As I stood in 4 inches of muck on Sunday at the Warrior Dash, trying to clean off mud from 3.28 miles of running, jumping, sliding and falling in the stuff, the coincidence didn’t escape me …
My actions were worthless. There was nothing I could do to get clean. The fire hose nazi was attempting to spray groups of 30 people with a single blast of cold water. Back and forth he moved, just out of my reach. Finally, I was startled by the spray in my face and blocked it with my hands to get as much mud off as I could, just so I could stop the stinging of sweat in my eyes and wipe my brow. Overall, though, it really wasn’t much of an improvement. I was standing in it, surrounded by it and really not able to escape it. We finally gave up on the so-called shower and tried some things on our own.
There were some sacrifices made … My now-unrecognizable shoes were donated to be recycled and my smelly, muddy, holey socks and two mud-covered tank tops went straight in the trash. Better. Unfortunately, my bright idea of baby wipes did absolutely nothing. I could clean an inch at a time but created a new soapy mud mess that spread even more quickly than it could clear. The junk towel I had was slightly more successful but it also had its limitations. I at least was able to make my face, arms and hands clean and dry enough to function now.
But watch out! As soon as my hand brushed against my leg or side: more mud! It. was. everywhere. We finally decided to let it dry and cake on so we could get in the car, drive home and take a shower like normal people.
Sin is everywhere we look, we are steeped in it. And any attempt we make to clean ourselves is laughable. Satan so vehemently despises what Christ has done for us that his chief objectives is to make the clean feel unclean. Oh, how he desires to stain the beautiful bride of Christ.
Satan corrupts truth with lies and turns feelings upside down. As Beth Moore writes in “When Godly People Do Ungodly Things,” Satan knows that the nature of humankind is to act out of how we feel rather than what we know. One of our most important defenses against satanic influence is learning to behave out of what we know is truth rather than what we feel.
I didn’t feel clean when I was covered in mud. But does that mean I should give up and live at Dollinger Farms like a pig for the rest of my life? NO! Satan is really good at manipulating outside influences to affect the inside decision-making process of the heart and mind. He wants to make the clean feel unclean in hopes that they will act unclean. And nothing gives him more pleasure than assaulting God’s beloved (that’s you and me, btw). But we can always turn to God to find new direction and ask for His power to overcome whatever muck we find ourselves in.
“For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.” Hebrews 10:14