Saturday, June 7, 2014

The Sneaky Serpent

Soaked with sweat and covered in dirt from working in the garden, I headed back to the house for some water and another shower. Trudging along, looking down at the ground as I walked, a hole caught my eye. There are quite a few of those small round holes in my yard.  Leaning over for a closer look, I saw a snake stick his head out of the hole. Those beady eyes met mine and we both jumped back, me daring him to come back out, him huddled in his hole (or so I thought). Whether they all hide a snake is a mystery best left unsolved, but I've kept my eyes on those holes as I've walked through the yard since then. 

Snakes in my garden always make me think of the snake (serpent) in THE garden, and this one was no exception. He was so sly and sneaky as he peeked out of the hole, that I wondered if the enemy of our souls, clad as a serpent, approached the woman to offer the first temptation in just such a slow, sly way. "She should've been watching for snake holes," I thought, but of course, that is ridiculous. Eve's problem was not a failure to keep her eyes on the ground. Her problem was a failure to keep her eyes on God. Had she kept her focus on The Lord and what He required of her, the yen to stray might not have been as atteactive.  

Spiritual warfare is a frightful battle, and very real. Like the snake peeking out at me, temptation and opposition can appear when we least expect it. Not one bit of our battle gear, however, is focused on us. Every bit of "protective gear" in our battle for righteousness is utterly focused on our Lord, from truth, righteousness, peace, and faith to the helmet of our salvation and our sword which is the Word of God. It all comes from God and focuses on God. If we want to avoid temptation, focusing on God is the only way to do it. 

Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm therefore, HAVING GIRDED YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH, and HAVING PUT ON THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, and having shod YOUR FEET WITH THE PREPARATION OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take THE HELMET OF SALVATION, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. (Ephesians 6:13-17 NASB)