For those of you, who like me, live in the northern hemisphere, winter is rapidly approaching and that means we have some chores to do. It is time to winterize our homes. Did you know that we also need to winterize our souls? We do! Please read more.
Not only is winter approaching but Advent has already arrived. Advent is a great time to prepare for the coming of our Lord by winterizing our souls. What do I mean by that?
Before I directly answer that question, please permit me to bring in yet one more metaphor to make my point, this one from sports. Boxing, football, soccer, tennis and most every other sport share a key winning strategy. The strategy involves the process of discovering and exploiting your opponent’s weaknesses. As part of that strategy, it is also important to take stock of your own weaknesses and develop a plan to counter your opponent’s attack against them.
Spiritually speaking, do you know where your weaknesses lie? Satan does and he will attempt to exploit these vulnerabilities. We must prepare. This is why winterization of our souls is so important.
Let me attempt to tie these two metaphors together. When cold winter winds begin to blow, they seek to exploit the weaknesses in our home. They seek out every crack and crevice where they can seep in to create a cold draft. The warm air in our home also sneaks out through these same vulnerable spots. This air leakage is a major contributing factor to increased energy costs.
Experts recommend we caulk or weather-strip doors and windows, seal air leaks around plumbing, ducting, or electrical wiring, and install foam gaskets behind electrical wall plates. They also suggest covering or replacing single-pane windows. They tell us to use foam sealant on larger gaps around windows, baseboards, and other places where air may leak out. And of course, they tell us to keep the fireplace damper tightly closed when not in use.
According to The Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a chink is a small cleft, slit, or fissure. It is a weak spot that may leave one vulnerable. A chink is also an opening in a suit of armor that allows a weapon to penetrate. One could say that the cold winter air seeks to find the chinks in our home’s armor. It seeks to exploit our home’s weaknesses.
On the spiritual front, Satan does exactly the same thing. He is constantly assessing us for possible weaknesses and vulnerable areas through which he can enter our soul. Ephesians 6:11 tells us to, “Put on the armor of God so that you may be able to stand firm against the tactics of the devil.” This is what I am speaking of when I am talking about “winterizing our souls.”
Winter air will seek to find every possible point of entry. Where is sin finding its way into your life? In Mark 9:43-46, Jesus speaks with disturbing words when He says, “If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed than with two hands to go into Gehenna, into the unquenchable fire. And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life crippled than with two feet to be thrown into Gehenna. And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. Better for you to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into Gehenna.”
Are we really supposed to be maiming ourselves? No! Jesus often uses hyperbole and exaggeration to place emphasis on key spiritual points. Jesus is however making a very important point. He is clearly telling us just how essential it is to “winterize” ourselves against the wily tactics of the evil one. He is instructing us to seal the drafts, fill in the cracks and repair and putty all of the openings where the winds of Satan are likely to creep in.
All of us have three key areas of vulnerability. They are our eyes, ears, and our mouth. Evil takes every chance possible to enter through what we are looking at, what we are listening to and what we are saying. Our eyes and ears can be a great source of lust and coveting. Our mouth can be a source of slander, lies and gossip.
So as Advent begins and winter winds begin to blow, let’s all do a detailed assessment. What are we looking at? What are we listening to, and what are we saying? I suspect we all have areas of needed repair. When our work is complete, maybe we can all speak the words of the three famous wise monkeys: Mizaru, Mikazaru and Mazaru. “I see no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil.” This certainly would be pleasing to God.
Finally, keep this in mind. Some home winterization projects are do it yourself projects, others require a professional. On the other hand, all spiritual winterization projects require a professional and it just so happens that Jesus is a world class carpenter specializing in home improvement. There is no better time than today to get our winterization done. Call on Jesus now!
Heavenly Father probe me and know my heart; try me and know my thoughts. Reveal any wicked path in me and help me to seal any vulnerable area where evil seeks to destroy my soul. Amen.
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