Not Welcome

Not Welcome!

My husband laughs at me every time I find a bug of some sort in our home. I normally squish the offending creature and tell it,

“You’re not welcome!”

My husband laughs and gets a cute look on his face. He probably enjoys the vehemence I have towards the little critters. But there are times I’m glad he’s there to squish the bug rather than having to do it myself.

Side note, I don’t mind looking at bugs or studying them sometimes. When I was teaching, my students sometimes brought me dead bugs so we could study them together. We had quite a collection at one time. We even had a live roach for a few days…But I’d rather them not be in my house. I don’t care for spiders that much, and there are enough poisonous ones around here, that I’ve got a healthy fear of them now….

A few days ago we were out for the evening. When we got home, I saw a huge huntsman spider on our garage wall. After a bit of trying to get it with a garden tool, Steven got the bug spray and sprayed it, and the spider (poison covering it’s back) it crawled out from under the bike and went behind the grill, then came out to the middle of the floor. Steven stomped on it. It’s still dead on our floor. Ugh. Sorry for that nasty picture you now have in your head. Well, not really sorry.

Why am I telling you about our un-wanted visitor? Well, because there are things in our lives/world that are not welcome. Things we want and need to eliminate as soon as possible to keep from ruining our attitudes and circumstances.

You’ve probably heard it all before.

Sins to get out of your life such as:

Worry

Fear

Bitterness

Anger

Complaining spirit

Jealousy

Discontent

Distractions that misplace your priorities

Hypocrisy

There are more, those are just a few I notice in my life.

I heard a sermon recently on hypocrisy. We’re all hypocrites at times. Ouch.

Um, I want to be honest here and transparent, but I can’t be a 100% clear here because of internet things. I’m not sure what the balance is, but I’ll share here what I can, when I can, and for now, this was the reminder I had this week.

There are things we don’t need in our lives. They are “not welcome”!

From listening to the BBN  (BBNRadio.org) last week, I heard Elisabeth Elliot talking through the book of Philippians (her focus was contentment). Later in my reading and pondering of the verses, this passage stuck out to me, and it is applicable to this idea of getting rid of stuff. I also read through my list of passages on Thanksgiving, and chapter 4 of Philippians is a big one on contentment, rejoicing and thankfulness.

  1. Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.
  2. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.
  3. Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
  4. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
  5. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; it there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
  6. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.
  7. But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity.
  8. Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
  9. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
  10. I can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth me.

Philippians 4:4-13

What stuck out to me was Paul’s encouragement to the people in Philippi.

They were to focus on Truth and God’s things, to pray over the worries and struggles, to know that God is working, He supplies our needs and that we can do hard things with His help.

(That’s my summary of the passage.)

In the context of my title, not welcome, this passage talks about positive things, but it also says to not worry (careful for nothing), so worry needs to go.

It talks about making our requests to God with Thanksgiving, so we’re to be praising God, not be discontent or jealous or angry or bitter….

One that is sometimes hard for me is to focus on truth. I sometimes let myself believe lies and I have to work hard to identify them and to pray over them and ask God to help me get rid of the things I was allowing myself to believe. Verse 8 gives a list of things to be thinking on.

Paul also says he learned contentment (verse 11-12). So it wasn’t easy or natural for him. (Probably he was still learning as well.)

Paul gives us verse 13 that we can do what we need to in God’s strength. I would say thought that doesn’t mean we’re to try to be superhuman, or unrealistic in our planning or goals. I’d also say that over booking or expecting God to provide for wealth when we’ve not been careful is not the point of that verse. Staying up all night to finish that paper or project or work task isn’t a good idea if we need to be coherent the next day. (Speaking from experience, that’s probably part of my health problems now, was too much working through the nights rather than getting enough rest.) People are not very good thinkers when over tired. We can’t “do it all”.

But we can do God’s tasks, if we’re listening and following Him. Even if they seem impossible.

Hmm. A lot to think about. Now what? I’ve identified some things I need to work on or throw out when they come to visit. How do I get rid of them? I think it’s part of verse 6, with prayer and supplication, make requests known to God. Verse 7 then has more of the answer, God’s peace shall keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Pray about it and take it to God.

Let His peace work in your heart and mind.

Hmm. Mind. Lot’s of stuff goes on there. I think that’s where the applying it comes in. When we’re thinking right, we’ll be more likely to be acting right.

Um, but it’s not that easy. The more we’re thinking right the more we’ll recognise when we’re letting in sin, but it’s a daily struggle.

From another radio broadcast of Elisabeth Elliot’s, she shared that living for God is a daily surrender- giving over the worry or certain struggle every day. It’s not just a one time thing, that thing that hurts or bothers you may not be resolved ever in your life. God is growing you in asking you to Daily Give it to Him. Ouch. There are some things I wish weren’t a daily prayer, but they have to be for me right now.

Don’t try to carry it. Let Him do that for you. (If the thing that needs to go is worry or fear or discouragement.) Sins start out as thoughts- then go to actions or deep thoughts and bitter resentments. They aren’t easy to stop or get rid of.

I’m sure most of us wouldn’t like to harbor a poisonous snake or bug in our house or bed – keeping it and nourishing it and secretly spending time with it. But that’s what we do with our thoughts or habits that harbor sin. We secretly keep that tendency and we don’t want to let it go or be killed.  Now is the time to get rid of those sins.

They are Not Welcome!


3 thoughts on “Not Welcome

  1. I’m clearing out my email inbox tonight and found this blog post that I hadn’t read yet. It was a real blessing to me – a great mix of introspection, honesty, reproof and encouragement. You did a great job with the actual writing of this too; I loved the way you introduced the main idea!
    Love you lots xx

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