What is there about me that attracts black flies? I can be in the same place as the rest of my family, and they all leave without a single bite while I am literally covered. And to top it off, I must be a bit allergic to them, as each bite-site tends to swell into a large, red welt.
This year’s first encounter with the pesky creatures was at a rest area in Northern British Columbia, Canada. After a long day of driving through the BC interior, I was anticipating a peaceful supper. I had barely stepped out of the car however, when they began their attack. But I was ready for them this year. I was armed! Bug spray to the rescue! And moments later, not only was ever exposed body part covered with the stuff, but there was a layer of it over all of my clothing as well. No black fly was going to have ME for supper!
Unfortunately these particular insects were not easily discouraged. Before long I was going for my second coating of bug spray, and then my third. And even with all of that, it wasn’t long before I felt the pinch of those vice-grip jaws… Under my shirt, of all places! The pesky creatures had flown up my shirt to bite the only parts of non-bug-spray-covered skin! I quickly tucked my shirt-tail in. End of story.
Or so I thought.
I’m not sure exactly how they did it, but when I got to the hotel that night I found two major bug bits on my neck. They must have managed to do their dirty work in the brief two seconds that transpired before the bug spray came out of the car. Okay, I could understand those bites. But what about the three major bites UNDER the waist-band of my shorts??? Where on earth did THEY come from???
Fortunately I had come equipped with a special bug bite cream that actually seems to work for more than two seconds at a time, so I wasn’t too uncomfortable. However, when we reached home three weeks later, you could still see the marks of those bites!
And yes. Just to make me feel better. No one else in my family received a single bite. GRRRR!!!!
It occurred to me as I was thinking about this that sin tends to be just like black flies. How? To start with, we don’t all fall into the same sinful tendencies. My husband isn’t plagued by black flies, but mosquitoes seem to find him their summer desert. In just the same way, someone who would never dream of stealing can’t stop themselves from telling lies.
So what is the solution? Do we have “Sin-Spray”?
Yes, we do. It’s called the Holy Spirit, the One who gives us victory over sin: “But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.” (Jude 20-21) However we have to let the Holy Spirit have access to all of our hearts. If not, those little temptations will crawl up our spiritual clothing to find the only parts of our souls that haven’t been given over totally to the Holy Spirit, and that’s where they will fix their ferocious teeth into our spiritual flesh.
What am I talking about?
Let’s look at a couple of examples:
Let’s say you are battling immorality. With the help of the Holy Spirit you no longer frequent places where you will be tempted towards immorality. But there is still this little matter of pornography. You haven’t given this covert part of your soul to the Holy Spirit yet, and through this avenue you continue to be held in the clutches of immorality.
Or what about intemperance? The Holy Spirit has been speaking to you about this, and because you truly seek to be His child, you no longer smoke or drink, and you’ve given up drugs completely. You’ve also given him your pastimes. You no longer spend hours in front of the television and you have learned to put books down before they are finished. But there is this area of appetite . . . You love to eat, and, well, surely God doesn’t expect you to give up all the things that bring you pleasure! I mean, everyone needs to eat, so why not overindulge once in awhile? Why risk being hungry later when you could have the second sandwich? Why have just one piece of cake when you could eat the entire thing? But unless you give even this aspect of your life, you will never be free of the clutches of intemperance.
I could go on, but I think you get the idea. We have to allow Jesus Christ to be not only our Savior, but also our MASTER, our LORD. We have to allow Him access to ALL aspects of our lives, because if we don’t, those little black flies of temptation WILL continue to control us!
Take a moment, friends, and ask God to reveal to you the areas of your life that you haven’t given completely to Him. Be prepared for it to be the one thing you want the least to deal with, but also be prepared to let it go. You won’t be sorry when you don’t go home covered in black fly bites!