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Do not let any iniquity have dominion over me. PSALM 119:133
The Dutch boast that God made the world, but the Dutch made Holland. That’s because nearly half of Holland’s land area was reclaimed from the sea and other natural waterways.
We witnessed this feat firsthand several years ago when we visited Amsterdam. We toured the famous network of dikes and levees that keep the land separated from the ocean. We also learned that, even with the most well-constructed protection, water inevitably seeps back through the dikes, requiring the use of pumps and canals to divert it back out. If the encroaching water were ever allowed to stay—even at this slow, nearly unnoticed pace— Holland would eventually sink and be submerged.
This is much more than a lesson in geography or engineering. We, too, are constantly bombarded by troubles and temptations, many of which find ways of seeping into our lives: Little sins we fail to consider as dangerous . . . waves of doubt that make us question God’s goodness . . . undercurrents of discontentment that echo in our minds and whisper in our ears. That’s why we need barriers in place to protect us from inundation by the relentless tide of unbelief and moral compromise. Things like daily Bible reading, ongoing prayer, regular points of accountability, and written-out goals and value statements.
And we need built-in systems that pump out murky water that seeps in despite our best efforts at resistance. We need hearts that are quick both to repent and to forgive, marriages where communication is open and honest, and weekly worship where we are cleansed by the purity of God’s presence. Everyone takes on water from time to time. Be sure to keep it bailed out, or you’ll soon find yourself sinking and submerged.
Isolate some of the little things that have sneaked through your spiritual guard lately. Expose them. Confess them to God and claim the promise of God’s cleansing found in 1 John 1:9. Then remove them.
Ask the Lord for daily awareness of those sneaky sins that have wormed into your behaviors and attitudes. Pray that you will be the man or woman God created you to be: wholly obedient.