Why do we take lightly entering a dangerous area that is not our turf? Consider the wilderness. In Jack Olsen’s 1969 book, Night of the Grizzlies, he chronicled fatal Grizzly bear maulings which occurred in Montana’s Glacier National Park. The reports of ongoing bear attacks in other national parks keep clawing their way to the news.
Some people don’t look before leaping. They just jump in. Consider the ocean. We begin with our toes or our feet, followed by diving in full force into the deep blue and green. Our side of the tracks is the dust and the mud and the land we traverse on 24/7, not the salt water world that encompasses about 71% of planet earth.
The grandeur of the sea, and the beauty of it draws us in. We laugh and we swim, but in our play we forget it is not our territory. So what happens? Well, we are shocked when certain creatures come to welcome us to their home of ocean waters. Some are friendly, some are not. We know they are out there, but we are still surprised when they brush up against our vulnerable bodies.
The state of Florida has the most shark attacks that border oceans in the United States. But we forget we are entering their neighborhood when we become one with the ocean. We wonder why they bite us. We hear about those encounters, but we are shocked when it is our limbs they are attracted to.
As crazy as it sounds, this world we live in is allowed to be controlled temporarily by an unseen enemy. This is his turf. Don’t take my word for it, take Paul’s. In 2 Corinthians 4:4a he says without reservation, “Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News…” (NLT)
As soon as a person crosses the line and accepts the invitation to become one of God’s children due to the innocent shed blood of Jesus Christ, he or she enters the adversary’s dominion.
But we are still shocked when we get attacked. The formal name for those onslaughts is called spiritual warfare. Evil is real. Watch the news if in doubt. Evil has an author. If you are one of those people who hates surprises, this verse is for you. “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” (I Peter 5:8, NLT)
Since we have to live in this world until we die, and since we are in the enemy’s sphere, what is a man or a woman to do? James 4:7 makes it clear: “So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (NLT)
Are you a skeptic to the reality of evil? If not, are you guarding yourself against the enemy’s assaults by connecting with God?
pictures courtesy of “Nelson & his Nikon”