Danger is always lurking nearby
My loyal dog Crystal loves to sit on our back deck and watch the critters at play in our yard. Our deck is raised about four feet up from the ground, so the view and vantage point of below and beyond is quite good. Chipmunks and squirrels love to chase each other through the ivy, up the tree trunks and back down, over the rocks and through the yard. The whole time they are busy playing, they have no idea that someone is intently watching them. Crystal watches their every move, her body poised and ready to pounce. Fortunately for these critters, she won’t chase them unless I give her permission to do so. She knows the rules. So, those fun-loving animals just keep playing, unaware of the danger that is lurking right there, impatiently waiting to attack.
That is a great comparison to our lives. The evil one watches our every move, knowing that he cannot touch us unless God gives him permission to do so. He is limited in his actions toward us. He is on a leash.
Satan is allowed some freedoms, therefore he is constantly trying to get to us in many ways; by doubt, discouragement, temptations, greed, fear, and pride, to name a few. His tactics are endless because he knows what our weaknesses are. He knows that our true strength to ward him off only comes from the power of Jesus’ name, through the Holy Spirit, so if he can take our focus off of the Lord, then we are more vulnerable to his attacks.
So we have to be aware of the fact that he could attack us at any time. We need to call on the Lord regularly for strength to face those challenges and trials when they do come at us face to face. We need to trust that the Lord has a purpose for these challenges, and allow it to make us stronger and more prepared to fight the next battle that comes our way. We have not been left alone, ignored or unprotected. He wants to protect us from the wiles and deadly ways of the evil one.
In fact, one of the most amazing scriptures is about the armor that God provides for us!
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
Therefore take up the the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.”
Food for thought: Which piece of the armor are you not using? (The belt of Truth, the breastplate of Righteousness, shoes of the Gospel of Peace, shield of Faith, helmet of Salvation, sword of the Spirit/Word of God, and prayer.)
Fun fact: Knights, beginning around 3,500 years ago, would wear either chain mail or metal plate armor. Chain mail weighed about 30 lbs. and was made of 1,000’s of metal rings. Plate armor weighed about 60 lbs. and was less flexible but more protective. Add to that their weapons, and they had to be really strong. Good thing our armor and weapons don’t weigh us down!
Recommendation: a Bible study called “The Armor of God”, by Priscilla Schirer.
Photo by: Kari Wiseman – Vulture. (No, this is NOT a picture of my dog, but it does represent the eery sense of evil lurking and waiting! This was taken at the Indian Seats of Sawnee Mountain, GA.)