The Open Window
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Summer heat time is not when you want your car air conditioner to go out on you - especially when you're driving a long trip. Tough - that's when the a/c decided to die on us. Now I know that brave people survived without air conditioning for centuries. You know, somehow that philosophical observation didn't make me feel any better as we sped along with our windows open and hot air slowly putting the driver to sleep. Oh, but there's more. More than once, belching black exhaust smoke came blowing in our open windows. Then there was the discarded cigarette butt that bounced off the window, narrowly missing the driver. We really enjoyed the spider that came in, of course, and the clumps of pollen; they were great. Probably our favorite thing of all was what came flying at us from two tractor trailers that passed us. Now, I'm not going to give you all the gory details but I will tell you that those trucks were carrying cattle. Open window: kind of a nasty trip.
It's amazing what can get in when you leave the window open - stuff you really don't want inside. But that could be exactly what's happening in your life right now; a lot of nasty stuff is coming in because you've left the window open.
That's one reason God gives us some very practical advice to avoid getting stuff you don't really want in your life. It's brief. It's to the point, and it's our word for today from the Word of God. Ephesians 4:27 says, "Do not give the devil a foothold." Or we might say, don't leave any window open that the devil could use to get in.
The context of this actually warning provides us with some specific examples of how that can happen. The verse before the "no foothold" verse talks about anger that you allow to last more than a day. Smoldering anger morphs into more anger, then into resentment and hard feelings, and ultimately into a damaging, broken and hostile relationship. All because you didn't close the window before the devil blew in all his anger junk. Whatever the issue is, get over it - fast!
The verses after this "keep the devil out" warning talk about not stealing. It's true that anytime you cheat or take what isn't yours to have, you might as well say, "Devil, come on in and mess up my life." Then the next verses talk about unkind words - which leave wounds that can become something very ugly and divisive. That's the little seed the devil needs to grow some major hurt and destruction. Bitterness is mentioned here, too. Maybe you've let bitterness and hard feelings set up shop in your heart. You've opened the window to something that will turn you hard, poison innocent people, and it will make you its slave. And forgiving is the only way to get rid of bitterness poison. Then close the window and don't let any of those kinds of feelings get inside again.
Unresolved conflicts, a wandering eye, playing with temptation that you should be avoiding like the plague, letting your passions push you to the moral edge, watching and listening to stuff that opens your heart to things you think you'll never do - those are open windows. Windows that you can't afford to leave open one more day.
For an open window is all that the enemy of your soul needs to corrupt and to ultimately control your life. So think about "Where's he been getting in?" It's much easier to close the window than to deal with the mess he will make of everything that you care about.
Distributed by Ron Hutchcraft Ministries, Inc.