Getting ready for the day, your mind is busy on thoughts of the numerous things that need to be done. Rushing to get through the morning tasks, there lies your Bible on the table with the sheet of paper for numerous prayer requests, undisturbed for a few frantic days now. That can be done later is your reasoning. The Lord is certainly sympathetic. Who can be expected to be twenty places at one time anyhow? A few half-hearted praises go up to the Lord of all Patience.
Knock Knock Knock. The knocking is gentle but has an urgency to it as well. You reach for the doorknob and pause. All the warnings to not open the door for someone you don’t know rush into your mind. Better look out the peephole at least, you reason.
A well dressed man stands on the porch. He is tanned with a friendly familiar face. I know him, you think, where have I met him before? As you stare out the peephole, you realize as well that he is actually beautiful. He has a radiance about him that draws you to him. He reaches up and knocks a little louder this time, jolting you out of your thoughts.
Hello? The voice is pleasant, soothing in a strange way.
Ma’am, may I speak with you for just a moment? It’s quite urgent. Ma’am, please?
You know you should just walk away, but you feel compelled to answer. You certainly don’t want to be rude.
I am sorry, sir, you reply, but I have promised never to open the door for a stranger, and besides, I am very busy.
That is a wonderful rule, ma’am, always better safe than sorry I say. But I have just come from every house in the neighborhood, they were very happy once they opened the door and I was able to explain to them the reason for my visit. I am in the business of creating, well, how shall I put this, happiness. And I assure you, if you will give me a just a small amount of your time, you will be pleased as well. Maybe you can set aside this rule for just a moment? I am sure that whoever has given you instruction about the door would understand. May I ask, ma’am, who that might have been?
Well, it was to my father who I made this promise to listen and obey. For my own good, you reply as you glance at your Bible unopened and undisturbed.
Of course, of course! He claps his hands together. It all makes sense now! And it is a noble thing he asks of you. But I have known your father for many years. A good man he is, a good man indeed. But if you don’t mind me saying so, sometimes he can be a little…hmmm, how shall I put it? Unyielding? A little on the strict side, yes, kind of a spoilsport if you don’t mind me saying so. But a good man indeed. And may I remind you as well that your father is a very forgiving man. He has forgiven you for much greater things than opening a door has he not? My goodness, that can hardly be counted as a sin at all, don’t you think? Such a minor transgression. I would say it would be more like carelessness or even something as small as being forgetful. He has so many other things, big issues to deal with these days. I assure you it won’t even come to his attention. Besides all this, he has given his word that you will always be forgiven. No harm, no foul, dear friend. This is a no lose situation!
You peer out the peephole again, and now he is holding a large bag. You don’t remember him having that before, that is for sure. And there is a faint sound of music. The kind you loved back in the day, the good ol’ days, when rules were, well face it, there were no rules but to have fun. Maybe it’s in your head but you swear you can hear the screeching of Eddie Van Halen’s guitar…Runnin’ with the Devil…man those were fun days! What could just a minute hurt anyhow? You put your hand on the doorknob and slowly turn it. Immediately he grabs the door and is in the foyer in a split second.
AHHH, wise choice my dear friend, quips the man. I promise not to disappoint! Only the best for my new, or shall we say, old friend, hmm? Let us clear a little space on this table here, he says. But first we need to get rid of this! He quickly puts the Bible in his bag, looking as though he had just touched something rotten (tongue clicking). How long has it been since you read it or prayed anyhow? No we certainly will not be needing that. He reaches in his bag and brings out a bottle, huge grin on his face. And if this is not your taste today, I have all your favorites! See, my friend, even though it has been a few years, I have not forgotten your likes! Pills, powders, drink, I have brought only the best for you. Let us have a toast to us, the reinstatement of a wonderful friendship. Yes, he laughs loudly, the start of something new indeed.
Scripture warns us that we have an enemy who prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. It may be that your particular weakness is not pills, powders or drink. It may be that your penchants are material possessions, or perhaps lust, greed, self idolatry, to name just a few. The principle and warning remain the same.
“…for sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you, but you must subdue it” Gen 4:7
“But keep your heart with all diligence. For out of it are the issues of life” Prov 4:23