"You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness." Ephesians 4:22-24
I had just laid Corey down for his morning nap (he had fallen asleep in my arms) and was making my way to the backdoor to check on Cameron whom I had left outside playing; being sure his little sixteen month old self understood to stay right where I had left him and that I would be right back. As I opened the door and looked across our screened in porch, just a few steps away, there he sat, on a tree stump with his little red wagon parked beside him.
I could hear his sweet voice before I even opened the door. As he gazed out over the poultry farm he was singing Jesus Loves Me (my heart crept into my throat). I turned and ran to grab my camera (always at the ready for a kodak moment), but before making it back to him the angelic sounds turned to horrified screams of terror and pain.
I made my way as fast as I could across the deck and down the steps, taking two at a time to get to my baby. I could see as I approached him blackness was covering both of his shoes and up his legs. He was screaming and slapping at his legs, as I quickly realized he was being overtaken by fire ants.
I grabbed him up and was swatting at these evil tyrants. I just couldn't work fast enough to make them go away, so I took off as fast as I could, straight to the bathtub and washed them all away. When the last one was taking a dive down the drain I sank with him in my arms to the floor of that tub and we held each other and cried. The emotions I had were real; I couldn't believe such a precious moment could turn so ugly and evil in a split second.
Cameron's legs were covered with red whelps, some on his stomach and lower back and a few on his hands from where he was trying his best to defend himself against the culprits. I didn't think the scars would ever go away (I fought the thoughts of what a terrible mother I was for a very long time; his scars being a reminder).
Isn't that how sin invades our life. As Christians we are forgiven but that doesn't mean sin cannot enter in. We must put off our old self and not turn back to evil desires. Satan is cunning, sneaky, sleek. When we give into what we convince ourselves is just a 'little sin' it has a way of invading and taking over our life. It is a slippery slope. It is like the blackness that covered my baby's feet and legs, and could have made its way over his whole body within seconds.
"Our culture lures us into thinking that perception and rationalization are more important than the status of our heart. That is so wrong." -Kristin Armstrong
How do we live a life of integrity in our Christian walk? First, we must start our day with God's Word and prayer. Recommitting to your walk with Christ and asking Him to lead you reinforces strength and courage to face another day.
Second, we must stay sensitive to the Holy Spirit. When we are nurturing our relationship with the Lord daily, He will guide us and we will willingly fall in step behind Him.
Third, we must repent of our sin daily. You see, we are human, we have a sin nature, but God is our defender. He will come to our rescue and deliver us from the evil satan will tempt us with. We must only cry out to Him.
I long to be in sync with the Holy Spirit. To allow Him to guide me. To be quiet and slow my steps so that I can sense where He is and where He wants me to be. I want to obey Him immediately and be made new in the attitude of my mind.
I love you & He loves you more!
Lord, Draw me close and never let me go. Help me to know when the Spirit moves me and follow willingly. Show me where sin wants to invade and help me put on my new self everyday. In Jesus' name. Amen.