“Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control.” – Proverbs 25:28
You’ve seen the scene in a movie. The heroes flee their great enemy until they reach the safety of the walled city. Finally, they can relax and catch their breath, with the enemy outside and the gates secured. Until the explosions and the screaming start. The walls are shattered, the enemy is inside, and all hope is lost. The French shatter the British defenses in Last of the Mohicans. The Orcs breach the walls of Helm’s Deep in The Lord of the Rings. Or maybe this isn’t a movie for you – this is your LIFE. Maybe someone tore down your walls and now you struggle to say no. Maybe you never built any walls. Do you find yourself often saying, “I can’t help it,” or “That’s just the way I am,” or “It just happened!” or other things like these? How often do you find yourself trying desperately to remove your foot from your mouth, or your hard words from the heart of a friend?
“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” – 1 Peter 5:8
Why did the heroes flee to the walled city? Because they knew the enemy was pursuing them! Are you living your life aware that you’re being stalked by a hungry lion, or are you living more like the ADHD gazelle on Animal Planet? The lion never gets the gazelle that’s paying attention, but the one that’s not watching. We need walls, and we need to be alert. From time to time, we need to step back, look at our lives, and find out where the weak points are. That’s where we need to be alert, and where we need to build strongholds. Nothing just happens. One of our greatest struggles is controlling our tongues. Why is it so hard? Because we carry stuff around, and we don’t say “No.”
We don’t say NO when someone throws a fit and invites us to join in.
We don’t say NO when someone insults us.
We don’t say NO when someone has something juicy to say about someone else.
How often have we said YES to negative influences that, with a firm and timely NO (in our heart, or aloud when appropriate), would help us flee long enough for us to get into our stronghold, the stronghold the gospel offers us?
“The peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” -Philippians 4:7
That is good news! Say NO to the invitations of the devil, and YES to the peace of God that will guard your heart and mind.
– Nick Gill