Where are you on your “To-Do” list? Too often we place our self at the very bottom of our list. We neglect our physical, emotional, and spiritual health and in doing so we encounter imbalance within our lives.
”Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith.” 1 Peter 5:8 (NLT)
It’s important to note that if we don’t strike a balance in every single area of our lives we become more susceptible to the enemy. “…and do not give the devil a foothold.” Ephesians (NLT)
A foothold is defined as a secure position from which further progress may be made. The moment we fall into a state of disproportion we give the enemy a foothold to spread, advance, and develop his work within us. This foothold…this one seemingly small area of our life serves as an opportunity to separate us from God and His will for our life.
My boss told a story about a few mice she discovered in her house a few months ago. She’s been able to catch them within a few hours and there wasn't a whole lot of damage, but the latest mouse was afforded the opportunity to enter when she was away on business for a week. She had to clean and disinfect everything … inside the cabinets, her stools, behind the stove … everywhere. This mouse didn't come out during the day, but the moment the lights went out…it was on! The funny thing is mice can distort their bodies to fit into a dime-sized hole. They don’t need a large access point … just a dime-sized hole … 1/4 of an inch.The same holds true for our enemy. Where there is darkness in our lives…he can hide. He blends right in. We can’t recognize the damage until we allow the light of God’s word to shine on that area. It’s only then that we see what the devil has been gnawing at and taking from our lives! The enemy doesn't need a large access point and too often we do most of the hard work for him.
”Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you have learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. THEN the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:8-9 (NLT)
It’s only when we put the Word of God into practice that the peace of God has room to reside in us. If we continually allow ourselves to be filled with nonsense through our entertainment choices, sex (outside of marriage), masturbation, lewd music, and poor food choices there’s no room for His spirit to do work. Like the mouse … the enemy gets in through one of our “dime-sized” vices and he doesn't just stay in that area … he roams. He finds other areas and he disrupts the work of the Holy Spirit. We cry out for breakthroughs and promotions, but we’re steady prolonging the work of the Holy Spirit through our poor choices. We aren't taking care of ourselves.
When we get convictions that tell us to stop doing something or remove something from our life … it’s for our own good. God doesn't benefit from our obedience. His will is done regardless. When we choose to hold onto that “thing” we aren't afforded His peace. The peace that is independent of our circumstances. The peace that allows us to stay calm in adversity.
We aren't invincible. We must stop relying on how we feel and start choosing God’s will and God’s word for our life in every single area. What you do today matters. It may not be immediately valued or noted, but the way you care for yourself is an extension of your relationship with God. Today choose to take inventory of your spiritual, physical, and emotional health. Ask God to identify any access points? Ask God to reveal any areas in your life that don’t please Him. Ask God to reveal any area in your life that jeopardizes your witness and may serve to turn people away from Christ. When God reveals that area … don’t wait to change it. Don’t allow that “mouse” to run around for weeks creating more mess … Catch it early. Respond in obedience. Take care of yourself.
Ashley Ivery is a single mother of two brilliant children, Aiden and Devyn, with an overwhelming desire to empower women and help them to realize the importance of a relationship with God. Through her writing she hopes to encourage women to claim their strength and value in Christ. Ashley serves as the Residential Listing Partner for Team Harris Real Estate. She graduated from Fayetteville State University in 2012 with a BS in Psychology. Her motto is: "Be Authentic. Live Honestly. Dispel Light."