BY: DAVE GARNER
APRIL 20, 2008
Several times in the past we have had a battle of wits with ants coming into the house. When we lived in Oklahoma they could be a nuisance and we had to spray several times in order to get them out of the house. Just about the time we would get one group of ants dealt with, another group would pop up somewhere else. Sometimes it seemed the ants were coming in everywhere. They were a determined lot. Every once in awhile I would see a single ant walking around and I got the impression that he was a scout, or a forerunner out investigating for the others, searching for a food or water source so that he could go back and tell the others about what he found. By himself, the first ant did not look like much and was not much of a problem, but when the one ant told the others of the treasures he had found, we would have a whole bunch to deal with. I knew that if he found whatever he was looking for the next thing I would be dealing with would be a whole line of ants, so I would quickly dispatch with him and my persistence usually paid off and it would not be long before we were able to eradicate them.
But, when we moved to east Texas we were introduced to fire ants, and these boogers are a whole different breed of ant. The first couple of months we were there we stayed in a small two bedroom house trailer. The bedroom was small enough that when we put our queen size mattress into the room we had to push it up against the wall, leaving about three feet of space beside the one side and end of the bed to walk around in. We woke up the second morning after we were there covered with ants of all sizes from an eighth of an inch to a quarter, all over the bed with two or three trails of them coming down the wall; they were even all over our folded clean clothes and the dirty clothes basket in the corner. They were also all around the kitchen sink area and as well, the bathroom sink and several other places throughout the trailer. It turned out that the trailer was infested with them from front to back. When a fire ant bites you, they leave a whelp that can itch and irritate for days, and if several of them bite you, it can be painful. I confess we did not win over these ants; we fought with them the whole time we stayed in the house, even after spraying, cleaning and everything else we tried, but all to no avail. I am almost certain there were a couple standing over in corner laughing at us when we moved out.
I began to ponder on our experience with the ants and they reminded me of the negative thoughts that can so easily take over my mind if I do not keep my mind and spirit focused upon the energizing life flow of God ever flowing around me and in me. During the times when I have sight upon my purpose and I feel like my life is going somewhere, I have energy and reason for being and I feel I can face any obstacle and overcome. When I involve myself in spiritual fellowship with God through the Holy Spirit, actively seeking, studying and reaching out to commune with Him either personally or through others, through worship, prayer, study of the Word, fellowship or in whatever way, I am able to identify those negative thoughts and destroy them before they have time to take root and multiply.
We were able to control the ants in the house where we lived in Oklahoma because we got to them before they had time to get established. As soon as we saw the first signs of ants coming into the house, we took immediate action against them by spraying aunt poison and removing whatever might be drawing them into the house. The ant problem never lasted to long and we were able to live ant free, but when we moved into the trailer in Texas, it was already infested with ants. The trailer had been setting empty for a little while and no one had taken the time to keep the ants under control and they had taken the trailer over, almost to the point of making it uninhabitable.
For a time a little while back, I came close to losing sight of my spiritual vision and even began to question my purpose because I took my eyes off of His (God life, His Living Word) abiding presence within me and around me and without meaning to do so, I unconsciously allowed myself to be caught up in the negative forces or energy of the visible world around me. I allowed my thoughts to be drawn into that negative energy flow by focusing my attention upon problems which we were facing instead of Him who is our solution, and it began to drag me down into a deep hole and sap the life out of me. The spirit of the world plays no favorites; it quickly began to rob me of my hope and the cares of the world begin to swallow me up. I am not talking about lying, cheating, cussing, hatred, variance, greed, lust or such like; for if I ever had problems in these areas I have long past overcome them, but the ones I am talking about is worry, fear, depression, doubt, anxiety, hurt, overeating, and it was these little foxes that almost destroyed my vine. When I allowed just one of these little thoughts to roam unchecked in my mind, it invariably opened the door to a flood of other negative feelings that began to eat away at my faith. The bills begin to get bigger, the feeling of being persecuted seemed to become stronger, the feeling of being forgotten and misunderstood increased, the cloud of confusion began to grow and I began to feel more and more separated from the body of Christ, and disputes began to multiply between Sheila and I, hurts, pains, past failures, rejection and whatever else decided to invade the sanctity of my being, and they all seemed to take on a life of their own and multiply. I found myself being overwhelmed by the problems and turmoil around me, even to the point of questioning my faith, trying to guess what I should do next. It is clear, at least within me, the negative thoughts added fuel to the unbelief that I had given space to grow, which lead to the negative emotions of fear, doubt, insecurity and unrest which in turn robbed us of sleep, happiness, confidence, inner peace, trust, and true fellowship with one another and with anyone around us. I was being swallowed up in darkness and had lost sight of where I was going and found myself groping in the dark for answers, fighting off the spirit of depression, hopelessness, despair and bitterness which were doing their best to move in and take up residence.
A few years ago a very dear friend of ours who lives in New Mexico was having problems with ants taking over her yard. I was there visiting and she asked if I knew of a way of getting rid of them. I said that I would see what I could do. For the first couple of hours my efforts were not producing any positive results, and I asked the Lord to show me what to do, as I did not want to leave my friend with her ant problem not resolved. It was then that I heard the Lord say, destroy the queen and it would destroy the nest. But in order to destroy the queen I had to get down to where she was at, otherwise all my efforts would accomplish nothing other than to kill a few thousand worker ants. I had to get to the reproductive center before I could achieve the desired outcome of destroying the ants. Once I understood this, I was able to destroy several ant colonies before I had to leave and return home.
When I find myself in these places of indecision and unrest, I can choose to allow negative thoughts the liberty to run rampant and ignore them, allowing them to take over my house and accept them as my own reality, or I can choose to do something about it. Unbelief begins to take root within my heart through the medium of my thoughts. I have really come to the understanding, that if I ever hope to overcome unbelief (the queen of the ant hill) within me, I must bring every thought (worker ants) into captivity by the authority of the Spirit of God that dwells within me. I realize now, more than ever, I can choose, just by what I keep my thoughts focused upon, to either dwell in the heavens, “positive” which is productive and life, or in the hell of unbelief, the “negative” which is death. I can choose to establish control over my thoughts by focusing upon His life within me, or I can continue to remain bound to the darkness around me by entertaining the thoughts of the “what might happen,” “what could be,” the “what ifs,” negative thoughts of past failures, fears, doubts and such like. I have been given the power and the authority over darkness and I have also been provided with all of the tools to strengthen my faith that I need, but I must accept them, incorporate them and choose to use them before I am able to eradicate the pest problem from out of my house. I must believe that He is and that He is willing and ready to give to me all that I ask for, before I can receive. It is by recognizing His ever abiding presence and sovereignty within every moment of my life, that I am forever able, to keep the negative thoughts at bay. The substance of His life, the living truth, actively moving and abiding within me, is the only exterminator that is able to permanently destroy negative thoughts, and a continual bombardment of positive affirmations of faith, encouragement and the determination to only entertain within my mind those things which brings forth life, will continue to keep the varmints away.
THOUGHT on ANTS [Dave Garner] 4-20-08 1