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Martin Wiles

Dr. Martin Wiles

Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8 NLT)

We perched high above the ground, stalking our prey before making our attack.

What made my cousin and I spend so much time in our grandfather’s hog pens, I’m not sure. Apart from hunting, roaming in the hog pens was our favorite thing. Chinaberry trees grew plentiful along the fence rows, and climbing them provided a good view of the entire hog pen—since the hogs were often shrouded by tall bunches of straw. Once we had mapped out our plan of attack, we shimmied down the tree. But not before bringing with us an important weapon.

Limbs from Chinaberry trees made good weapons. Before descending, we whipped out our hunting knives, lopped off a good-sized limb, and headed for a spot where we’d peel the bark and point the end. After letting our homemade spears dry, we were ready for the attack.

We quietly sneaked through the pen, hiding behind straw as we crawled. When close enough to make our shot, we stood up and hurled our spears at the unsuspecting beasts. Sure enough, the squeal brought our grandmother to the porch, hollering for us to leave the hogs alone. But we already had, for as soon as the spear hit its mark the hog turned on us, and we headed for safer ground.

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On a much safer level, my cousin and I mimicked what Peter says Satan does: prowls about. He is the archenemy of believers and is set on destroying us.

Although Satan is our enemy, we often give him too much credit. He only capitalizes on a greater problem: our sin nature (James 1:14). The thing we’re born with that leads us toward bad choices, rather than right living. The propensity which pulls us in one direction no matter how hard we try to go in the opposite direction.

Satan knows we have this issue. Through practice by way of temptation, he learns our weak spots and zeroes in on them, tempting us in areas he knows we’re most likely to fall prey to. While he cannot steal our salvation, he can spear our testimony, our reputation, and our usefulness for God.

The good news is that God always provides a way of escape, if we’ll look. No temptation is greater than our ability to endure and escape it when we make the attempt in God’s power, not our own.

Don’t fall prey to Satan’s tactics. Claim your victory in Christ.

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Martin Wiles is managing editor of Christian Devotions, assistant editor of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas and author of Grits & Grace & God and Grits, Gumbo and Going to Church. His work is featured at www.lovelinesfromgod.com.

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