I once had a spiritual dream. I was in my home and I could see through the walls. I saw this large, green, slimy snake outside. It was moving all around the house pounding on the walls. I thought, “Is anything open? He’s going to try to get in.” All the windows were shut so I thought, “Oh good, but I wonder why he can’t see.” He kept hitting the wall, pounding relentlessly trying to get in. Then I looked over to the front door, and saw that my front door was missing six inches from the bottom. I thought, “He’s going to find it and get in.” Eventually, he did get in. He got into the house, and his slime was all over the inside, making a huge mess. I was so scared I ran out of the house.
Once outside I thought, “What am I doing? I need to go back in.” I ran back into the house and then I woke up. I prayed, “Lord, what did all that mean?” He said to me, “The snake represents the devil. He’s trying to get into your life.” I knew that Ecclesiastes 10:8 says, “Whoever breaks a hedge, a serpent will bite.” God has a hedge around us, and everything that we own. However, we can break our own hedge by what we do. He showed me why the front door was cut off. The front door represents the first thing we should do in our life: Pray and read and spend time with God. He’s first. That was really clear. I had been missing that. I was reading and praying, but I wasn’t praying every day. I would miss here and there.
I however did go to the gym every day. I never missed the gym. Seven days a week, I went to the gym. One day I was at the gym and someone leaned against a weight rack, bumped a five-pound weight, and caused it to go flying through the air hitting my big toe. It actually broke my toe. I had never had any broken bone. I thought, “Lord, why did that happen to me? I’m praying. I’m a Christian. And I trust you.” I was complaining and the Lord said, “You had time to go to the gym every day, but you didn’t have time to read and pray every day.” That really convicted me.
If you are thinking, “Bill, isn’t this legalism?” No. It’s not. God tells us all through the Bible to read and pray. Deuteronomy 6: 5-9 says, “And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
- 1 Thessalonians 2:13, “Thank God without ceasing.”
- 1 Thessalonians 5:17, “Pray without ceasing.”
- Psalms 119:97, “How I love thy law. It is my meditation all the day.”
It’s not overboard to say we should be reading and praying every day. There’s a hedge around us, and God keeps that hedge secure. There are many scriptures about the hedge (Job 1:10; Matthew 21:33; Psalms 89:40) but we can break our own hedge by disobeying God. I wasn’t praying and reading every day.
I’ve since learned to keep God first, to pray, and to read, and by doing so, keep the enemy away.
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By Bill Wiese, author of 23 Minutes in Hell