I take a walk down a gravel road every day. In fact I walk the same path 3 times every day. I take the same route so I can just pray or think and let my brain relax. Last week for the first time I saw a snake. I saw a gopher snake, a little baby one less than a foot long. Then 2 days later I saw a much bigger one. It stretched across about 1/2 the road. Now that I know they are there I can’t just mindlessly wander. I am vigilant and watching. These snakes are harmless but they scare me.
I wonder if my spiritual life could use a wake up like this.
The bible warns us to be vigilant, not because our enemy is a gopher snake but …”Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”
We have an enemy who is actively seeking our destruction. not a harmless gopher snake, a powerful and destructive killer. A lion. Maybe I should wake up and watch where I’m going. There is so much good and so much evil just a click or two away.
If we look at the Christian life like Jesus described it in John 10 where Jesus is our shepherd and we his sheep then the lion analogy brings on fresh meaning.
“The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5 But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.”
There is a lion who wants to destroy me but he knows that he has to separate me first. Isolate me from my flock and from my shepherd. I need to stay close enough to hear his voice.