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* Today I am sharing an edited post from 2011.

Several years ago we had a cat who had a habit of jumping on me from behind, unprovoked and unannounced. We put a bell on her collar to announce her approach and at first, I heard it loud and clear. I never thought the day would come when the sound could fall in deaf ears.

But the day came and it brought a lesson.

And that is the point today. Here is what the cat bell taught me …

We have an enemy. As believers, we have heard this and 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, and he’s looking for someone to devour. To take that bite out of, much the same way our cat would do to the back of my leg.

Here’s what stood out about our enemy ”“ he’s roaring. If he is roaring, then we should hear him coming. It may not be a literal out loud roar so the ears on the side of our heads can hear. But in a spiritual sense, we should be able to hear him. We should be onto his schemes and 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, and emotions may be reacting contrary to God’s ways. Don’t fall asleep spiritually. Make sure your love for God remains passionate.
  • Watch out. Look for the ways the situations in your life may be pulling you down. Put up boundaries, if necessary, in your life.
  • Stand firm. Know what you believe and 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 you do not crumble under the pressures or temptations which  come against you each day.

In many ways, the enemy’s roar is just like our cat’s bell ”“ it is a warning and you can hear it coming. Today I pray God would give us all ears to hear. May He train our ears to detect the enemy coming from afar. May we be prepared and able to be strong and stand firm. May we not become so accustomed to the enemy’s ploys that we no longer recognize his “roar”.

Stay alert!

How are your listening skills? In her post, “The Power of Cultivating Deep Listening“, we find encouragement to train ourselves toward deep listening of both other people and God.


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