“But the Lord is faithful, who will establish you and guard you from the evil one.” (II Thessalonians 3:3, NKJV)

I feel like I am a hospitable person, but some of my recent “guests” have been very trying.  They entered my home uninvited and proceeded to make themselves comfortable. If I hadn’t taken steps to get them out, I think they may have stayed forever. Has your home ever been invaded like that?

First it was a squirrel that chewed its way into my attic. I suspect the large oak tree that overhangs the roof may have given it a good jump (literally) on the situation. I often see them chasing through the tree. I didn’t mind that, but I did mind the home invasion. I took action, but it took several days before the uninvited guest could be lured into a trap and removed. And of course, the pest control company sealed up the point of entry.

I had barely recovered from the squirrel situation when I heard strange noises in my laundry room. Not human noises—critter noises! I finally determined something had gotten inside my dryer vent. Not feeling especially brave, I asked a friend for help in ridding myself of this guest.

While I can laugh at both situations now, my “guests” could have done expensive damage to my home had they remained. Fortunately, I addressed the problem and took quick action. But the experience made me wonder. Have I allowed other things into my home that may equally harmful? Both of my invasions were sneaky. The squirrel chewed through my guttering, and the other visitor got past the vent cover. Ephesians 6:11 lets us know that the devil is also sneaky, and we must be on guard against his schemes. We cannot allow him to settle in our homes, the destructive, uninvited guest.

It’s not surprising that I have a squirrel problem when I consider that big oak tree with its abundant supply of acorns. Squirrel food. But am I also unwittingly enticing my soul’s enemy into my home with the things I bring inside? I need to be vigilant and protect myself from anything that will damage my relationship with God. Yes, that can mean the forms of entertainment and activities I choose, but it can also be my attitudes, desires, and the priorities I set. These things can open up my spirit to attack.

Just as I do regular maintenance to keep my physical home strong and secure, I must also be constantly attentive to protect my spiritual house from anything that would slip inside and cause damage. Little invasions soon grow into bigger things if I am not careful.

The man who trapped the squirrel and repaired its damage gave a final warning as he finished his work. “There are squirrels throughout this neighborhood. It could happen again.” I must heed this warning in my spiritual life as well. First Peter 5:8 says:

“Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (ESV).

Lord, help me to be constantly vigilant and keep my spiritual house secure against any invasion of the enemy. If You see me becoming careless or neglectful, prod my spirit. I must stay on guard and protect my soul.

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Mary enjoys traveling, meeting new people, and spending time with old friends. Although directionally challenged, she would rather take the back roads with their discoveries than the boredom of the interstate.

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