Imagine coming upon this sign in your travels. How would you react? I doubt we would stroll through Mountain Lion territory sipping our lattes and looking down at our cell phones oblivious to our surroundings.
My pastor recently used this illustration from his trip to Yosemite National Park. He said he had a machete strapped on his shoulder (mostly to look intimidating) but as he and his family entered Mountain Lion country with high grass on both sides of the path he had his hand on that machete every single step ready to remove it from its sheath and use it if necessary. All his senses were at a heightened state of readiness. He said he felt like he was being watched as he and his family made their way down the path. The grass was high and made it impossible to see if a Mountain Lion was approaching. As the sign says, “They have been known to attack without warning.”
Honestly, if it were me, I may have turned around and headed back to the hot springs for a nice relaxing soak. At the National Park, that would have been an option open to me, but in life we don’t have the choice. How do I know that? Because God warns us through Peter, Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour (NKJV); Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour (ESV); Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour (NIV) 1 Peter 5:8.
I hope you didn’t skip the Scripture though I repeated the same verse three times from different versions. I shared each because of the different nuance gained from each one: God warns us to be sober, sober-minded:
“…marked by sedate or gravely or earnestly thoughtful character or demeanor; …marked by temperance, moderation, or seriousness”[i]
In other words – take this reality seriously. We have a very real and very active enemy, our adversary the devil whose intent is to “steal and kill and destroy” John 10:10.
God also warns us in 1 Peter to be vigilant, watchful, alert, hand-on-the- machete-ready. We are in Mountain Lion territory. The devil is in the high grass prowling around looking for someone to devour. “He has been known to attack without warning.”
I am not suggesting that we see the devil behind every rock and tuft of grass but the Bible does say he is out there and he IS behind SOME rocks and tufts of grass.
I hope this illustration gives you some food for thought today as it has me.
Diane Hunt serves part-time on the staff of America’s Keswick providing ministry support from her home in North Carolina. She is also a biblical counselor and women’s event speaker. For more information about having Diane speak at your next event please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.