May 31, 2016 • By Ed Wrather
Casting all your care (anxiety – NIV) upon Him, for He cares for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. – 1 Peter 5:7-9 NKJV.
In Houston, some people were out jogging when they discovered that their pleasant little run had become a run for their lives. Why was that? Because there was an 80-year-old 12-foot long 700lb beast chasing after the joggers. It was a Texas sized alligator! That’s a big gator, but in Palmetto, Florida there’s a 16-foot alligator that they say has been living on a golf course for years that golfers see frequently. Back in 2006, a woman jogging near a canal in Sunrise, a northwest suburb of Fort Lauderdale, was killed by an alligator. Yesterday, there was an article about a large alligator being caught outside of a Dallas, Texas middle school. Meanwhile, in Florida there have been four African crocodiles that have been found which are much more aggressive toward humans than alligators. (abc13 05.27.16; Houston Chronicle 05.11.06)
I can’t imagine the terror that you would feel to look back and see a huge alligator nipping at your heels. When I was a little boy I was out in our pasture and saw a large snake. That snake chased me; at least I imagined it chased me, all the way back to the house. I have been watching for snakes ever since then. At least we don’t have pythons here in Oklahoma, like they do in Florida, or do we? But we do have rattlesnakes, copperheads, bobcats, mountain lions, and some bears.
In the world in which we live there is a necessity for a certain amount of caution. Certainly, we should not live in fear, but we should be aware that there could be dangers lurking. Spiritually, there is a continual threat to our well-being; it is a beast that is continually seeking its prey. The apostle Peter warns of this threat, and makes it clear that we should be aware of the devil who seeks to destroy us. Peter says “Be sober, be vigilant…Resist him, steadfast in the faith....”
We should believe in the sovereignty of God and that He is concerned about His children; however, that does not mean that we are to do nothing to protect ourselves. Of course, we should not live in a state of panic, or terror, but we must resist the beast, being steadfast in our faith casting our cares, our anxieties upon the Lord. What else are we to do? Ephesians 6 tells us, “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil...praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints (Ephesians 6:10-11;18).”