(This is Part 5 in our “Fighting Dirty” devotional series.)
Good morning, peeps!
“I am not the least bit moved by you saying that you’re getting ticked off. I’ve been ticked off for a minute.”
Have you ever had that conversation with someone? This would be a GREAT verbal exchange to have with the enemy of your soul. He would probably be saying that to us because here’s the really-real: he’s been ticked off a lot longer than you or I have. I wasn’t there when the Fall of Man went down in the Garden of Eden – I wasn’t even a twinkle in my earthly daddy’s eyes. The enemy has been fighting this war for a long ol’ time and he feels like he has every right to be ticked off. You and I just walked into this fight like yesterday. We have the right to be ticked off, too.
My kiddos can tell when their mama is not being her usual perky and sunshine-y self. As of late, this has become a frequent occurrence. (Y’all don’t get to see it. I still smile sweetly for you.) My trio have studied me for at least 15 years so they know me like the back of their hand and can tell every time I’m a little off. I, on the other hand, cannot. Well, not immediately. It may take days or even weeks before I notice anything and it’s usually after I do something on the high end of brain-numbity. It is only then through prayer that I discover something ain’t right in Deoneville.
I have a squatter.
“I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?” – Romans 7:21-24
Do you know what a squatter is? Owners of property do. A squatter is someone who just plants their butt in/on your stuff without your permission and sets up residence. They are hard to get rid of and they know this. So when you find them, they are not worried. Most property owners don’t have the time or energy to make sure they stay gone. Did you know that in some states, both land and structures can be occupied without permission? What the what?! That means this person can not only chill out in your space, his uninvited behind has rights. He has rights, y’all, and is covered by the stinkin’ law. I want you to read what I found on squatters rights in Illinois: “Illinois law prevents property owners from initiating any action to recover their property either on their own or through a hired party. Property owners may not even enter their property if squatters are located on the premises.”
I’ve been thinking about the importance of praise for the past 1,2…3 days. I led worship at a ladies’ brunch a couple of days ago and one of the songs that I sung was “Holy Spirit” by somebody. I don’t have time to look it up. Anyhoo, this was not what I had planned to sing, but it was on me so strong that I had to and this line has saturated my thoughts ever since: “Holy Spirit, you are welcome here.” You are welcome. You, my friend, got an invite. Psalm 22:3 reads, “But thou art holy, O thou that inhabits the praises of Israel.” This scripture came to mind as I pondered what was impressed upon my heart this morning: are you ticked off enough to kick the enemy out and move Me in?
Squatters cannot legally occupy land or structures that are presently occupied.
There is no one more unwelcome than the enemy of our soul. He is just like that annoying family member that no one likes who always shows up to the cookout, aluminum foil in hand. And a Kroger bag. Oh, they know you don’t want them there, but no one has the heart to tell them to leave so they stay. And since they are never turned away, they feel like they have a right to be there.
If we never turn the enemy away or kick him out, so does he. Think he has a right to be there, that is.
I have long known that two are fighting for space in our innermost self. And not just space, but permanent residence. Are you ticked off enough to kick the enemy out and move Me in? Nothing can send the funky enemy packing like lifting up praises to God. I know you don’t feel like it all of the time and I am not Job – I’m not praising God for my troubles. Girl, bye. I ain’t that saved. I might mumble something to God, but to go as far as to call it praise… I can, however, praise Him during my troubles. This invites Him in. When you praise God, you are sending up an open invitation for Holy Spirit to come on over. Not just to sleep on your couch for a few days or hang out while dinner is being cooked, but to LIVE. INHABIT. SET UP RESIDENCE. When you send up praises, you are extending rights to God to live in you. And when He’s living there, the enemy can’t stay there with his raggedy ate-up couch or any of the other junk he brought with him.
Are you ticked off enough?
Have a great day.