Have you ever stood in the middle of a dust storm? I live in the desert southwest, so yes – I have.
Tiny particles of dust, dirt and gritty sand get into your mouth, your teeth, your hair, your eyes, your nose, your…. Well let’s just say you end up feeling like you’ve just played in a beach volleyball tournament — and lost.
When it comes to our spirit, however, we can be standing in the middle of a spiritual dust storm, covered in dirt and grime, and yet completely unaware of the storm. Spiritual dirt hides beneath our skin – penetrating our minds, our hearts, and every thought and word that proceeds from our mouth. This, my friends, is a very dangerous storm! And, nearly every one of us is either standing in the middle of one right now – or will be at some point.
I have a confession: I have been living in a spiritual storm. I will also confess that I’m still learning how to recognize the warning signs, and guard myself from the dirt that tries to invade my spirit. In a spiritual storm, the enemy brings a slew of weapons designed to turn very small particles of dust (unchecked emotions) within us, and stir them into storms we are defenseless to fight on our own. Irritation is stirred to anger – and anger to bitterness – and bitterness to hatred – and hatred to vengeance. That’s the way spiritual dirt works if it’s left uncleansed.
But perhaps the most dangerous consequence of spiritual dirt, is its ability to become so ingrained within us, it actually feels . . . normal; even good.
Spiritual dirt can become so ingrained within us – it begins to feel normal and good. https://ctt.ec/zcQbP+ @rldevotions
Let me demonstrate how this might look:
We are irritated with our neighbor, so we gossip and complain about this or that with like-minded “busy-bodies” (as the Bible describes). This gives us a sense of justification – like we are entitled to our feelings of irritation. Before we know it, the dirt of irritation deepens into anger – and yet we feel “good” about it. Suddenly, we start seeking out everything wrong and bad about our neighbor – even imagining things we don’t see. The anger in us deepens, and soon enough we have sown roots of bitterness. When your heart becomes bitter, it naturally seeks vengeance. We find ways to pay them back for the ways in which they’re harming us, or ways we imagine they might. Angry thoughts, bitter gossip, malicious words, vengeful glares . . . and much, much worse. Pretty soon, the spiritual dirt is so thick within our hearts and minds, that it makes us feel . . . good and vindicated and righteous. We are now blind to the storm and walking happily in it.
Please hear me: Don’t let the enemy keep you in that spiritual storm!
We need to pray and ask that the Holy Spirit would open our eyes to the warning signs of these storms, so we can shake off the spiritual dirt that comes with them, and cleanse our hearts and minds with Living Water and God’s Word.
God made each and every one of us – and He loves each and every one of us. Only God has the power to change hearts and minds, so if we are having trouble with someone, our best defense against spiritual dirt is . . . the power of prayer! When we pray for others, the Holy Spirit softens our hearts toward them – enabling us to see them with a more loving attitude. Prayer opens our hearts and minds to the transforming power of God’s love – and reading the truth of His Word gives us spiritual armor for the storms we will face.
Prayer opens our hearts to the transforming power of God’s love – and His Word is our spiritual armor @rldevotions
I’m not saying we have to go about life never feeling hurt or angered toward people. We are human – and we naturally feel every emotion God gave us. But when we allow emotions to fester and keep us from forgiving others – then we have allowed sin to enter our lives. And Satan loves nothing more than a playground of unchecked, emotional sin. He will stir that storm as long as we let him – and we will learn how to walk in the dirt and grime as if nothing is wrong.
Satan will stir a storm of emotional sin, and we will learn to walk in it as if nothing is wrong. @rldevotions
If you feel like you might be walking in a spiritual storm, here are some verses of truth to help you put on the armor of God. Pray on them, and ask the Holy Spirit to cleanse your heart and renew your mind.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity And cleanse me from my sin. Psalm 51:2
Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. Psalm 51:10
Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. Ezekiel 36:25
Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart. 1 Peter 1:22
[J]ust as Christ loved [you] and gave Himself up for [you] so that He might sanctify [you], having cleansed [you] by the washing of water with the word. Ephesians 5:26