Like a roaring lion.
A couple weeks ago, I had one of those moments. You know, one of those moments when God gently smacks you. I don’t know about you all, but I go through times in my life when I just skate by. I exist, but I don’t live. I go about my life with little thought of my spiritual condition. Even after God has brought us from death unto life, we still need to be awakened from our slumber from time to time.
Early one Saturday morning a few weeks ago, I found myself locked out of my house in a new neighborhood–in my pajamas with no keys and no phone. Bad combination.
Please, Lord. Don’t do this to me.
I walked to the end of the street where I knew a very nice lady who was sure to help me. I rang the doorbell. No answer. I knocked a few times at a different door. No answer. I trekked back up to the top of the hill at the other end of the street to another house whose owners I had met before. Once again, no answer. At this point I was pleading with God. Wanting to cry, but unwilling to, I promised myself I would maintain composure.
God is sovereign. He has a purpose for this. Keep your attitude and emotions in check, Katie.
I had knocked on the doors of five different houses before I found a good Samaritan. He let me in to use the phone and I was able to call my family to request my spare car key and further assistance. I made the journey back to my house and collapsed in a chair on the back patio. Hot, exhausted, and a little shaken, I tried to relax myself while I waited for my father to come to my rescue (he is a hero for sure.)
Okay, Lord. What are you doing here? Is there something you are wanting to teach me? Are you testing my faith?
It was then that something hit me. I had found myself in this situation because of carelessness. I was being lax. I walked out the door knowingly leaving my keys in the house. I even thought to myself before taking the dogs out, “maybe I should take my keys with my, just in case.” And we all know how far I got with that thought.
Up to this day, I had been so careful about always having my keys with me when I took the dogs out or went outside for anything in order to avoid this very situation. But I had let my guard down just one time and I was paying for it. It occurred to me at that very moment that we must diligent with spiritual matters in the same way that must stay on our toes with things in the physical realm. God convicted me during this time of reflection on the patio. I had been guilty of not digging into God’s Word much lately. I honestly couldn’t remember the last time I had really poured my heart out to God in prayer. I had just been spiritually careless. This passage of scripture came to mind: “Be sober-minded. Be watchful. Your adversary the devils prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8 (ESV)
It amazed me how much God was able to show me during that time on the porch. Yes, I was frustrated, I was hot. I was worried. But that small trial was used for a greater good–to bring me to my knees before the Lord, to bring me to a place where I saw my spiritual condition. So often we forget that it is not flesh and blood that we are up against. There is an enemy and he is real. He is prowling about, waiting to devour us. And we think we can get by without being diligent and watchful, without putting our armor on.
10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. Ephesians 6:10-18 (ESV)
Be ready, brothers and sisters. If we are not walking closely with our Lord and communing with Him incessantly, the enemy is waiting.