You cannot walk into my closet. You can lean into my closet. I have photography stuff, sewing machine, old school books, shoes and, oh yeah, clothes - all thrown in there because there is no other place. And because we were having young adults over last night so everything was hidden in my closet - and under the bed - so it would look like my house was clean. I'm not the poster child for being a "keeper at home" like Titus 2 tells us we are to be. The sad thing about that is that I don't have a job outside the home that keeps from being here to make sure things run smoothly. I know some girls that have a full time job and family and can still put their hands on anything that is needed at home because she is a "keeper at home". When I looked up the definition of what being a keeper at home means, one of the words that caught my attention was to be a "watch" over her home. She is to make sure things run smoothly as far as knowing there is clean underwear in the drawers and where the screwdriver is, but also to know what is going on spiritually. We've talked about that before. She looks well to the ways of her household. I'm telling you, the Lord tells us in several ways the importance of knowing and fighting off the enemy from our homes. If you don't dust and mop once a week, I kind of think the Lord won't ask you to be accountable for that when you stand before Him. If you don't watch and pray against the sin in your home, you will answer for it.
I love Nehemiah. He was a Jew that had been taken into captivity and had been assigned to be cupbearer for the king. Nehemiah got word that the wall was down around his beloved city Jerusalem. He was able to take a leave of absence from his cupbearing resposibilities and take materials back to begin the rebuilding of the wall. When he got there he was walking over the rubble of the wall and two men (Sanballat and Tobiah) came up to him and basically told him the job was too big - there was no way he would be able to get the wall rebuilt. That is how the enemy gets many of us when we are trying to do something to fortify or protect our temple, whether physically or spiritually. He discourages us and we give up and quit. Nehemiah didn't quit. He positioned a person with a horn to be able to alert him of enemy threat. He circled the city with people who carried weapons, then he had others that worked on the wall and carried weapons, and some that just worked on the wall. They were all ready to fight off the enemy while the work was going on.
When we lived in Stillwater I planted a garden and had eight tomato plants. They were planted on their little mound and then I put a circle of dirt around each plant. The girls were helping me one day and I showed them a few little weeds coming up around the tomatoes. I told them the story of Nehemiah and how he was rebuilding the wall around the city. I showed them the circle of dirt around each tomato. Told them that each tomato represented one of us in our family. There was the daddy tomato, mommy tomato, down to the Rachel tomato. We had to watch it closely, and whenever we saw a weed coming up we had to pull it up so it wouldn't swallow up our daddy, mommy, etc. I explained that is like sin in our lives and if there are a bunch of weeds (sin) the tomatoes would be choked out and we wouldn't have fresh hot sauce. The weeds were the enemy. It was so cute to watch them yank out the weeds while yelling for them to "leave us alone!" There were a couple of times I remember specifically being out there with a hoe, chopping like a mad woman. Just me and God. Even when the weeds were cleared I kept chopping and crying that the enemy would leave my kids alone. That, my sweet one, is keeping a watch over your home. I wish I was always that diligent, but I'm not.
Forgive me, Sweet Jesus, when I get tired or too busy to keep a watch over my home. Burden my heart to listen for the Holy Spirit to be the alarm when there is enemy attack on the ones I love. Then to hoe until there are blisters on my hands and I see You clearly and beautifully in their lives. Oh, my heart loves You!