“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:”I Peter 5:8
I used to play hide and seek as a kid, especially in the dark. One night, my friends and I attended a basketball game and we soon got bored with the game. We were at a bigger school than ours, and they had a pretty good sized playground. The playground had scarce lighting, and we thought it would be a great place to play hide and seek. We went outside and picked who was first to be “it”.
I was chosen to go first and we decided to add a twist to our game. We would have to tag the person when we found them, and then they would have to count to 50 where they were tagged. There was a lot of places to hide as this was a large play area. I began to count and then started to go and seek out my friends. I knew where some of them would hide, but I was after bigger fish. I found one of the people I was looking for and he saw me as well. I started chasing after him and he was trying to lose me, but I was gaining on him as I was much skinnier and faster in those days. He was taking me through the playground and monkey bars where I soon would learn that I was at a disadvantage.
I sprinted as I gained ground on him, and then the chase abruptly ended. I opened my eyes to see that I was staring at a black sky and my head hurt really bad. As I came to, I realized I had run head first into a monkey bar pole that was made for kids shorter than me. I was going at a good pace when the pole clipped me on my forehead, and my pursuit was over. I had played on that playground before, and I knew where that bar was, but in my haste and in the dark, I simply did not see it. I went inside rubbing my head, and I felt dizzy and had a bad headache. My friends asked me what happened and they laughed at me when I told them my story. My head still hurts when I think of that night, but I never made that mistake again.
The devil often works the same way as we pursue our own fleshly lusts and chase after them with all our might. We forget that the pole is coming, and we forget our sin will flatten us on our back. We forget about the devil as we get comfortable in our spirituality, and we do not stay as vigilant as our enemy does. We get lulled to sleep in our spiritual routines, but the devil is always alert as he seeks to devour us. He is ever roaming about and he loves to see us slipping, so he can pounce and devour us. His game of hide and seek is deadly and he never plays fair. He hunts in times of feast and famine, and he desires to see us fall. In Luke 22:31, the Lord tells Peter, “…Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:” Satan desires to sift you as well, and he will hunt you mercilessly.
Where are you today friend? Do you mock when you are warned about the devil? Are you arrogant in thinking you will not fall? Have you gotten comfortable in your spirituality? Are you sober-minded and watchful as you live your life, or do you toy with and laugh at sin? Have you come to realize that you have an adversary in the devil? Do you realize he wants to destroy your life? May we stay in God’s light, so we can be vigilant against the roaring lion who seeks to devour us. Will you be knocked out cold by the pole of sin you failed to see, or will you stay close to the One who can keep you safe? May we always be mindful of our spiritual surroundings, and may we never forget we are in a war for the spiritual lives of ourselves and others. Be vigilant, be sober!