It was 10PM and Lauri just naturally assumed that our dog, Molly, wanted to go outside to relieve herself. But Molly was acutely aware of an unauthorized visitor on our deck, and as the door barely cracked open she burst through and jumped on the surprised raccoon bandit that was raiding the bird-feeder and… IT WAS ON! Snarls, growls and hisses filled the night as Molly attempted to punish the unwelcome trespasser for its heinous crimes.
Lauri immediately rushed out yelling, “No, Molly! No, Molly”! Me… the compassionate person that I am… remained seated in my living room chair as I shouted, “Let her do her job!” Sure, it’s the bird-feeder today, but it will be my corn in 2 1/2 months. Much to Molly’s chagrin, the raccoon was able to escape to safety within a nearby tree while she circled it in annoyance; challenging the little thief to come down and fight fairly.
Molly certainly feels like she is Lord… er… Lady of the Manor. She patrols our property with the vigilance of a Marine standing at post in an active war zone. Yep, geese, raccoons, squirrels and chipmunks flee from her in terror… even though she rarely actually catches one. But she is diligent! She is focused! She is determined! She is always aware of the threat.
You know, Molly’s behavior reminds me of the necessity to always be prepared for The Enemy’s influence in my life. Solomon wrote, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Proverbs 4:23 NIV The idea of “guarding my heart” reminds me of that Marine standing at post, guarding his platoon in the midst of conflict — prepared for any type of assault.
Of course, it was Peter who warned us to consider that there are spiritual influences in our life seeking our destruction. He compares Satan to a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8). A dire warning indeed to the follower of Jesus, that Satan is seeking our destruction. Paul would expand on the teaching of spiritual influences by challenging us to put on the full armor of God (Ephesians 6) to “extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one”. And we are aware that both Peter and Paul first heard of these warnings from Jesus when he said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.” John 10:10 ESV
The Believer in Jesus does well to remain diligent, focused, determined and always aware of the threat, because the threat is real… but it is a DEFEAT-ABLE THREAT. Living within the follower of Jesus is the very presence of Jesus, and we know that Jesus is the Great Overcomer (John 16:33). John wrote, “for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4 ESV
So, let’s remain vigilant, but unafraid. Let’s not be intimidated, but instead, prepared. And then when we see The Enemy approach, roaring in threat, we can remind him that the Overcomer lives within us! Now… I just have to decide if I should put out traps for that pesky raccoon or trust Molly’s vigilance…