Be of Sober Spirit; be on the alert! Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8 NASB
I attended a funeral last week. It was a graveside service and there was a slight mist in the air. It had rained the night before so the ground outside the funeral tent was wet and it was difficult to gain steady footing.
As I stood alongside the tent, I suddenly felt a stinging sensation on my feet. As I looked down, I realized I had planted my feet on a small fire ant mound. Those rascals were vicious! A fire ant is so small, but it lands a powerful bite and will continue biting until it is swiped off your leg. I moved over a few inches and encountered the same problem. I could not see the fire ant nest because it was so closely associated to the ground. I moved again, feeling as if I was making too much commotion. But the fire ants would not leave me alone. No matter where I moved on the grass, I was attacked.
My husband came over to see if he could assist me. I explained my dilemma, and he suggested that I move to higher ground. He helped me move to an area nearer the family, above where I had been standing, and the situation was remedied. I simply needed to take my focus off the fire ants and move to a higher plane.
But here is the thing…by the time I was settled I realized that I did not hear one word of the funeral sermon. I was so distracted by the fire ants that I missed the blessing of God’s word and the stories of a faithful life of service that depicted the saint we were all there to honor.
Now, isn’t that just like Satan? He loves to distract us with the problems of this life. He will do what he can to keep us from God’s word and time in prayer. And like a fire ant, you may defeat him in one area only to find him watching for another opportunity to ensnare and destroy you.
As you oppose him, in all his assaults, be steadfast in the faith, firmly believing the truths and promises of the gospel, and adhering constantly to, and confiding in Christ. That is the high ground we all seek. To show the efficacy of faith, in enabling us to resist temptation, St. Paul calls it a shield (Ephesians 6:16 NASB) wherewith the fiery darts of the wicked may be quenched. Be reassured that the grace you need and the power of Christ within you enables you to resist temptation and defeat your enemy.
So I am careful where I walk these days. Fire ant bites hurt! I know the mounds filled with those pesky ants are ever present. It makes me think how carefully I must walk with God. When temptations come my way, when trouble surrounds me and when I am attacked, may I always move to higher ground and rest in His love and His word.
Dear Lord, You have clearly told us that “In this world we will have trouble, but take heart, I (Jesus) have overcome the world” (John 16:33 NASB). Please help us to remember we are never alone in our struggles, but have Your strength, Your power and Your love. With each temptation comes the opportunity to grow in our faith and show our steadfastness to Your call on our lives. Help us, dear Lord, to never settle for a life of defeat, but to be …”more than conquerors through Him who loved us” (Romans 8:37 NASB). In Jesus’ Name, Amen.