Late one afternoon last week I decided to do some fishing from the end of my dock. I simply enjoy fishing, but had not done that for over three years. Most fish caught are tossed back into the lake so they might live to fight another day.
Within an hour I had caught and released several fish. Among them were a walleye, three largemouth bass, and two chunky bluegills. However, one of the bass suffered injuries so extensive it would not survive.
After reeling the bass near to the end the dock, in the clear water I spotted a huge northern pike cruising silently nearby like a submarine in attack mode. The pike quickly closed in behind the bass as it struggled for freedom. Just as I was about to lift my two-pound catch from the water, the pike suddenly and viciously lunged toward its intended victim. With a death grip the attacker’s toothy jaws clamped around the helpless bass. I'm sure that visions of a tasty dinner were dancing through that pike's pea-sized brain.
However, when the perpetrator felt resistance from my fishing line, it released its prey and quickly left the crime scene. A brief examination of the bass revealed that the pike’s razor sharp teeth had ripped the flesh away from both sides of my fish. The wounds were deep and fatal.
Minutes later the same northern pike attempted another attack on the next bass I had hooked. The pike was relentless in its efforts to devour its prey. This time its attack was unsuccessful, and the bass escaped unharmed.
Then, I began to think about those bass living in a world where their existence requires that they be constantly on high-alert-status for predators willing and able to destroy it at any time. Just imagine if we lived in such a world!
But wait! We do!
They are all around us. Many of our predators use schemes that are subtle in nature, but others, like that pike, will act quickly to devastate our lives. If we don’t remain vigilant, they will tear away our means of survival – and even steal our eternal soul.
The Bible teaches that very thing. It warns that the devil is lurking nearby, and is always attempting to attack us in ways and at times we do not expect. If we are not watchful and prepared, his efforts will surely succeed.
1 Peter 5:8 KJV
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
We are surrounded on all sides by the evil lies of this world - often disguised as something good. The lures that tempt us are everywhere. Do not be deceived, for the spiritual attacks we face each day are battles for our very soul.
I fear that many have been blindly led down the wide road that Satan's world offers to them. They have been hooked by lures designed to lead them away from the Lord. Many have been trapped in the devil’s net and do not realize it. Does that describe you? Do you even know?
We must hold on tight to that which is good, but it cannot be done alone. It is only through the power of God's Word, prayer, and a personal relationship with Him that we are able to stand firm with the strength needed to guard our hearts and thoughts.
Ephesians 6:11-12 KJV
Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
With God leading the way, the victory is ours - for we have His sure promise that the devil will flee from us. Oh, lead me on, Precious Lord!