Housework! I intensely dislike it more than almost anything else in life! Housework is so endless! I vacuum and mop, and five minutes later, there is dog hair all over the floor. I wash, dry and fold clothes and the laundry basket miraculously fills up again. Dishes can all be organized in their proper cupboards and suddenly, there is another sink full. While I’m on my way to dress for company, I discover dust an inch thick in a place I hadn’t even noticed before. My “to do” pile grows exponentially while my “nice and pretty” house continues its march into oblivion.
My sins are like this too. Just when I think I have a handle on gossip, something unplanned slips out of my mouth. I think I have my use of four-letter words under control when a driver cuts me off and I blurt out an expletive. My sunny attitude guides me into a leadership role, but then I suffer from a serious attack of self-doubt, which makes me think I should be flogging myself in a dungeon instead of modeling for others how to live a Christian life.
In Frank Peretti’s 2003 novel This Present Darkness, angels and demons engage in lively spiritual warfare, affecting the lives of the book’s characters. This book has been criticized because there is no mention of the Holy Spirit’s empowering of believers to stand firm in spiritual battles. But this novel was a major player in my early understanding of “the powers of this dark world and…the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:12). Peter tells us, Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8). This same passage tells us about the “armor” God provides us to fight off Satan, enabling us to walk in God’s light. And when we do mess up, God promises to “wash, rinse and repeat” every time until our sins are “white as snow.”
Healing Father, help us to be ready for Satan’s attacks and to use all the tools You have given us to thwart his influence on our lives. Amen