I have recently begun to notice some patterns to
my behavior. I am not quite as calm as I normally am, and my
"well-controlled" temper is, well let's just say it is not so
well-controlled. Is it lack of sleep? Worry? Is it the fact that the
Canadian winter was still clutching us strongly, despite the fact that
was officially Spring?
Whatever the reason, I could see that my husband, my boys and even my animals were leaving me a wide berth. Something had to be done, and I cried out to God for help.
As always, God is my constant help in time of trouble (Ps 59:16!), but when the same behavior patterns continued, I realized that I needed to be more proactive. Instead of turning to God when my behavior was so bad that everyone in my path turned and ran, instead of falling on my knees in repentance and begging my family and pets to forgive me, I needed to do something to prevent these moments of rage.
This morning my Bible reading took me to Leviticus 14:
"When a man has on the skin of his body a swelling, a scab, or a bright spot...he shall be brought to Aaron the priest or to one of his sons the priests. The priest shall examine the sore on the skin of the body..." (Lev 14:1-3).
Now I generally get a bit bogged down in Leviticus 14-16. Despite my firm belief that everything in the Bible is relevant for me today, I have to admit that though all those laws about white spots on the skin, clothing and walls would have been extremely relevant to the wilderness exiles who didn’t have access to our modern medical care, I have trouble finding the relevance for me today. As I was doing my usual Leviticus 14-head-scratching-perplexed expression, however, God began to remind me of my little problem of late, and I instantly knew that God was telling me I had little white spots on my character!
In order for the wilderness exiles to be able to know they had a skin disease, they needed to be vigilant in skin-inspection. Once a skin disorder was discovered, the people were instructed to take it--not to a doctor--but to the priest. The person was then put in isolation for 7 days, and the spot was again inspected. If it was smaller, the person was declared "clean" and allowed to go home. He was encouraged to continue to inspect his skin, however, and if the spots again began to grow, he was to go back to the priest.
In just the same way, I need to be constantly inspecting my life to see where there are any places where I've allowed the devil to have a foothold, especially in the weak moments when sleep is lacking or stress is high. And these footholds might be something as innocent as allowing myself to complain that Winter is still upon the land, even though the calendar says it's Spring!
Once little "white spots" on our character are identified, we need to take them immediately to our Priest: "...we have a great High Priest...Jesus the Son of God..." (Heb 4:14, NKJV).
Just like with Israel of old, we may be sent away with the recommendation to watch that "spot" diligently, and to come back to Him the moment it begins to fester. It might also be recommended that we remain for a time in "isolation" -- that we spend some time in fasting and prayer.
The bottom line is this: We need to be diligent: "Therefore...be diligent to be found by Him...without spot and blameless;" (2Pet 3:14, NKJV); and we need to be vigilant: "...be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour." (1Pet 5:8-10, NKJV)
The wilderness exiles could not afford to ignore the early signs of skin diseases, and neither can we chose to ignore the "spots" on our character. Let's be diligent in examining our behavior and in watching for potential footholds of the enemy, then let's take each one immediately to our high Priest, Jesus Christ!
In His love,
Lyn Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author -- "Aboard God's Train -- A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer", Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with Answers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.