Some of us need to reclaim our thoughts for God. There are minor infractions that we have permitted. These are the seeds of the enemy in the fertile soil of our mind that have sprouted, and those sprouts, even when small, pollute our faith. When allowed to take root, they remove our ability to stand against the enemy.
I want no mindset to limit God’s work through me and no mindset make way for the enemy. I prayed, “Show me where my faith is polluted!” I realized I had missed something he had been regularly showing me, answering before I had asked. This came to my rememberance. When praying for people, I would ask the Lord what he wanted me to know as I started. A picture of a beach ball would flash through my mind on a regular basis. It drove me nuts! It didn’t seem to apply to most of the people I was praying with them but came before all other words. I would push it aside most of the time and ask for another picture.
One day in my quiet time, I made a point of getting the beach ball out and said, “OK, just let me know what’s going on with this beach ball.” This is the story that played in my mind. I was sitting on the beach. It was a lovely, sunny day and two little boys were playing in the sand with a beach ball, tossing it back and forth. There was a seagull flying low and overhead and swooping over the boys. I was comfortable on the warm sand and observing this pesty seagull, but didn’t feel like getting up to shoo it away. After that thought, from the right side, a huge nasty monster appeared and was walking toward the kids. I stood up and looked at it. “What do you think you’re doing?” I asked.
“Let me me by!” It exclaimed.
“No,” I said calmly. “You have no authority here. Do you want to test me?” It backed down and left. I sat down on the beach again.
Here’s what the Lord showed me. “Don’t tolerate even the smallest work of the enemy.” There are things that the enemy is doing in our midst that seem small and pesty and we tolerate them. We put them in the little nuisance box that we can conquer ourselves if we need to, but they are still the work of the enemy. We have excuses for not standing up against them, but that gives the enemy an “in”, power to destroy and the great enemy, dullness, can creep in. When we get dull, we fail to cut as quickly between truth and lies and the enemy gets a foothold in our life. There are things we tolerate because they don’t seem like a big enough threat, like the seagull over the children. I knew the seagull could pop that ball, but instead of acting on the children’s behalf to prevent disaster. I resorted to thoughts of how likely it was that that would happen. Was it a big enough threat? Was it worthy of me getting up and standing against it?
The question I believe the Lord was asking me was, how much of the enemy’s activity will I tolerate, because “a little yeast works through the whole batch of dough.” (Galatians 5:9)
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery….7 You were running a good race. Who cut in on you to keep you from obeying the truth? 8 That kind of persuasion does not come from the one who calls you. 9 “A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough.” 10 I am confident in the Lord that you will take no other view. The one who is throwing you into confusion, whoever that may be, will have to pay the penalty. 11 Brothers and sisters, if I am still preaching circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been abolished. 12 As for those agitators, I wish they would go the whole way and emasculate themselves!
This brought me to thoughts of the Good Shepherd. How does the Shepherd, Jesus, take care of the sheep?
- He keeps watch over them so they don’t fear.
- He anoints their head with oil so no thin is allowed to enter any cavity and distract or burrow in. Anointing oil repulses the enemies of sheep (nits).
- He puts protection around the perimeter so they sleep with no fear.
- The sheep are at rest when they are with Him and He never leaves them, so they live in constant oversight.
- His body is the gate. He senses danger and fights it off for us, the sheep who dwell inside. We remain at rest while He does this.
Lord, I thank you for the peace of God, because it passes all understanding. It keeps my heart and my mind at rest so I can hear your voice and recognize your authority over my enemies. There is no predator you would allow to enter the sheep pen you are guarding. While I sleep, you guard my life. While I’m awake, you keep watch. Thank you for that peace and understanding now. Come and refresh me in this truth. I receive your help and love your protection. In all things, you are working for my good, even when I don’t know it, even while I sleep. I can trust you with my life. Amen.