This Christmas, we bought a beautiful twelve-foot artificial tree, or so we thought. As we assembled it in our living room, we found more and more extensions of the tree, and it was actually a fifteen-foot tree. Since we have a twenty-foot ceiling, all was well. However, we did not have a ladder tall enough to decorate the top three feet of the tree, so it only had lights on it. Try as we might—stretching, bending, reaching—none of us could secure even a single Christmas ball or candy cane on the treetop. We tried throwing tinsel up to the top, but it clumped together like a dazzling bird’s nest, so we stopped. We simply could not decorate all of the tree.
How frustrating it is when we can’t complete all of a task. We carefully sweep the narrowest corner of a kitchen but cannot get all the crumbs on the dustpan. We try to fill a gas tank to the top, but no amount of topping-off will fill the tank all the way. Trying to paint all the walls behind a fixed cabinet is next to impossible for those of us who are amateurs with a paintbrush. Or how about removing all the lint off a black suit coat or velvet dress? Add a few cat hairs in the mix, and one simply cannot get all the imperfections to disappear.
Looking beyond material things such as clothing and personal items, what about our world? How do we protect ourselves from all the evil in it? How do we deal with all the people around us who arrogantly disregard the Lord and bring trouble and strife? Enemies of the Spirit of Christ present themselves in the most tormenting, unrelenting, bothersome ways to rob us of peace and joy at times when our guard is down, and we are in a weak, compromised state.
Our initial response to any trouble or strife should be to pray as Christians. The effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much (James 5:16). What if we cover all the bases of tackling a problem by praying about it, declaring God’s Word over the situation, and releasing it to the Lord, but it resurfaces or never completely goes away, like the cat hair on that velvet dress?
God cares about everything in our lives. He cares about it all. Psalm 118:10-11 (NLT) says, Though hostile nations surrounded me, I destroyed them all in the name of the LORD. Yes, they surrounded and attacked me, but I destroyed them all in the name of the LORD. Most likely, David wrote this Psalm, talking about hostile people attacking him. When the enemy of our soul attacks us through an actual human being or the demonic spirits that operate through people to make them hateful and hostile, the Lord sees all of the enemies coming against us—the visible ones and the invisible. David said he destroyed them all by using the name of the Lord against them. In effect, God swept all the crumbs and traces of enemies in David’s life onto a dustpan and destroyed them.
Proverbs 18:10 says, the name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe. Being safe implies that we could be in danger as our enemies chase after us to torment and annoy. Our strong tower of safety and defense is the name of the Lord. As we head into a new year, we declare that we can destroy all our enemies—visible and invisible—in the name of the Lord, our strong tower!
© 2021, Chris Werre