Disgusting vermin have invaded my front yard. And no, I’m not talking about those salesmen who have no grasp of what the “NO SOLICITATION” signs mean and who infiltrate the neighborhood bearing incredible, unheard of offers that we can’t find anywhere else in the civilized world — and they’re only available “today.” They allege that neighbors all around us have been smart enough to take advantage of the astounding opportunity, and imply if we turn it down, our kids will probably feel forced to change their names in order not to be connected with losers like us.
Not a Two-Legged Problem ~
We’re used to handling the two-legged species of invaders, but I’m talking about the kind that never come up on the porch and ring the bell. The vicious little landscape terrorists attacking me refuse to come out in the open and fight like respectable vermin, so there’s no way to tell for sure how many legs they really have. I’m not one of those wealthy guys who have “yard people” who probably even have their own “vermin whisperers” on retainer, so I was left to ponder what to do with more limited means, and the issue led to reflections of a spiritual nature. You could say that in Noah’s day, God had a problem with His yard, too. It covered a lot bigger territory than mine, but like mine, the mess on the surface was caused by something working underneath, out of sight. Here’s how God described it:
Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. …The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. Genesis 6:5, 11 (NKJV)
At least two things are clear. The inhabited earth was characterized by unrestrained exhibitions of violence, and the source of the problem was deeper than the surface exhibitions. God said that the earth had become “corrupt,” and the violence didn’t cause the corruption. It was the other way around. There was a subterranean enemy that had attacked the foundations necessary to ensure harmony and stability in the visible realm.
Even a passing glance at the moral and ethical “landscape” in America reveals evidence of serious problems. Major indicators in the political, academic, and social arena would argue for agreement with God’s assessment in Noah’s day; i.e., the wickedness of man was [is] great in the earth. We might not be at the point where the culture had gotten to in Noah’s day, but we are confronted with an overwhelming array of similar symptoms, and we’re faced with the question of what to do. That brings me back to my original situation.
A “Yard Guy” Weighs In ~
I asked a “yard guy” what to do, and he offered a couple of choices. I could sell out and move, or go after the real problem underneath. I chose option 2. Then I asked, “How do I kill these devilish creatures I can’t even see?” “That’s the wrong objective,” he said. “Even if you killed them, more would come to take their place.” “Thanks for the encouragement,” I shot back. To which he responded, “You’ve gotta stop feeding them–eliminate their food supply and you’ll begin to see a difference on the surface.” So the strategy was not to target the vermin tearing things up, but the little grub worms they depended on to survive. The solution wasn’t quick, but it wasn’t complicated, either, and it was the only method offering hope for a longstanding solution.
The strategy underlying “yard man’s” recommendation also fits the moral and ethical devastation engulfing us now. Jesus taught with profound simplicity that the source of all the human depravity we see on the surface is hidden underneath. The violence we see on the streets isn’t caused by the superficial elements associated with it, and trying to solve the problems by restricting or adjusting the superficial components involved is doomed to eventual failure. For instance:
- The 764 murders in Chicago last year didn’t happen because guns, knives, hammers, and other devices capable of lethal impact exist. If we remove those devices, others will take their place.
- 90,000 rapes weren’t reported (nevermind other kinds of sexual assault and those that weren’t reported) because the perpetrators needed a better understanding of how sexual body parts work. Teaching the mechanics and physiology of sexual contact to children has produced more of an encouragement than a deterrent.
- We didn’t slaughter over a million innocent babies last year because infants present some kind of mortal threat to their mothers. Devoting scores of millions of dollars to “Planned Parenthood” and giving out free condoms and covert abortions in schools has only made more infanticide possible.
- Twenty people are physically assaulted by someone in their family every minute (over 10 million a year). That doesn’t happen because family relationships exist, and addressing the problem by “redefining” traditional family roles, and marriage itself, to the point where they can mean anything – or “nothing,” has served only to make things worse.
Strategic Counterattack ~
Paul referred to the spiritual vermin working underneath in our day as deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons (1 Timothy 4:1 NKJV). They aren’t affected by the efforts we pour into making the visible environment look and feel better. Until we identify them and begin to take away what they feed on, the devastation will continue. So what do we do about their food supply?
Deny them vital access and attention by restricting the exposure of our hearts – and those of our children.
- Stay out of their classes.
- Stop voting for them.
- Stop watching their programs, listening to their music, wearing their “fashions,” mimicking their speech, and trying to replicate their lifestyle.
Deny their freedom to pollute hearts and minds without opposition.
- Challenge them on a personal level–question their motives before allowing them into your heart.
- Challenge them in the political forum–make calls, write letters, speak out in town hall meetings–show up to vote.
- Challenge them in church–vermin love to invade and pollute the most sacred places.
Deploy counteractive spiritual forces.
- Pray strategically–ask God to redeem those involved or remove them.
- Pray persistently–resist spiritual fatigue.
- Pray Biblically, not just denominationally–approach God with His own promises, not just the familiar religious patterns we hear every Sunday.
The problem in Noah’s day was corruption–so is ours. There’s no quick “surface application” that has any possibility of solving the deep moral corruption turning America into a moral swampland. How about working together to deny the enemy an all-you-can-eat buffet?
Ron’s new book, “Right Side Up Thinking in an Upside Down World ~ Looking at the World through the Lens of Biblical Truth” is available now!
Click HERE for details …
© 2018 Gallagher’s Pen, Ronald L. Gallagher, Ed.S. All rights reserved.
To follow this blog, sign up just below the Search box in the upper right sidebar for regular email notifications of new posts.