At my childhood home on C Street, we grew up with roaches. Not that they were invited guests–on the contrary we did everything possible to make them feel unwelcome. But like the dinner guest who doesn’t know when it’s time to go, the cock roaches didn’t take the hint. So they took a beating (i.e. DEATH to cock roaches!)

Then we moved. And thankfully the imposing insects didn’t follow. For four blissful years I lived in a house free from these creepy, evil bugs. Of course we had spiders, chiggers, and lizards, but those I could handle better. They’re not as threatening, and are more easily crushable, making you feel much more in control.

And then I moved. And guess what I moved in with? I don’t know if it’s because it’s an older house like ours on C Street was, or because it was back on that same side of town, but for whatever reason roaches love my grandmother’s house. But I still don’t love them.

I’d forgotten what it was like to flip on the kitchen light at night and see black figures dart across the floor for cover. I’d forgotten that it’s probably best to keep your shoes on indoors, since they’re your best mode of defense (which is difficult for this barefoot lover to remember). But I hadn’t forgotten how awful these critters are. They give me the heeby jeebies!

It had been a week or two since the last sighting, and I was getting relaxed. Just as I was thinking the boric acid must be doing the trick, I opened my bathroom drawer (of all places!) and out one crawled!

So what’s the point? Why am I spending an entire post talking about something that gives me the creeps?

Because I realized how similar my reaction to roaches is to sin. Hear me out. Initially I may be disgusted with my sin, fighting tooth and nail to get it out of my “house”, and for a time I may even appear successful. In fact, a specific sin might not show its ugly head for quite some time. So I let my guard down. I forget that it’s a constant battle we’re waging, until one night there’s a black spot on my heart that shows up again.

Or maybe I’ve given up on the fight because I’ve become accustomed to its presence, against my will at first. But eventually I resign myself to the fact that sin will always make its residence in me, so I slack off.

Allowing roaches to live in your home is one thing. Welcoming in sin is another.

We are reminded in God’s Word of the urgent spiritual battle we are to be alert to and take part in. Ephesians 6:11-12 says,

“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.”
The next time you stand firmly over an unwanted pest, think about how you’re doing conquering sin, and remember that the battle cannot be won without the whole armor of God, nor the King in whose army we fight.

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