Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil
walks about like a roaring lion,
seeking whom he may devour.
Resist him, steadfast in the faith.
I Peter 5:8-9a
Here begins another exciting anecdote from the archives of Nancy’s everyday life! You obviously are familiar with my cat family by now…you know…the one that keeps growing as the word gets around that there’s this crazy lady that offers free food just for the taking. Anyway, I wrote not too long ago about the cat fight that ensued between two male cats vying for territorial rights at my place. They were rolling around the yard with fur flying in every direction while I stood on the porch yelling for them to stop! (You can just imagine how much that helped.)
So the other morning, I went out to feed the cats. There, on the steps of my back porch sat the skinny yellow cat who won the fight. He reminded me of a sentry standing watch…ears honed like glistening antennas; eyes peeled searching the horizon for any sign of intrusion by the enemy. He felt like he had won the territorial rights, now he had to diligently preserve them!
It immediately came to me that we, as Christians, should be as vigilant in our watch for the enemy of our souls. Indeed that is exactly what Peter is saying in this verse. Now if we are born again, we should not fear Satan, for the Lord says, “Behold! I have given you authority and power to trample upon serpents and scorpions, and [physical and mental strength and ability] over all the power that the enemy [possesses]; and nothing shall in any way harm you.” (Luke 10:19 AMP) But even though an opponent does not fear his enemy, he wants to be ready and prepared in case of an attack. How many of you know that Satan doesn’t announce himself at his arrival? Remember he disguised himself as a serpent when he came to Eve in the garden. And when he acted through Judas to betray Jesus, he even disguised himself as a friend and greeted Him with a kiss. My point is this…we have to be ever alert to the tactics that Satan uses to put stumbling blocks in our walk with God. It doesn’t always have to be big things. Someone can speak a discouraging word. Things just didn’t go right at the office. Someone talked you into doing something that didn’t turn out for your good. Maybe an old habit just keeps cropping up, trying to get you off course. “It’s the little foxes that spoil the vines.” Often Satan doesn’t come at us with big dilemmas, but with multiple little irritations or disappointments, one after the other. He is not overt, but very subtle.
Sometimes the thing that he tempts us with is not necessarily sinful, but is not what’s best for us. If he can get us to make choices that are not in God’s will for us, he can get us into discouragement and even depression.
Learn to recognize his attacks and resist them in the power of the Holy Spirit within you. Like that cat guarding his territory, we need to stand sentry over our souls! If there’s one thing Satan hates, it’s for us to recognize his strategies!
No weapon formed against you shall prosper,
And every tongue which rises against you in judgment
You shall condemn.
This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord,
And their righteousness is from Me,”
Says the Lord.
Isaiah 54:17 NKJ