I remember watching my son, Jonathan, and David Sliker battling out a game of one on one basketball. It was a wonder they weren't bruised from head to toe as they body-blocked each other to get the ball. Each game was serious business.
Knowing how to block our opponents in life is vital. I’ve just come off a two week birthday-cake-and-party-food indulgence. Now it’s time to block these energy-siphoning temptations from coming back into my house.
The Bible has a lot to say about blocking negative influences.
"Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Romans 12:2). Or, what is good and what needs to be blocked from our lives.
“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1John 2:15).
According to Colossians 2:8 we have to “see to it” that no one, no thing, no philosophy, no emotion takes us captive. “See to it” means look well to, beware. It carries the warning to pay attention because there’s danger ahead. The world, the flesh and the devil are out to body slam us away from the things of God.
This morning, while trying to have devotions on my swing, an old opponent was challenging me to a one-on-one. Anxiety knotted in my stomach. My natural tendency is to avoid my feelings by getting busy. The Lord stopped me. He said, “Block it.” The picture of my son body blocking his friend came to mind. “Anxiety is not going to sink the ball this morning,” I said to the dog lying nearby. Then I began to declare who I was in Christ, that no weapon formed against me can prosper.
As His peace came, the names of three new widows crossed my mind. Tears spilled down my cheeks as I lifted these sweet sisters up to the Lord.
My dog, Oden, was sleeping a few feet away, sensed my tears and came over to sit in front of me. His ears were tucked back and he licked my cheek. He was comforting me! As I put my arms around this giant German Shepherd I saw a vision of Jesus wrapping His arms around these widows. I knew the Holy Spirit was delivering God’s comfort.
I am so grateful for another lesson on battling anxiety: to stop - block - and listen. In the times in which we live, we all need to see to it that nothing is allowed to pull us away from Him. He has so much He wants to do in and through us. We are not in a light, neighborhood game of basketball. We're in a war for our souls.