Ever had one of those dreams where everything is in slow motion? Literally, it is my most common. Someone is chasing me and suddenly I cannot move. I lean forward and give it all I’ve got, but it’s like running up a steep sand dune. You feel the chaser getting closer, and all your effort is in slow mo.
I have a sense that this can be a full color illustration of our spiritual warfare experience. The enemy is after us, but our responses are never enough.
Maybe a shark experience is more accurate. Fortunately, I don’t have a personal one, but I have read enough of them.
It’s perfect day for a swim. The sky is sunny, and the ocean is cool and refreshing. You are minding your own business splashing around in the cool waters that would be just over your head. Below the surface, just out of your awareness, a shark is stirring, and circling. You are having the time of your life, unaware of the extreme danger just at your feet.
This identifies our spiritual warfare!
Let’s face it, we have an enemy that is not just hoping for our demise, he is planning for it. Every new morning he meets with his minions and modifies plans and tailors them specifically to our personal weaknesses and vulnerabilities. The destructive nature of our enemy will make the hair stand on end.
The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. (John 10:10)
Kill. Steal. Destroy. No love found there. When offering his devious scheme against Job, Satan received one guideline from God– “save his life” (Job 2:6). Conclusion: Given the green light, Satan’s first passion would have been to suffocate the life right out of Job. If we think for a moment he has a better, more hands-off plans for us, we are more naive than expected.
The fact that we often live day after day without noticing the obvious schemes to lure to sin should terrify us.
It’s there, and so is he. Satan is never on vacation. He is never at a loss for ideas. He will hunt you down like a hound on the scent of a raccoon. He will not call off the dogs. Peter gives such a clear warning that should awaken us better than any caffein fix.
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: (1 Peter 5:8).
Here is my version:
Be cautiously, and constantly alert. You are living in a wildlife preserve filled with hungry lions who are aggressively hunting for their next meal.
Talk about the ultimate reality show! The picture of a lion hunting us down to illustrate the spiritual battle is creepy. Day in and day out the temptations will come in waves. No commercial break. It is a daily onslaught that has no pity on naivety. James reminds us that, “EVERY man [and woman] IS tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust..” (James 1:14).
Maybe today’s prayer is asking God to open your eyes to the reality and dangers that surround you. Closing your eyes does not make a walk through a mine field any more safe. Proverbs 7 warns us that we are not playing a game, this is for our very life.
- What is your weakness? You don’t need a quiet weekend away to determine what you seem to give in to each time it is offered. You know, you just need to admit it.
- What is your plan to ‘survive’ the next wave of attacks against your integrity? Is there a plan? Or do you just live day to day hoping for the best?
The enemy is real, and vicious. He is lurking in the edges of the zoned swimming area; just below your feet.