Five o’ clock seemed to come really early this morning, so I promptly told it to go away and rolled back over and closed my eyes. Then a whisper caught my attention …
Do you know why the devil, when he leaves a man, goes through dry, arid places looking for a place to rest?
“No, Lord, I don’t, but it’s five in the morning and I still have an hour before I absolutely have to get up so if you would kindly –“
Because he’s most comfortable in places where there’s been no water.
My feet immediately hit the floor, but sadly, only because my bladder was now awake. Upon crawling back into bed, I noticed the Lord staring at me and I turned toward the wall, content to take full advantage of the final hour of sleep.
With desperation in His voice He said to me, “You have to make time for me! Especially in this final hour. Otherwise, you become a dry, arid place.”
“But don’t you remember the rest of that verse, Lord? He doesn’t find a place so he goes back to where he came from, taking a bunch of wandering demons with him.”
You are where he came from.
I went to my mom’s after work yesterday and spent time exposing my inner man. We talked about how hard it is to be like Jesus in a work place, and I lamented that His personality had not quite become mine yet. In other words, I have not fully taken on His nature, just making good habits that at any moment can show me to be a fraud when I lose my grip. My dad said, “That’s why we have to read our Bible and pray everyday. Because we need Jesus daily.” Obviously, there’s no arguing that, but it’s become kind of cliché and easy to disregard … until God puts the smackdown on your musings and you realize just how serious not spending time with Him is.
Truth: The Holy Spirit makes Satan uncomfortable. He can’t abide in the Spirit.
Truth: When we are full of the Holy Spirit, we are safe.
Truth: When we neglect our relationship with the Lord, we slowly become drained until finally, we are no longer an oasis, but a desert.
Truth: The devil likes a party, so he brings friends.
Truth: They wreck a place.
Suddenly, I don’t care if something’s been said a million times, ad nausea. Let me add another: It’s the final hour. I know you’re tired and weary and right now, probably all you want is rest. I get it. I’m right there with you. I’m tired of fighting and the battle seems to be just at the point of really heating up. I’d rather turn my back on all the stupidity parading around as intelligence, write humanity off as lost and just hold my arms up waiting for my Daddy to whisk me up into His loving embrace. But there was such a sense of urgency in His voice this morning and here’s why, I think: we can’t be stagnant in the battle. To not fight is to choose to lose. You know who’s losing this one, right? We’ll be on his side if we’re not careful.
There is so much of our natural man that must die in order for us to live effectively for the Lord. We have to surrender all that is not of God to the death of the cross. We have to allow parts of ourselves to die. So many of us just want to bury those parts of us that displease God because they amuse us or secretly, we revel in the flesh’s cleverness. These things must die, though, in order for us to truly be made new. Because these are the things in our life that lie awake when we sleep, calling out for rescue from our enemy and betraying us. They betray us in conversation when we aren’t watching our tongue. Or even in the way our facial expressions react to humanity. They reveal thoughts that have not been fully surrendered to Christ and a heart that is a shade blacker than one might expect.
Jesus said we become a spring of living water welling up to eternal life, but how can we continue to gush if we are not continuously connected to Our Source? We cannot. We become a dry, arid place. A place that is familiar to the enemy and he knows how to make full use of that place because he’s been there before. He’s worked the land over. He’s got a strategy and is commanding a platoon that will carry it out. The only way to ensure we don’t become the enemy’s headquarters is to press in to Jesus’ side and remain full of the Holy Spirit.