shame, belongs to him. He holds it over you anytime you strive to better yourself. He sends reminders ever so often of the claim he has laid to your heart and life – and time after time – we look on at the grossness of the area he has laid claim to – and we throw our hands up. We step back and say, “oh well, that’s his – I can’t do anything about that” and we allow him to stay there.
If someone broke into your home, plopped down on your couch, and announced to you that this was now their home – you’d high-tail their tush out as quickly as you could. It’s not their house. They have no right to be there, much less live there. Satan, our enemy, dear friend is no different. He has no right, no authority to come into your heart or mind, and he absolutely has no authority to take up residency there. So why don’t we kick him out? Why don’t we get rid of the filth he tries to heap on us every day? When I wanted to get rid of the scorpion I ran for a shoe and it was no more. When I wanted to get rid of the mold I ran for the bleach and it was gone. When I wanted to get rid of the vomit it was as simple as a paper towel and some rug cleaner. In the same way, we have the ability to get rid of the nastiness that the enemy wants to keep heaped inside of us. We just need to grab up God’s Word – and it will eliminate this trash.
If you believe God’s Word is true – if you believe in the promise and hope of Jesus, then you have to believe that every word of it must be true. Every promise, every challenge, every word…true…even for one like you. The enemy wants so very much for you to just ignore the mess he’s made in you. He would like nothing more than for you to throw your hands up and say ‘there’s nothing I can really do there anyway’ so that he can slowly take claim over more and more. If you are going to uproot this nastiness – you are going to need to grab up your Bible and run hard after every lie the enemy throws at you. Now chances are there are areas he’s been hanging out in a long time – so uprooting may take some doing. May I suggest that more than just reading through some verses that might apply to the situation that you turn God’s Word into prayers. Pray this grossness out with the most powerful tool available. Here are a few examples of what I mean…
- When the enemy tries to convince you that there is no one who understands you, no one who cares and that you are all alone. Counter that lie with this prayer out of Deuteronomy 31:6 – “Lord, help me to be strong and courageous. Help me not to fear or dread them. Help me to remember that you, oh God, always go with me. You promised that you would never leave or forsake me. Help me to cling to that truth.’
- When the enemy tries to remind you of every mistake you have made, of your weaknesses, of areas where you have struggled – seemingly shouting that you are nothing but a failure. Take a breath and pray John 3:16-17 – “Lord, You assure me that You SO loved the world…so loved me…that You sent your Son Jesus – not to condemn me…but to save me; not to cast me aside but to take me in. You said that those sins…those failures…were something Your Son chose to take on and take away. Help me continue to believe that – even when it is difficult. Thank you for the opportunity to get to know you, believe in you and by doing so spend eternity with you. What a beautiful victory that will be!”
- When the enemy tries to distort the way you see yourself – be that in physical appearance or skills and abilities – causing you to see yourself as ugly, unlovely and inadequate, lay down the fun house mirror he is holding and pick up God’s Word. Allow the reflection of the One in Whose image you were created to be the One you fix your eyes on. Then holding to His truth – counter the lies of the enemy with this prayer based out of Psalm 139:14 – “Lord, it is so easy to get caught up in man’s idea of beauty and talent. God may I instead get caught up in Your idea of it. Help me Lord to praise you for who I am right now. Help me to remember that I was fearfully and wonderfully made by You! You did it – and I want so greatly to claim that truth today because Lord – Your works…ARE wonderful, I know that very well. So help me to stop forgetting that I am one of Your works.”
You are a precious creation of God, and as such, you are His. The enemy has no place to stake any claim over you – he cannot stake claim on what does not belong to him. Don’t you think it’s time to evict him? See God meant it when He said, “…that the enemies who rise up against you will be defeated before you.” (Deuteronomy 28:7). It’s time to clean house – ‘Submit yourself to God. Resist the devil…” and friend he will have no choice but to ‘flee from you.’ It’s cleaning day! Praying for you!