We had a great time in Wisconsin last month with our son, daughter-in-law, and granddaughter. It had been almost nine months since we had seen them, so of course the time went by much too quickly. We seem to miss them even more after seeing them again.
The countryside in Wisconsin is beautiful, and thankfully my health endured (mostly), so I could enjoy my time there.
Along with cherishing time with our family, I also got to enjoy an added blessing. I had the opportunity to meet face to face with a Facebook and blog friend, Josie Siler! We were able to chat over coffee for an hour that also went by far to quickly! She is the third online friend I’ve had the opportunity to meet face to face. With all the “crazies” out there, I love how God can draw people together and knit their hearts together in His love!
However…to the point of this post…the TICKS! I have never…ever experienced ticks like that in my life! Those nasty little critters were relentless! The kids have recently moved into a newly built house, and their yard is not yet completed. There is also a large farm across the road. So I guess all that contributes to the ticks. Even with the small fortune we spend on flea and tick treatment for our miniature schnauzer Riley, he turned out to be a tick magnet! I was honestly freaking out a bit over it, because they were relentless! So I thought that there has to be a lesson here somewhere. I found it in God’s Word. SIN.
I could give you a gazillion scriptures about sin, salvation, and eternal security, but that’s not for this post. I want to speak to those of us who know Jesus Christ. Are we…are you living each day in the true joy of the Lord? If not, we need to ask ourselves the question: “Why not?” What is hindering us, or standing in the way of that joy of delighting in Him?
I firmly believe that too many Christians today are missing out on that joy, and are not making a difference for Jesus in our world because we are tolerating far too many little “ticks”. Those things in our lives that are sin and are grieving the Holy Spirit. They are what’s hindering us from truly enjoying our relationships with Jesus.
Think about Matthew 5:29a, 30a:
“If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out….”
“And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you;…”
Okay, so that’s extreme!
Jesus was simply using hyperbole to make a strong point. Jesus was advising removing every temptation to sin…no matter the cost ( similar verses are in Mark 9:43 and Proverbs 23:2). He wants us to be His first love. He delights in us and wants that wonderful relationship with us, fellowship with us, and He wants to use us to make a difference in this world for Him! But that won’t happen when those nasty little “ticks” are not removed.
If a tick is not removed promptly, it will burrow into its victim and go unnoticed. That is when it causes the most harm. They carry many diseases. Diseases that some people will live the rest of their lives with. Diseases that cause great harm and cannot always be reversed. The damage is done. That is not unlike sin in our lives that is unconfessed, tolerated, and/or kept hidden…or so we think. It causes damage to our relationship with Jesus. We miss out on His joy and fellowship. It can also cause irreparable damage to other relationships, our integrity, and mostly our testimony for Christ, and our own spirit.
So we must ask ourselves; “Is my relationship with Jesus what it could be…what I’d like it to be?” If not, you may need to do a thorough “sin check”. Are there things that you are struggling to let go of? Things that you know are not pleasing to God? Is there something you are tolerating in your life that you really know needs to be done away with? What is it, that deep down you know is keeping you from a full on, sold out relationship with Jesus? Only you know that answer.
Just like we tried to be diligent with looking for and removing those nasty ticks, they were sneaky…not unlike sin my friend. Thinking we had removed them all before we left for home, three days later as Riley was having his dental surgery, the technician found three……YES! THREE more ticks that had made their way to his face. They were hiding in his beard! (And yes, I was freaking out…inspecting, cleaning, vacuuming, washing everything and spraying!)
But friends, please don’t forget, that is how satan likes to operate. He is a liar, deceitful, and attacks when and where we least expect him to.
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” 1 Peter 5:8
Please don’t allow any “ticks”, any sin to burrow its way into your life, preventing you from fully knowing and living out the true joy of the Lord.
- Could it be something as simple as those sister sins of grumbling and complaining? ( Phil. 2:14-15).
- Maybe it’s an anger problem that causes words that shouldn’t be said to spew out of your mouth. (See James 1:26, Eph. 4:26-31, Ps. 4:4).
- Have you been dishonest or untruthful? ( Proverbs 12:22, Proverbs 20:17, Colossians 3:9-10).
- Is it the sin of prayerlessness? ( See 1 Samuel 12:23).
- Are you viewing things that you know are not pleasing to the Lord? But hey, it’s only entertainment, right? Not necessarily. (Consider Psalm 101:3).
Whatever your “tick” may be, pluck it out before it causes more damage. Damage you do not want to cause.
1 John 1:9 reminds us that when we confess our sin to God, He is faithful, just, and will forgive us. Then in His grace and strength, we repent, or turn away from it and sin no more.
We can look to His Word for our prescription for tick (sin) repellent. We find it in James 4:7-8, where we are told to submit to God…abandoning our selfish pride. This has to be first, humility before God. Then we can resist the devil and he will flee.
Friends, when we resist the devil using the name of Jesus, with the Word of God, we are firmly standing our ground. He is not going to stick around trying to defend himself against Jesus and His Word, so he’ll tuck tail and flee. There is power in the Living Word of God. When we speak the Word aloud, when we pray aloud, the devil is not going to stick around.
We also need to put on our spiritual armor (see Ephesians 6:10-18), immersing ourselves in His Word. Then we are able resist any temptations the evil one throws in our path.
When we have that spiritual suit of armor on, those “ticks” stand no chance of attaching themselves and burrowing in to cause harm and damage.
Riley has recovered from surgery, and is happily tick free. You may need to perform a little surgery of your own…if you know the joy and closeness has been missing in your relationship with the Lord. He is waiting for you. Take your prescription as listed above…and soon you too will be happily “tick free”!
Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to read. I pray it has spoken to your heart. If so, please share so that others may be encouraged as well.