It’s springtime! Which is also garden time. Which means a couple of different things….1) I will be exclaiming (loudly) about how I’m a city girl and as much as I want to grow tomatoes and stuff, sometimes it doesn’t work out so good and 2) I’ll be sharing those lessons from the garden that God’s trying to get through my skull (that seems to be as hard as the ground in my backyard). So….let’s get started!
Today, we rented a tiller and started to dig up the ground for our garden. And, although it was beautiful and sunny when we started, within thirty minutes a huge black cloud was overhead and we had to quit. And yes, I see a blog in that, but that’s not the direction we’re going today. Before we started, I did all the necessary preparations. Pulled my hair up into a wad on my head. Put on old clothes and shoes. And sprayed down with bug spray. You see, apparently I am very sweet, because mosquitos LOVE me! If I’m in my yard for more than two minutes, I have to be prepared to fight the little monsters or I’ll end up with red welts all over my arms and legs….or worse…face! So, I got out the Deep Woods Off (or whatever it’s called…you know, the stuff in the green bottle!) and squirted. I was trying not to be wasteful, so I just squirted a couple of times per limb, then rubbed it in really well. And I was so proud of myself for remembering! So thirty minutes later or so….yep, about the time the cloud started rolling in….I felt something on my leg. You guessed it….a mosquito! The little blood-sucker had found one tiny spot I had missed. And that’s where the lesson today is….
You know who that mosquito reminded me of??? Satan. Yep, the old serpent himself. The Bible says “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8 NLT You know, Peter wrote that, knowing that the thought of a lion looking to devour you would get your attention. As much as the thought should frighten me, the truth of the matter is that I’ve never been threatened by a real lion and I’m not real sure how that would go down. However, as a southern girl who’s determined to grow tomatoes, I do know about mosquitos. So, I submit that the devil is also like a mosquito!
The other versions of the Bible say “stay alert” in different ways. They say things like “be sober-minded,” “be vigilant,” “be clear-minded and alert,” “be reflective,” “be watchful,” “be self-controlled.” Well, that’s me and mosquitos. If I venture outside without my protective bug spray, I spend my entire time swatting mosquitos (often as they’re biting me). But, if I spray well with my Off, then they stay away from me, because the DEET in the Off is so offensive to them, they’re not willing to fight it….not even for my sweetness.
And that’s how we should be with the devil. Instead of Off, we wear God’s armor. Check it out in the NIV version….
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
Well, that’s pretty complete! Better than my Off! But, just like my mosquito, the enemy is looking for those places we’ve missed. He’s going to come against us! The Word promises it. But, God has given us solid protection, if only we use it.
So, go out and plant a garden! And don’t forget your bug spray! Cause the devil, your enemy, flies around like a mosquito looking for a place to bite you! (Leigh Pack version. hehehehe)
Be blessed and tell someone you love them!