Rats in the Barn By Carolyn Tucker


I really enjoy living in the country — it just suits me to a T and makes me thankful and happy. I’m not at all bothered by the off-key singing of coyotes, and I love the playful squirrels, bunnies, chirping birds, and fat groundhogs. However, there are some varmints I could do without. My son Aaron and I were in the barn one evening and he discovered a rat hiding behind some plywood. Varmints don’t have a chance around my pistol-packin’ son — one shot and the rat was a goner. After he killed it, I went into the house to do something. A few minutes later I noticed Aaron standing outside in front of the kitchen bay window grinning and holding the rat by its tail. I’ve heard that a cat will kill a mouse and then bring it to its master for praise and approval.


Like a snake in the grass or a rat in the barn, the devil is a lurking mangy varmint. He continually prowls around looking for “too-busy Christians” so he can wreak havoc in their lives. Neglecting to schedule God time into our daily schedule is like leaving the barn door open for all the varmints to take up residence. Spending personal time with our heavenly Father in prayer and in His Word is when we are in the secret place. “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty“ (Psalm 91:1 NKJV).  God has given believers every weapon and tool we need to not only survive but thrive. He is our provider, shelter and security. Calmness in the storm can be ours if we choose to really live in the secret place of Almighty God.


When we give God a goodly piece of our time, He gives us peace for our mind. Jesus needed alone time with His Father and so do we. While the world may have gone off the deep end, Christ followers can keep our hearts open to the abiding presence of God.  On our own strength, we’re no match for the devil. But when we live under the shadow of Almighty God, we have access to His power, grace, and stability. When the chips are down, we don’t have to fold because we have the power to stand our ground. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13 NKJV).


Don’t believe the devil’s lies when he whispers that you’re a “zero.” Jesus says that you can be a “ten” through Him. The apostle Paul wrote the following letter to the Church in Ephesus: “I pray that from His glorious, unlimited resources He will empower you with inner strength through His Spirit. Then Christ will make His home in your hearts as you trust in Him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God” (Ephesians 3:16,17,19 NLT). These crucial truths are still in effect for all believers today.


The Key:  Don’t shoot yourself in the foot by neglecting your secret place with God.

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