This verse is often used in our teaching, and the other day I experienced a good illustration of this principle. In our garden at home we have a small courtyard with a brick flower bed, and at the back of this is a brick wall, which we thought was joined on to a side wall of the house, but it was covered with a large ivy plant. We decided the ivy had to come off, as the wall itself was quite attractive, if we could only remove the tangled growth of the ivy which had been there for many years.
As our gardener began to strip off the ivy, three things came to light. Firstly, the wall was unsafe, because of the fact it wasn’t tied to the side wall, and only held in place by the plant. Secondly, the huge roots of the ivy had destabilised the wall so that it rocked on its foundations, and thirdly, the plant had lifted the brick arch off its mortar bed so that it was detached from the wall completely.
After a lot of hard work by our gardening team the plant was removed, and then the deep roots were dug out. The remaining wall is now exposed, but is in need of some serious work to prevent it from falling over.
I was reminded of the verse for today in Ephesians 4 “Don’t give the devil a foothold”. Many years ago someone had planted the ivy in the flower bed and the result is now a destabilised wall and a devastated flower bed! The intention was no doubt good, but the effect certainly wasn’t.
How often in our lives do we allow a small root to enter in, which then grows slowly, and almost unseen, to become a rather major problem, causing instability in our lives? Whatever the reason, we find that we’re now in need of some serious help to make things right and stable in our lives again.
Praise God that these things aren’t too big for Him to heal, and through forgiveness, repentance, and prayer the roots can be dug out, allowing us to live in freedom and wholeness. However innocent things may appear in our lives, let’s examine ourselves to see if we’re truly joined into Jesus, or whether the fabric of our lives is being attacked by the enemy’s infiltration. Let’s ensure that we’re still firmly founded on Christ, our solid rock. Don’t give the devil a foothold, and if we find he already has one, then get it out quickly!
Prayer: Father God, we sometimes miss seeing what the enemy is up to, because things look nice on the outside. Help us to discern where he’s got a foothold in our lives, and give us the boldness to strip away the outer illusions, so we can dig deep to get out those roots. Then, Lord, please show us how to get back on to a firm and stable footing with You. Amen.
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