Sin doesn't often just happen. It creeps in slowly. It sneaks up and as you finally see the danger it's ugly teeth are showing. Yesterday I went outdoors to care for Gunner, our Red Bone. As I was kneeling down and filling his bowl with food he moves quickly behind me. Before I see the danger I hear it. It wasn't to be ignored. It was our neighbor's Pit Bull that had gotten loose. I froze. Gunner is sweet and lovable. He's the kind of watch dog that would watch thieves come in and steal us blind, while waiting to see if he too could go along with them.
I stood slowly and as I rose up the neighbor's dog was now trying to get on top of Gunner. I picked up his water bucket and with the metal food scoop in my hand I chased that dog away with everything in me. I still had more to do outdoors so I ran inside and grabbed a bat just in case he returned. Sure enough as I was ready to walk out the door he was waiting and his tail was not wagging. I was fearful for Gunner. I chased him away again. I stayed outdoors for quite awhile guarding Gunner like a mother bear in protection mode. After awhile I came inside, but still kept watch through the window.
This got me pondering how that dern dog sneaked up on me so quickly and I didn't hear him. I wasn't prepared to defend myself. He could have easily jumped on me and I wouldn't have had any warning. Gunner was my warning. He moved so quickly I knew something was happening. It was his quick movement that make me stand up and take notice. But just what if he had not been there to see him coming? I don't even want to think about that.
But that is exactly how life is for us. Sin sneaks in quietly like a snake. We often don't see them until we have stepped on top of them.
Read what Peter shares with us.
"Be sober! Be on the alert! Your adversary the Devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour. Resist him, firm int he faith, knowing that the same sufferings are being experienced by your brothers in the world." 1 Peter 5:8-9
Isn't that just like the devil to take someone out while they aren't watching! We have to be on guard at all times. So, just how do we do that?
"Finally, be strengthened by the Lord and His vast strength. Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the tactics of the Devil. For our battle isn't against the flesh and blood, but against the world powers of this darkness, against the authorities, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens. This is why you must take up the full armor of God, so that you may be able to resist the evil day, and having prepared everything, to take your stand." Ephesians 6:10-13
Solomon gives us great wisdom.
"Guard your heart above all else, for it is the wellspring of life." Proverbs 4:23
So, we are to be alert and we are to put on the full armor of the Lord. Now we see that we are to guard our heart above all else. Where we fail. Wait, I should say, where I fail, is when I turn my back. I wasn't anticipating an attack. But, isn't that just how Satan wants us to be? He would much rather us be ignorant to all that is around us.
We need to protect our eyes, ears and our minds. The only way to do that is to guard ourselves against this world and fix our eyes on Jesus.
"Therefore since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily ensnares us, and run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that lay before Him endured a cross and despised the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of God's throne." Hebrews 12:1-2
We must have a heart check. Look deep within and allow God to show us what needs to be there and what needs to go. Listen closely with love and a humble heart. One that is ready to obey. Stand guard and be ready. This battle rages on, but it's one that we already have victory over through our Lord Jesus Christ.