It was a warm day,
and the raspberries
in our garden were calling me....
Our berry patch, though a bit weedy, was really starting to take off, and I didn’t want one of those juicy treats to over ripen on my watch.
I was busily making my way from plant to plant when I looked to a corner of the garden where I hadn’t picked. Spotting something lying tightly coiled among the weeds – I drew myself up.
There lay the biggest snake I’d seen in a long time.
Now, I’m not as afraid of snakes as you may think, but I do respect their space, and I like to keep my own distance. I gawked at the snake for a while and later took some pictures.
It was kind of an amazing nature moment for me, and I think what struck me the most was the ability that the snake had to “blend in” to its surroundings. Easily, I could have stepped on it without seeing it.
Easily I could have found myself with a nasty snake bite.
And as I think of my snake quietly coiled and watching me pick my berries, I’m reminded of the ol’ serpent that craftily sneaks into the gardens of our lives.
Often, I think we are too naive of Satan’s crafty presence among us. We go about our days unmindful that we even have an enemy that’s all too ready for the pounce.
Recently, I was speaking with a friend about a sticky situation that has gone from bad to worse. How could people behave so badly? I wondered aloud to my friend. She looked at me with fierce conviction and said quite clearly, “You have to know who your adversary is Debbie.”
Hmmm, I knew just who she meant and she was right, it wasn’t my place to point my finger at people. It was my place to pray.
Satan plays a great, big role in our messes and broken relationships doesn’t he?
And scripture speaks the truth about where the real battle lies: “For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places Ephesians 6:12.”
Now when I go into my raspberry patch, I proceed with caution. With a watchful eye, I look before I step, always aware that a snake may be waiting, ready to strike. I know that there may be an adversary lurking in my garden.
It’s unfortunate that many Christians walk forward in life unaware of what they are up against.
A few months ago, I found an old devotional book called “The Runner’s Bible” by Nora Holm. I thought it would be great to put the book near my treadmill and get a “spiritual workout” while I exercise.
As I read the book, however, I discovered something wrong in the author’s theology.
You see, she denied the presence of evil in our world saying that God couldn’t have made such a thing: “If what God created is good and perfect, then evil or imperfection is not from Him. If He made all that was made and finished His work, then evil never was created, and consequently cannot be said to really exist. Evil is indeed a mistaken calculation, an untruth, and must so be considered.”
Ahh… I don’t think that Ms. Holm read her Bible correctly nor did she understand the consequences of sin.
Because of her beliefs, I’m thinking that this author was terribly unarmed for the “snakes” that were hiding out in her life.
In 1Peter 5:8 the Bible clearly says: “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”
Now I know that we don’t need to be looking for a devil behind every bush, but we do need to have an understanding that a spiritual world does exist and there are demonic spirits just waiting for us to put our guard down.
We can be “battle ready” with regular Bible reading, Bible study, church attendance and prayer. Sticking close to our all-powerful Father through whom all battles are won.
2 Corinthians 10:3-4 Amplified Bible
For though we walk (live) in the flesh, we are not carrying on our warfare according to the flesh and using mere human weapons.
For the weapons of our warfare are not physical [weapons of flesh and blood], but they are mighty before God for the overthrow and destruction of strongholds,
Ephesians 6:12 Amplified Bible
For we are not wrestling with flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the despotisms, against the powers, against [the master spirits who are] the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere.
2 Corinthians 2:11 The Message
After all, we don't want to unwittingly give Satan an opening for yet more mischief—we're not oblivious to his sly ways!
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