Four years ago, our family bought an abandoned house. We bought the house to destroy it. Part of me felt sorry because I knew we were tearing down a home that someone else had loved. The other part of me knew we needed to demolish that antiquated home to build our new home.
An excavation contractor came and parked his huge shoveling machine on our “driveway” in anticipation of the event. Everyone in the neighborhood could see destruction was imminent.
We invited neighborhood kids to come over with bats, balls . . . anything they wanted to use to start destroying the house. We all smashed windows and reveled in doing things that would normally be forbidden. It was a rush. How many kids do you know who get to take hold of a bat, step up to a sliding glass door, and smash it with encouragement from onlookers? Seriously, it was fun!
Smashing windows was only the beginning. People came by and stole appliances we were selling from the home. Who knows how many people helped themselves to other items in the house? It was OK though because we knew the house was going down.
I assumed that tearing down an existing structure and hauling it away would be an expensive proposition. I was wrong. It was relatively cheap. Not only was it cheap, it was fast and easy. It took less than an hour for the excavator to turn the entire house to rubble. And it cost less than 10% of what I anticipated. We could have preserved part of the house if we had wanted to because an excavator is very precise, but we wanted to destroy and haul away all of it.
The minute the excavator started, I watched that machine rip a huge hole in the old house. I realized how quickly a powerful, knowledgable source could destroy something that had taken great care to create. The excavator did much more damage in minutes than we had been able to do in hours, even with hordes of kids bent on destruction.
Those first few demolition moments made me think of Satan’s destroying power in our lives. He wants to destroy what we’ve built. It’s cheap and easy for him to demolish who we are trying to become. We give access to his minions in many ways, such as when we turn away from God temporarily or when we allow other people to minimize us, especially when we feel like we aren’t worth much – like the dilapidated old house. The damage Satan’s minions inflict is relatively small, and it is reparable. Sometimes we even think we enjoy damaging ourselves, through addictions for example, like the rush of smashing the old sliding glass door on purpose.
But the master excavator is not satisfied with petty inroads. He wants major destruction. He wants to put all our resources to use for his purposes. He can tear away our “parts” that do not serve his purposes yet still allow us to retain assets/talents he can use to further his work. So how do we avoid this masterful destruction? Don’t let him park in your driveway! The bottom line is he can’t get to us if we don’t give him very close access.
When the excavator tore down the old house, he had to come right next to it to destroy it. His reach was extremely powerful but very short. If the excavator had to park his machine out on our street, he would not have been able to reach the house we needed destroyed. It was by granting him close access that we put the existing structure in harm’s way.
For Satan to destroy parts of our lives that we’ve carefully crafted with God, he needs very close access. We always need to be vigilant to keep out his minions to avoid small damage. But to avoid truly devastating destruction, we need to make sure there is not a parking space with Satan’s name on it near us. If he gets close enough to park his excavator, we can lose everything we treasure in moments. It doesn’t mean we can’t rebuild. We can, and God is the Master Rebuilder. But it is a long, hard process. It would be easier to keep Satan and his destructive shovel far away from us in the first place.