I’m the one with the tongue sharp as a dagger that stabs people in the back. I’m the one who does not have time to visit the sick. I’m the one who doesn’t donate to a food bank. I’m the one who led the rally to stone the adulteress. I’m the one who kills, steals and destroys. I’m the one who hasn’t tithed because I worked hard for my paycheck. I’m the bully. I’m the one…I’m the one…I’m the one… It’s all about me!!
I’m the one that said nothing in secret; I have spoken openly to the world. I’m the one who healed the lepers, the blind and the lame. I’m the one who fed thousands of people with a few fish and a few loaves of bread. I’m the one who kept the adulteress from being stoned. I’m the one who came to give life; life to the full. I’m the one who meets all of your needs. I’m the one that was flogged, scourged, spit upon, mocked, crowned with thorns, and crucified on a cross. I’m the one…I’m the one…I’m the one…I did it for you.
When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
Living amongst four cats makes life interesting. I often watch when one cat stalks an unsuspecting cat while they are in the midst of rolling around the floor playing with a toy or dutifully cleaning themselves. The stalker walks ever so slowly, being sure not to be noticed. Each step is orchestrated pace-by-pace with moments of statuesque poise until the opportune moment arises and they are able to pounce and attack their prey.
I attempt to distract the stalker because I care about the unsuspecting cat enough to protect them. When the attack happens before I can intervene, I rush to comfort the cat that was preyed upon; assuring them that they are okay and that they need not fear the other cat. Although this type of activity is in their nature, I prefer a peaceful dwelling.
My cats are not demons, but this activity gives me a visual of how demonic forces prey upon humans.
We go about our lives, enjoying times with family, friends and even alone time. At each moment, the devil sits waiting in the shadows for his opportunity to prey upon our weaknesses. Have you felt envious of your friend’s success? Have you become filled with despair because you lost your job? Have you started to record a list of wrongs so you can have ammunition to throw at your spouse during the next fight? Do you invite anger to ride along with you as you drive from point A to point B? Do you numb emotional pain by over-indulging in alcohol? Has gossip slipped through your lips? These circumstances are not all-inclusive, but they are examples of weaknesses that the devil preys upon.
Jesus restored a demon-possessed man in Mark 5:1-20. He called out the legion of demons from the man and sent them into a herd of about 2,000 swine grazing nearby. The swine went crazy and rushed into a nearby lake and drowned.
Angels may run interference numerous times for us every day, but it only takes one small crack in a weakness and the devil slips in and starts to wreak havoc in our lives. When we cannot control our envy, despair, recorded lists of wrongs, road-rage, addictions, gossiping, or anything else that is a personal weakness, remember that we do not have to lie down and give up. Call out to Jesus. He will rush in and comfort, he will assure us that we will be okay because he prefers to live in a peaceful dwelling.
Let me take this time to pray upon you, in the words of Paul to the Ephesians 3:14-19
14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
In Jesus’s name. Amen.