Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. 1 Peter 5:8b-9
When Peter wrote those words of warning to the early church, he wasn’t thinking of Vietnam veteran Dale Rippy. Even so, Rippy probably understands Peter’s words better than any other person living in central Florida. You see, last week, a bobcat attacked Rippy, who was on his porch minding his own business. That’s right, a bobcat attacked him. Granted, a 25-pound bobcat is a pretty small cat compared to Peter’s lion, but when the bobcat has rabies, it’s still a pretty intimidating little beast.
The Associated Press story said Rippy kept his head as the animal clawed, slashed, and bit him. Rippy, whose hands and arms were torn up pretty badly, commented, “If that cat had attacked a child, it would’ve been really bad. It wouldn’t have quit.” That’s why Rippy waited until the cat clawed itself into a position where he was able to grab hold on its throat. It was a hold Rippy kept until the cat was dead. Now, if you think killing a bobcat is a terrible thing to do, even if it does have rabies, you should know the County Animal Control Manager confessed, “We give this guy a lot of credit for what he did … If he let the cat go, we could have had more victims.”
When Peter wrote to his fellow Christians, he wanted them to realize Satan was alive, well, and dangerous. Yes, it’s true, Christ’s cross and His empty tomb give God’s guarantee to His people that they have been saved. But, it is a mistake to think that Satan has been defanged, declawed, and put into a cage for safe keeping until the Day of Judgment. Peter wanted the redeemed to remember Satan is still out there, wandering around like a rabid bobcat, looking for some unsuspecting prey upon whom he can pounce.
Think for just a moment. Do you know someone, possibly a friend or family member, who is being sized up for slaughter by Satan? Are you thinking, like Rippy did, “If the devil gets his teeth and fangs into that person, it’s going to be really bad?” If so, please consider the possibility that God has placed you into a unique and special position where you may have to stand between that individual and the devil. If that appears to be the situation that is shaping up, the Lord tells you how to get prepared. He says, “be sober-minded, be watchful and with a firm faith resist him.” For your brothers and sisters, by the power of the Spirit, do what you can, so Satan doesn’t bring down his prey.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, You stood between me and the devil. You gave your life, so I might live. Now I ask that You will give me the courage, the wisdom, and the faith that will enable me to do what I can to stop Satan’s stalking. In Your Name, Amen.