I once heard the story of a young mom named Ruth who experienced the rigors of boyhood full-force. Her eldest son, Joel, had an affinity for all things creepy-crawly. Lucky for them, they were surrounded by gracious neighbors who offered unlimited exploration under their rock beds. One day, a glassy-eyed Joel rang the front doorbell to his own house. “Well that’s odd,” Ruth thought to herself, “this is his house.” Yet, she obliged and opened the door.
A haze seemed to cover the boy’s expression as he lifted up the day’s prize. “It bit me mom, but don’t worry, I didn’t die.” Startled, she averted her attention the Tupperware dish her son so proudly displayed. A mother scorpion, donning a school of baby scorpions on her back, scurried back and forth in her new translucent cage.
Panicked and without much thought, she hurried the boy through the house to dispose of his new friends and doctor-up his bite. Through the house they went. And before she could get rid of the scorpions, Joel took everyone off guard and dumped his new specimen on the kitchen table. THE KITCHEN TABLE! The babies scurried throughout the room. Ruth did what any right-minded momma would do. She grabbed the broom and her countertop spray, and went to war. Victory was hers!
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know what does and doesn’t belong inside our lives. The scorpions were an obvious no-no. They clearly didn’t belong, and were abruptly taken care of. For believers, our scorpions are obvious sins, sins even a 6-year-old boy can understand are wrong. Lying, cheating, murdering, stealing . . . we make haste in ridding our lives of such things.
What takes Holy Spirit discernment are the sins that reside, unsuspectingly, in the corners of our thought-lives. While sweeping up the scorpions, Ruth noticed a small cobweb in the corner of her kitchen. “After a day like today, those can wait,” she thought. And wait they did. When she finally got around to dusting it away, she realized the harmless cobweb harbored dangerous spiders. (Georgia never disappoints in the bug department, folks!)
According to 2nd Corinthians 10, these harmless thoughts accumulate like cobwebs into not-so-harmless imaginations, and then morph into habitats for deadly strongholds. Before we know it, something we didn’t even know shared residence with us, ends up being the very thing that leads us to our demise.
It is imperative that we continue to seek out and repent for the clear-cut sins in our lives, but equally as important is eliminating our stinking thinking—those thoughts which blur the corners of our souls.
Ask the Lord today to search your heart, and write down the things He reveals to you. Let Him help you discern those areas of negativity, bitterness and unforgiveness. Decide within your heart to keep those spaces clean and clear. Finally, declare over your life that as long as you have any say in it, they are no longer welcome in your house!