Sitting near my front window and observing the activity at my bird feeder has been one of the quiet joys of my life. Many beautiful birds come to visit along with a number of pesky squirrels who enjoy the free food. However, the other day, I had an opportunity to watch a real life drama play out before me.
In our neighborhood, we have a few feral cats that are always on the prowl for food. One in particular, a calico, likes to come near the bird feeder to see if he can snatch a meal. Most of the
time, the birds are too quick for him, but on this particular day, there were two fearless squirrels who dared the cat to do anything to them. Each time the cat would advance closer, the squirrels would scamper up the tree. When the cat got within six feet of the tree, one of the silly squirrels came down to munch on the seeds which had fallen on the ground. The cat lay motionless for the longest time but I knew he was watching every move the squirrel was making. Finally, when the squirrel had his back turned towards the cat, the calico ran full speed to get him. He barely escaped and ran up another tree. Not to be thwarted, the calico sat at the base of this tree, and wouldn't you know? The squirrel ran down the other side and started to make a run for the bushes with the cat hot on his trail. I could see the shrubs moving violently for a moment. I don't know what the outcome was unfortunately, but if the squirrel escaped, it would have been a miracle. Now what would prompt a squirrel to take a chance like that? He practically invited the cat to chase him. Perhaps he missed the lesson on avoiding predators, but for whatever reason, he was playing with fire. This is not unlike some of us who seem to walk as near to danger and temptation as we can without falling into it.
Peter's letter talks about our adversary and warns us to take heed. I Peter 5:8 reads: "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour..." In this warning, Peter reminds us that Satan is keeping a watch on anyone who would stray from the sheepfold. He cannot snatch our soul that belongs to God, but he can trip us up. Therefore, Peter warns Christians to be sober and vigilant. We are to keep a watch so that we will not be surprised.
Having watched a good number of nature programs on the Discovery Channel, it is no surprise to me how very determined, powerful, and fast a hungry lion is when he sees an easy target. He lays in wait hoping that his prey will let his guard down. Then he pounces and runs full speed to capture the animal for his meal. In the same way, Satan prowls around with restless energy seeing whom he can chew up and spit out. Often the result can be a damaged reputation or a decimated ministry.
Recently, there have been a number of those in ministry who have had to step down due to improprieties of a personal nature, and others who are still ministering but are like the walking wounded as a result of their sin. Certainly, our adversary will show no mercy in any field of combat. This is why it is crucial to pray daily, read God's Word and seriously prepare every day by putting on the full armor of God (read Ephesians 6:10-18). Verse 11 of that chapter reads: "Clothe yourselves with the full armor of God so that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil."
As for the squirrel, I do not know the outcome of that serious chase, but he certainly played loose with his safety. When it comes to us, we have been warned a number of times about our enemy who would like nothing better than to have us on the injured reserve list rather than in the game. God help us to keep our eyes on the goal of our high calling in Christ and our feet solidly planted in the Bible so that we may act with God's wisdom. Selah!