A dear friend had quite a surprise this weekend. She rose early to let the dog out only to find a stranger in her house. He had broken in, removed his shoes and shirt and was standing in her dining room when she walked in. She screamed at him “What are you doing in my house??” His response? “I don’t know.” She asked him his name and he told her, then she demanded he leave. He ran out, leaving his boots just as he had placed them, neatly by the front door. She called the police immediately and the man was caught, identified, and jailed. Though shaken by the experience, her understanding of the protection of God over her life has prompted her grateful praise. She remains stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty!! (Psalm 91)
Beyond her sharing the above with me, we haven’t talked. But I strongly suspect that she and her two grown sons are examining and reevaluating the security of her home. I’m sure they are looking at every possible way someone could enter uninvited, and working to resolve any weaknesses uncovered. She has many friends that love her and would run to her aid at the drop of a hat. I expect she will be receiving more frequent phone calls as she is surrounded with support and the desire to protect. While she may inhabit her home with no one else, rest assured she is not alone. And while I personally have never seen my friend angry, I am quite sure she is a force to be reckoned with!
We may never know the story of this man. Upon entering the house he left his boots neatly by the door?? I find that so interesting! It’s as if he planned to make himself at home. He obviously was not planning for a quick get-away. He had entered a home where he had no rights or privileges but acted as if he did…. Can you imagine my friend entering the room, noticing a stranger who did not belong, but continuing about her routine as if he weren’t there? Or taking notice of him, asking him why he was there and what his name was, yet not demanding that he leave? What if she had decided to let him stay and actually began to cook his breakfast and have a little conversation, get to know him better? No way!! She took the authority she had as homeowner and commanded him to leave. She called on a greater authority that would back up her demand and take this criminal to jail.
While we would find it ridiculous for my friend to have decided to entertain the intruder, being honest with ourselves we must admit it is exactly what we do spiritually sometimes. We notice the resentment that has crept in, but go about our routines pretending we didn’t see. The anger shows up and we let it have a seat as if it belonged. The discouragement stands right before us and we decide to feed it and get to know it a little better. We didn’t send jealousy an invitation, but when it came through the door we didn’t demand that it leave either. Sometimes we know there are strangers in our house, but we never ask them their names; we just live with the discomfort of a life among inhabitants that don’t belong. Before we know it, theirs are the voices our loved ones hear when we speak. We know they shouldn’t be there but it’s so hard to get them to leave…we hope they will just go away on their own…
We want God to do something. He did.
Behold! I have given you authority and power to trample upon serpents and scorpions, and physical and mental strength and ability over all the power that the enemy possesses; and nothing shall in any way harm you. Luke 10:19
Greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world! (1 John 4:4)
Oh, I wish it was just as easy as saying “Begone!” and that was it. Not so. Walking in authority is a life of discipline. We must take a stand and say “No!” to the intruders. We must demand that they leave. But that’s not enough. We must check the weak areas where they continue to find access. We must tighten the security in order to protect ourselves – our enemy is a repeat offender!
..when the unclean spirit has gone out of a man, it roams through dry places in search of rest, but it does not find any. Then it says, I will go back to my house from which I came out. And when it arrives, it finds it unoccupied, swept, put in order, and decorated. Then it goes and brings with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and make their home there. And the last condition of that man becomes worse than the first… Matthew 12:43-45
It’s easy to breathe a sigh of relief once the anger is spent, glad that it’s over but not dealing with its roots. We relax once jealousy has passed, without finding where it came in. We talk ourselves into believing that the fear won’t be so intense next time when we’ve never uncovered why we are really afraid…. It’s clear that the enemy is searching for a place to inhabit. We must guard that we give him no opportunity because he’s planning on returning. With his friends. We cannot leave our “homes” unoccupied. We must fill them with Him.
God has provided a safe place, a secret place of protection and security for us. It is in living with Him. Becoming so full of Him that He inhabits every room of our lives and intruders will scatter before they even get near. We have the Greater Authority backing us up. Let’s be like my friend – forces to be reckoned with!!