My husband and I love to hike. Our first stop on any vacation is the Visitor’s Welcome Center to find the best trails for exploring new territory. In Southwest Florida, a recommended nature trail introduced us to the Strangler Fig. The beginning of a Strangler Fig appears insignificant as a seed finds an available space to call home. Don’t be fooled. As the fig grows, it reaches tentacle-like arms around the host tree. This is not a hug of gratitude, but rather the slow strangulation of the seemingly stronger host. Eventually, the host tree dies and the Strangler Fig puts down roots to claim what now belongs to it.
The spiritual implications of the Strangler Fig did not escape me. Satan needs very little space in our minds to start spreading his lies. We need to be filled with the things of God to keep Satan from finding that foothold in our lives. Satan’s goal is to grow his grip around our minds, our hearts and our souls. Slowly, but surely, Satan intends to strangle the life out of us, claiming us as his own. Don’t be fooled, it won’t end well.
God offers us the protection of His hug. Hug God back and don’t let go. God’s goal is to surround us with His love. God gives abundant life in His Son Jesus Christ so we can survive and thrive. With God filling the nooks and crannies of our lives, Satan will have to move on to more fertile ground. Satan constantly reminds us of what is choking the life out of us. God constantly reminds us that Jesus Christ died on the cross to win our freedom from Satan’s stranglehold.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.
“When an evil spirit comes out of a man, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and takes seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that man is worse than the first.”