December 10, 2020
Don’t Become Firewood
In my younger days, I enjoyed cutting and splitting firewood. I would whip that sledge, honing my baseball swing, and core muscles for throwing a baseball harder and swinging a bit with more power. Splitting and stacking wood on hot humid summer days then enjoying the crackle and warmth on those cold fall and winter nights, munching on popcorn and watching Monday Night Football, playoffs, and college hoops. If you’ve ever split wood, you know how important and effective the “wedge” is for maximizing your effort.
A wedge is a heavy chunk of metal with a sharp pointed edge on one end and a flat surface on the other. A wedge is a necessity for splitting round logs so they can be separated into smaller pieces that dry out faster and burn more easily. As the wedge is pounded into the log with a sledgehammer, it divides the wood into two parts by separating the fibers and weakening them to the point of failure. The harder the wood, the more times you have to hit the wedge to drive through and separate the fibers.
You see, this is so similar to the enemy’s single-minded focus—separating us from our Father. Satan’s swings of the hammer are like the neglect we feel as he uses a verbal wedge of deceit. “See, no one cares for you. You’re on your own.” He uses a sudden hurt, betrayal or loss of innocence to tell us, “This is a dangerous world, and you’re all alone. You’ve been abandoned.” He uses assaults and abuses to scream, “See, this is all you are good for. You’re a reject, a failure.”
Satan’s constant strikes of the wedge weaken us. The details are different for everyone, but the effect is always the same—an injury to the soul, and with it, separation from our Father. This may sound dramatic, but it’s true. The enemy wants to split us from God and put us in the fire!
But God is not willing to let that be the end of our story. So, soak in this profoundly good news. Do you remember what Jesus taught about our Father’s heart in the parable of the lost son? Filled with compassion, God will come like a loving Father, take the wedge out and pull you as close to His heart as you’ll allow. He’ll take you back to heal the injuries and finish things that didn’t get finished. He will come for you, no matter how long you were away or how far from Him you feel. He makes you his dearly loved daughter or son.
Today, identify the wedges in your life. What lie or deception is Satan using to separate you from God’s love and abundant life, right now? When you feel uncomfortable, look at more of the data in that particular situation. Some of that data or your conclusions are probably false or distorted. That is Satan’s wedge: lies. Replacing those lies with God’s truth will draw you closer to Him. Whether you allow the Holy Spirit to remove the wedge or let Satan whack the wedge deeper into your soul is your decision, so choose well.
Dear Father God, my deepest desire is to trust You with my whole being. But this trust does not come easily for me, Father. I know that if I really learn to trust You, nothing can separate me from Your peace. I will endure the pounding of the wedge and will use each strike to train myself to trust You. I will ruin the enemy’s plan by growing in grace through the very adversity he uses to harm me. I pray in the name of the reason for my trust, Christ Jesus. And all God’s children say AMEN!
“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.” Luke 15:20
“Above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.” Ephesians 6:16