It was an old-timer clergyman, Billy Sunday, who said, "The devil says I am out, but the Lord says I am safe." There are times we listen to the words of those who don't have the right perspective on our "run" in life. We listen to them declare some "line drive" we make as "out", while God is saying to us it is "close", but still on the inside. It is good to knock one out to center field, but I know there are times we do well to get a line drive! We barely escape being "out" because of the grace of the one calling the outcomes in our lives!
I use God’s mighty weapons, not those made by men, to knock down the devil’s strongholds. (2 Corinthians 10:4 TLB)
We don't just skirt the strongholds of the devil in our lives - we have to knock them down completely. I know how I have sprayed a little hornet killer on a hornet's next from time to time and then wonder at why they are back. The fact is I never knocked down the nest completely, giving them a chance to return to the scene of the crime! They just build "annexes" to the structure nearby. The devil isn't about to give up any hold on us without a fight - he knows as long as he can call us "out" and we believe it even a little bit, he has a hold on us still.
Strongholds require demolition. Demolition isn't a pretty picture sometimes. If I want to be rid of those pesky hornets hovering outside my door, I have to take some pretty bold steps. First, I get them to move out of the area, by spraying enough of the deterring chemical to stun them into submission. Are they gone? No, there are others still flying about somewhere who haven't returned to the nest yet! They are out gathering the resources they need to build the next annex! If I want to get rid of them, I need to demolish their hive - and that might mean I brave knocking it down with "live stuff" in there!
If you have ever made a hornet mad, you know what comes next. You do this little crazy mosh pit type, bone jarring, arms flailing kind of dance that you hope to goodness none of your neighbors witness! Then you turn tail and run. Why? Those small insects carry a big sting! You don't want the pain or aggravation of healing from one of those, so you do everything you can to avoid that bite. I wonder why we don't treat the devil with such a mindset? We kind of molly-coddle him a little too much and let him "hang around", taking tiny steps to rid ourselves of his "nuisance". All the while, we are ignoring his mighty big sting potential!
The devil isn't going to leave us alone as long as we let him call the shots in life. As soon as we declare we are going to listen to no one other than God himself as the "umpire" who calls the shots, we get him as angry as a hive of wasps. Want to be rid of the fool? Then demolish his nest! Just sayin!