Three million lives are at risk and all that stands in the way is a dam that is crumbling, neglected, and on the brink of collapse. The Kariba Dam has become a massive headache. We’re talking migraine levels at this point. It has been thoroughly mistreated over the years and is in desperate need of maintenance. The water falling at the base of the dam has carved a 300-foot deep crater that is threatening the very foundation of the structure. Also, this hydroelectric dam isn’t even producing enough money for it to be useful. And it is located between the two very poor countries of Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Thankfully, there is a plan in place to save all the people at risk, but it’s going to take 20 years and 300 million dollars of debt. If the dam faces major flooding, it could collapse before the repairs are finished. The word “tragedy” does not even begin to approach how horrendous this catastrophe would be (The New Yorker).
In our world of spiritual warfare, there are other barriers that are often left in disrepair. These barriers don’t hold back water, they restrain the wave of sin and onslaught of spiritual attacks against us. If we don’t maintain our spiritual lives, we allow Satan to tear down our walls, come right in, and attack us, leaving ourselves on the brink of collapse. Here are some suggestions for spiritual maintenance.
First, set up and reinforce the walls. Proverbs 25:28 says, “Like a city that is broken into and without walls is a man who has no control over his spirit.” Putting up spirituals walls takes self-control. We purposely place obstacles in the way to keep sin from entering our lives. This means we must be honest with ourselves. What do we struggle with? When are we at our most vulnerable? Then, let’s put up walls to keep sin away. Stop hanging around bad influences (1 Corinthians 15:33). Stop allowing corrupting media entertainment to influence our words, actions, and thoughts (Philippians 4:8). Remove all electronic devices from rooms and private locations (2 Timothy 2:22). Change the route we travel home if it brings us near a place that tempts us to sin (Psalm 101:2). Whatever the struggle, make it as difficult as possible for that sin to get near. The more walls the better.
Second, equip with personal armor (Ephesians 6). Let’s outfit ourselves with protection from head to toe. Walk with the gospel of peace (vs. 15). Stand in the truth (vs. 14). Protect our core by doing what is right in God’s eyes (vs. 14). Let our faith in God stand as the shield for so many attacks (vs. 16). Keep salvation upon ourselves at all time (vs. 17). And of course, keep God’s word in our lives at all times for both offense and defense (vs. 17). With such a complete set of armor, we will be able to “stand firm against the schemes of the devil” (vs. 11).
Third, stay alert. It is vital that we’re thinking clearly (1 Peter 1:13) and constantly remaining alert for spiritual attacks (1 Peter 5:8-9). Typically we are most vulnerable when we just aren’t thinking clearly. Simply remembering what Christ did for us and the spiritual danger sin puts us in can go a long way. If we already have walls set up, a complete set of armor on, and we’re alertly watching for attacks, it will be very hard for sin to get to us.
It’s going to take constant spiritual maintenance to keep our walls, armor, and mental focus strong. Let’s never let ourselves get to the brink of collapse. The reward for doing so will be so sweet (2 John 8; Hebrews 11:6).