Do you sometimes feel that your best efforts fighting against your own weaknesses fail? Is there any hope? Let me share a story, then a few keys to help you respond.
I was house-sitting for a friend for three weeks. I had laughed about a struggle he was having with a mole that was ravaging his front yard. But, when I moved in, I found the Battle of the Moles took on the air of a personal challenge. Here’s an email that I wrote to him about the situation (revised):
“When I told you that you might want to plant corn in your front yard, I was just kidding but this mole is getting serious. He’s everywhere. Wednesday, I knocked down 10-15 of his bunkers. Thursday I looked out and he had made one just in front of the house! As I looked I saw some dirt fly up.
With my heart beating quickly I ran for the rake and like Jungle Jim tracking a tiger I crept around the house (hoping all the time that the neighbors weren’t looking. I felt rather stupid). I got right up to the bunker and waited until some dirt flew up, then I swooped with my rake.
I was hoping I’d get him but no such luck. I’ll betcha he wet his little gopher pants though.
When I came back from town he had started another bunker not far away. Aiyiyiyiyi! Anyway I have a few suggestions about how to get rid of him:
Dynamite the front and back yards. You’re bound to scare him off even if you don’t kill him.
Since this is probably not practical you might get a bunch of worms and create a trail leading into the neighbor’s yard. The mole would probably come back, though, as he seems to like it here.
The best idea I’ve had is a gopher “trotline”. You bait up about 12 hooks with big, juicy worms and get a long stiff wire. Tie the trotline to the wire and push it into the hole about 25 yards.
Then you get a lawn chair, beach umbrella, Pepsi Max, and a good book. Grab the end of the line and wait til the little rascal bites. When he does—YANK HIS TONSILS OUT!!! Pull him up then do what you want with him. Torture him slowly or put him down and STOMP HIM SO HARD THAT HIS LITTLE EYEBALLS AND INNARDS FLY IN ALL DIRECTIONS!
You might also take him 75 miles away and let him out if you’ve had a good prayer time that morning and are inclined to compassion.
You might actually fish a little longer because I suspect that Mrs. Mole and a half dozen molelings are under there. It would be hard for one mole to do that much damage by himself.”
I never succeeded in evicting the mole. Neither did my friend after his return. He eventually moved, leaving the battlefield to the mole. (He didn’t move because of the mole).
But, are there things in our lives—spiritual moles—that continually get the best of us? We finally just give up trying to change, because all we have for our efforts is frustration. Here are four ways to evict spiritual moles from your life:
1. Realize that victory really is possible whether you’re experiencing it or not. Christ Jesus’ sacrifice at Calvary and the power of His resurrection make it possible. The more we realize this, the more we approach the battle with a “can-do” attitude. Constantly remind yourself of verses such as: Philippians 4:14; Ephesians 1:18-20; Romans 8:11-15. I didn’t include these verses. If you really determined to win, get your Bible, look them up. Think and pray about them. Fill your heart and mouth with them. Let them permeate your entire attitude.
2. Stop several times a day and honestly say “Thanks” to God for something. Thanksgiving opens the door to power in your life while an attitude that fails to take God’s goodness to you into consideration opens the door for all kinds of sin. Read Romans 1: 21; notice that the two sins that precede all other sins are: not acknowledging God is Who and how He is, and 2. A lack of thankfulness. Romans 1:21a.
“For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.” (Rom. 1:21 NIV) Their attitude opened the door for that sorry list of sins that follows in verses 25-32.
3. Get help. Read books and listen to reliable teachers who teach you how to gain victory in your battle. Find books and teachings which make practical applications. Careful, there’s a ton of people who want to sell you a solution but make sure it really rhymes with God’s Word.
So often we know what God’s Word says but we really don’t know how to apply that to our lives. Speak with your pastor or a mature Christian (who knows how to keep his mouth shut, if necessary). Ask God for a prayer partner to help you fight through this. Be faithful to all the meetings of your church, not to win brownie points but to get the power that comes from Christ’s Body.
4. Get up when you fall and smash your nose. If you fail, repent and get up and get going. And if you fall again, repent and get up and get going. How many times will God forgive you? However many times it takes. But, don’t just ask for forgiveness, ask for power.
I never was very good at mole extermination but I know that God will give me victories in these battles that my soul fights.
“Courage is just fear that has said its prayers.” Dorothy Bernard