Around ten o’clock last night, a teenager and I walked out to the goat pen to make sure they had plenty of water and hay.
Even though we live in Montana where grizzly bears, mountain lions, wolves, wolverines, and other interesting critters are known to lurk around, we walked out there unprotected. We had no gun, no knife, and no flashlight. We live close to the interstate and have never seen any signs of threatening wildlife near our home so we got a little too comfortable.
When we approached the goat pen, the goats were unusually silent. I called their names, but we didn’t hear a single “Baaah.”
Thinking maybe they were just laying down or something, I walked over to open the pen door. I was planning walk through the dark pen as I have done so many times before. The seventeen year old said, “I’ll do that for you if you want me to.”
I told him he could, but then he asked if I had a flashlight app on my cell phone. I pulled out the phone, turned on its flashlight and shined it in the pen for him. We opened the gate and the boy took about two steps inside before saying, “Uh… something’s in here,” before nearly plowing me over to get out of the pen. The next thing we knew, a huge cat jumped up to the top of the wall and clung to it like something I had never seen.
In a panicked adrenaline rush, we thought it was a mountain lion. It turned out to only be a bobcat. It was obvious he had attempted to eat our goats for a late-night snack, but they had fought against him and had been holding him off until we got there. Praise the Lord, no one got hurt and the goats are all still safe and healthy.
The moral of this story is to never let your guard down. Never. No matter how smooth your life seems to be going. Don’t settle so deeply into your comfort zone that you think nothing bad is going to happen.
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour;”
Last night, that pretty, yet hungry bobcat was doing just that. He was walking about, seeing who or what he could fill his belly with.
Quite often, I go to the goat pen alone at night, without a flashlight. I walk inside the pen where it is so dark, I can’t see anything at all. I know where everything is. I carry a bucket of water to the back corner and if I feel something brush up against me, I reach out and pat its head and say, “Which one are you?”
I can’t help but to think what would have happened last night had I went out to that goat pen alone, like I do more often than not. What would have, what could have happened had I reached down to pet a goat and stroked the head of a hungry bobcat instead?
Do you know how easy it is to let our guard down when it comes to spiritual matters? It’s probably easier than we realize.
Last night, I was more careful than I had been in a long time. When I was walking around outside, I was thinking about all of the places a wild animal could be hiding. How he or she could be crouched down somewhere, just waiting for an opportunity to pounce. Sure, I have thought of those things before. However, after some time, you just don’t take those thoughts too seriously any more.
If you are employed in a place where you interact with members of the opposite sex, don’t let your guard down. Recognize that the devil is walking around as a roaring lion, waiting to see whom he may devour. If he can get that co-worker to flirt with you or vice versa, he has already won half of the battle. Be careful. Don’t ever say a negative word about your spouse to anyone. The devil will see that as a weakness in your marriage and he will pounce all over it!
If you are a parent and your kids attend public school, or even private school for that matter, don’t get too comfortable. Your kids are being tempted with drugs and alcohol. They are being pressured to sneak out of the house at night. Teens who want to be accepted by their peers will sometimes do things that go against their better judgment. Things that might not only take them away from serving God, but things that might ruin their lives entirely. If you don’t know what your kids or your teenagers are doing when they aren’t in your eyesight, you better be careful. That devil will see your kids as being vulnerable to attack and there is a good possibility they will become his prey. Just because they haven’t fallen yet, don’t get too comfortable. You don’t know what tomorrow may hold.
When you see that new cell phone that you just have to buy, be careful. Don’t go into debt for a cell phone. I recently had to replace mine and I bought a smart phone for $30. I only have to pay $45 per month for my service. There is no need to go into debt and tie yourself down just to have the latest technology. What is wrong with that, you might ask? The devil is walking around as a roaring lion, waiting to see whom he may devour. If you spend all of the money you have coming in for things like cell phones, computers, a couple of fancy vehicles, the finest home you can afford, etc… do you know what will happen when a missionary has a need? You won’t be able to fill it because you will have all of your money tied up in temporal things. Won’t that make that devil happy? You can’t help a missionary go overseas and lead hundreds or thousands to Christ because you were too worried about having the latest technology. The same could be said of when a relative needs to have a surgery that their insurance won’t cover or a family in your community loses their home to a fire. Do you set money aside so you can be a blessing to others or have you let the devil attack that area of your life?
Be careful folks. That bobcat showed up when we were least expecting him. He could have killed our goats. He could have attacked and injured any one of us. We had gotten careless. We had stopped being as careful as we knew we should have been. That ole bobcat recognized an easy target and he went for it. Don’t become an easy target for the devil and don’t make it easier for him to attack your family either.