We have a cat, Patches. She really was our first pet since we had the kids. Tim was in the fourth grade & his teacher was looking for a home for her. Patches. She had been brought to the vet’s office, where the teacher’s daughter worked, to be put to sleep. She had been mistreated & was unwanted. She was a year old, perfectly healthy & beautiful. So she was brought home until they could find a home for her.
We have had Patches now for 13+ years. We all love her. She has been a great pet. And we love her. She has this one fault.
She bites the back of my legs. You would never believe it from her sweet face:
OK, so she is a little annoyed with me at the moment for bothering her while she was napping. Probably good for a random bite later on!!!
But biting the back of my legs, well, that is a fault, in my opinion 🙂
It is totally unwarranted. Never predictable. It is always a random act. And it is always me. Thankfully, she does not break skin. The vet says that some cats have this behavior trait to show that they will not be bossed, that they are the boss & do it with the one they feel “safe” with. Too bad, that it did not make me feel “safe” :)) It did not take me long to figure out that she was quiet & swift on her feet. So I quickly made an addition to her collar – a bell!! I thought this was a brilliant idea on my part!!
Seriously. I figured if she were going to come at me from behind, at least now, I would have some warning. Of course, I never thought that as the years passed, I would get accustomed to the bell & so it was like I didn’t hear it anyway. It was in the background. The significance of the “warning” was falling on deaf ears.
And that is the point today. Here is what my cat has taught me….
We have an Enemy. As believers, we have heard this & know it well. Scripture tells us this:
“Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith” (1 Peter 5:8, 9a NLT).
He’s prowling. He’s looking for someone to devour. To take that bite out of, much the same way Patches does to the back of my leg. Here’s the thing that stood out today – he’s roaring. If he is roaring, guess what? I should hear him coming. OK, so maybe not in a literal out loud so the ears on the side of my head can hear. BUT in a spiritual sense, I should be able to hear him. I should be onto his schemes & be aware when he is approaching.
God has given us the means by which to defend ourselves:
- Stay alert. Funny that Peter of all people would use this command. He, who had fallen asleep, knew the consequences of not staying alert. Be aware of how your behavior, your thoughts, & your emotions may be reacting contrary to God’s ways. Don’t fall asleep spiritually. Make sure your love for God & the things of God remain passionate.
- Watch out. Look for the ways & situations going on in your life that are the means of the enemy pulling you down. Put up boundaries, if necessary, in your life.
- Stand firm. Know what you believe & hold fast to those truths. Do not permit yourself to be swayed from the truth of God’s Word.
- Be Strong. Ask God to strengthen you in your inner man so that you do not crumble under the pressures or temptations that come against you each day.
In many ways, the enemy’s roar is just like Patches’ bell – it is a warning & you can hear it coming. Today I pray that God would give me ears that hear. That He would train my ears to detect the enemy coming from afar. In that way, I would be prepared & able to be strong & stand firm. May I not become so accustomed to the enemy’s ploys that I no longer recognize his “roar”.