I had an interesting dream the other day.
My family and I were asleep in our beds. I felt something drift across my shoulder but I thought nothing of it for surely I was safe in my own bed.
When I awoke, my family was standing around in shock as my dad proclaimed "We've been robbed!" We looked around and sure enough, they had stripped our house clean. They raided our junk as well as my old art projects and materials (I was especially mad about the art materials.).
They took everything.
We looked outside and there was a giant trash bin filled with all of our things, especially my unused canvases. "The thief is coming back to finish the job!"
We all agreed that instead of going to sleep, we would pretend to go to bed and stay vigilant to catch the thief in the act.
Sure enough, the brazen thief drove up to our house in a rinky dinky little car intending to finish the job. When they saw us running outside to stop them, they tried to drive their car away. My sister ran fast after them and the car swerved into a neighbor's yard. Then the thief stepped out.
We came face to face with a nondescript woman with plain clothes and plain hair. She stood and stared smugly at us.
I remember my heart was pounding during this dream. As I was still dreaming, I then interpreted the dream.
The enemy comes to kill, steal, and destroy. If we allow sin to enter our house, it will steal our creativity and our ability to be used by God. The enemy is the true thief and we must be vigilant at all times, never letting our guard down or being caught asleep.
After waking up, I began to chew on this dream a bit more.
What are we allowing into our households to slip by unnoticed.
As we let these things past our doorsteps, we become numb to them as they take residence within our hearts.
In my dream, I felt something drift across my shoulders but I didn't think twice about it.
Day by day, we begin to allow things entrance into our hearts that don't belong there. Satan plants flags of ownership over pieces of our hearts through "little" nothings.
Over time, we don't even realize the piles of junk taking space, stacked floor to ceiling.
“Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Matthew 26:41
In my dream, the thief stole my art.
When we allow the thief into our homes, we are robbed of our creativity. Our ability to serve God with our talents and gifts.
Satan's plan of attack is to kill, steal, and destroy.
That takes planning. That takes crafty methods.
That takes time.
Sin doesn't always look the same. It can be unassuming. On the outside it can look innocent enough but once it plants its seed, it grows to immeasurable heights.
In my dream, instead of falling back asleep, we agreed to stay vigilant and watchful.
“Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8
“Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.” Colossians 4:2
“Be watchful, stand firm in the faith.” 1 Corinthians 16:13
We need to be watchful of what we allow in, understanding that our bodies are temples intended to be filled with the Spirit and not useless sins.
There's this beautiful book called "My Heart Christ's Home" by Robert Boyd Munger. It's about a man who invites Jesus into his home and Jesus walks through the house transforming each room. It's a beautiful visual of accepting Jesus into our hearts and Him changing our lives for the better.
Excerpt from "My Heart Christ's Home" by Robert Boyd Munger
"After Jesus had gone through most of the house, and every room had been transformed and restored, Jesus still was not satisfied.
"There is just one more matter that I might share with you. One day I found [Jesus] waiting for me at the door. An arresting look was in His eye.
As I entered, He said to me, "There is a peculiar odor in the house. There is something dead around here. It's upstairs. I think it is in the hall closet."
As soon as He said this, I knew what He was talking about.
Yes, there was a small closet up there on the landing, just a few feet square, and in that closet, behind lock and key, I had one or two little personal things that I did not want anyone to know about and certainly I did not want Christ to see them.
I knew they were dead and rotting things left over from the old life. And yet I loved them, and I wanted them so for myself that I was afraid to admit they were there.
Reluctantly, I went up with Him, and as we mounted the stairs the odor became stronger and stronger. He pointed at the door. "It's in there! Some dead thing!"
I was angry. That's the only way I can put it.
I had given Him access to the library, the dining room, the living room, the workroom, the playroom, and now He was asking me about a little two-by-four closet.
I said to myself, "This is too much. I am not going to give Him the key."
"Well," He said, reading my thoughts, "if you think I'm going to stay up here on the second floor with this odor, you are mistaken. I will take my bed out on the back porch. I'm certainly not going to put up with that."
Then I saw Him start down the stairs.
When you have come to know and love Christ, the worst thing that can happen is to sense His fellowship retreating from you. I had to surrender.
"I'll give You the key," I said sadly, "but You'll have to open the closet and clean it out. I haven't the strength to do it."
"I know," He said. "I know you haven't. Just give me the key. Just authorize me to take care of that closet and I will."
So with trembling fingers I passed the key to Him.
He took it from my hand, walked over to the door, opened it, entered it, took out all the putrefying stuff that was rotting there, and threw it away.
The He cleaned the closet and painted it, fixed it up, doing it all in a moment's time.
Oh, what victory and release to have that dead thing out of my life!"
I love how, in this depiction, Jesus doesn't leave the man to do the work himself. Jesus asks to authorize Him to take care of it.
In my dream, the thief had stormed in stealing what was beautiful. This was caused by little sins allowed in over time that turn into big problems.
In the story, the man hid his sin, thinking Jesus could live with it in the home.
Friend, if you find your house filled to the brim with "little" things that have taken residence within your heart, don't lose hope.
GIVE IT OVER TO THE LORD.
Surrender it to Him and He will do a spring cleaning through every area of your heart.
“But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one.” 1 Thessalonians 3:3
Put on the full armor as it says in Ephesians:
"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. FOR OUR STRUGGLE IS NOT AGAINST FLESH AND BLOOD, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places." Ephesians 6:10-13
Satan doesn't take breaks.
Ask the Lord to give you eyes to see that you not get caught the devil's snares.
Allow the fresh fragrance of Christ's purification to cleanse your hearts and fill you with peace.
~ Kissy Black