Wednesday, February 11, 2009

WFW - Lions Come in All Shapes and Sizes


On Guard

As Christians, we must guard ourselves constantly from attack by the devil. It seems that the closer we walk with Christ, the more he seems to be on the prowl, attacking us when we least expect it.

We are encouraged by the apostle Peter in the verse above to be self-controlled and alert.

The Greek word for self-controlled is nēphō. This word means:

1) to be sober, to be calm and collected in spirit
2) to be temperate, dispassionate, circumspect

The Greek word for alert is grēgoreō. This word means:

1) to watch
2) metaph. give strict attention to, be cautious, active
a) to take heed lest through remission and indolence some destructive calamity suddenly overtake one

We really need to be careful in our daily walk as Christians. We need to be sober-minded and calm, mature in our lives and give extra care to watch for the things around us that can cause us to stumble and fall.

God is not the author of sin. The enemy is. The devil will place any snares he can around us to trip us up and draw us away from the straight and narrow path we should be on with God.

Sometimes, as in a few situations listed below, it may be hard to recognize the devil prowling about. These small snares he sets can turn into situations where he can devour us if we are not careful.

The Greek word for devour is katapinō, which means:

1) to drink down, swallow down
2) to devour
3) to swallow up, destroy

We need to be on guard so that we won't be swallowed up by these snares.

Gossip

"A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy man keeps a secret." ~ Proverbs 11:13 (NIV)

When someone starts a sentence with, "I told so-and-so I wouldn't tell anyone this, but..." Stop them right there and say, "I'll help you keep your promise, then. By the way, your hair looks great today!" A quick change in subject is sometimes all that is needed. Don't fall into the pit of gossip. I have been guilty of it and it's so easy to say, "I won't tell a soul, now, spill it!" That's exactly what the devil would love us to do. We need to nip it in the bud. Don't speak it and try your hardest not to listen to it. If you are in a situation where gossip is going on and you cannot leave or turn the conversation around, remain silent at best. I'm learning and growing here.

Indiscretion/Drama

"Like a gold ring in a pig's snout is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion." ~ Proverbs 11:22 (NIV)

Do you or someone you know seem to run on high-octane drama? It's always something, all the time. There's never any good news to report, only the bad. There's always a situation going on and things are never calm and peaceful in their lives.

God longs for us to show discretion in our conversations. More on that in an upcoming post, but the devil longs for us to just fuel each other's fire with the drama in our lives. Let's choose to share the good and positive things in our lives. Truly, we should discuss the bad, but weigh it. Put your thoughts and words on the scales and see if the positive weighs more than the negative. Make the changes needed so the devil doesn't pounce. I'm learning and growing here by watching my words and what I choose to share with others. A quick check of my motives behind sharing what I share helps!

Idolatry

"Dear children, keep yourselves from idols." ~ 1 John 5:21 (NIV)

Idols are false gods and can come in the form of everything from the books we read to the shows we watch on television. Is there a show that comes on that you just can't live without? Turn it off one night and don't DVR it. Your life will not end, I can promise you that. Well, unless something else happens, but you know what I mean. Is there a magazine you just have to buy everytime you hit the supermarket? Don't buy it for one week or month and see that you can survive without it. Is there a food that you have to have every day or a drink (oh, coffee, sweet coffee!) that you just can't do without? Give it up for a day and read your Bible instead.

You'll find out whether these things, and more that you can probably think of, are idols in your life or not by the way you react to not having these things in your life for a short period of time. I'm learning and growing here. I have a few things I need to chuck or devote less time to, at the least.

Impurity

"Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity." ~ 1 Timothy 4:12 (NIV)

Our words and mannerisms need to be as pure and holy as possible. One of the best ways we can do this is by guarding our hearts and minds.

"The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks." ~ Luke 6:45 (NIV)

The Greek word for good is agathos. It means:

1) of good constitution or nature
2) useful, salutary
3) good, pleasant, agreeable, joyful, happy
4) excellent, distinguished
5) upright, honourable

When we set these things before us, we can walk and talk in the purity of Christ, leaving filthy language and actions behind and live holy lives. We can monitor what goes into our hearts, minds and bodies and use God's Word as a gauge for doing so.

"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." ~ Philippians 4:8 (NIV)

When we fill our minds with pure things, our words and actions can be pure. If what we read, watch or hear isn't pure, you can bet impurity will be coming from us soon.

The Greek word for pure is hagnos. This word means:

1) exciting reverence, venerable, sacred
2) pure
a) pure from carnality, chaste, modest
b) pure from every fault, immaculate
c) clean

Being pure is never boring. As we seek to serve our Savior by living pure lives, we are constantly on guard against the devils schemes to trap us into apathy regarding impurity. I'm learning and growing here. I'm trying to monitor the books that I read and the shows I watch on television. I don't buy certain magazines anymore and there are several things I have cut out of my life that have helped. I still have a lot to do in this area, though.

In Closing

We need to be hyper-aware of the small things that so easily entangle our lives.

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us." ~ Hebrews 12:1 (NIV)

We have great examples set before us in the Word of God. The things I mentioned above are just a few of the things that can so easily entangle us. Add some of your own to the list and let's strive to remain self-controlled and alert so we won't be caught off-guard!
Father, thank You for the example You have set before us in Your Word. Help us to read it daily and to seek Your will in all that we do. Help us remain self-controlled and alert and guard against the schemes of the devil. Protect us with Your Holy Spirit and let us be sensitive to His whisperings to our consciences. We long to live lives that honor and glorify You, and we know that we can do all things through You who strengthens us. Help us continue to learn and grow in You as we set examples for others around us that bring glory to You. In Jesus' Name...Amen
A - Acknowledge God each day. "Because he loves me," says the LORD, "I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name." ~ Psalm 91:14 (NIV)

L - Love and keep the commandments of the Lord. "Keep my commands and you will live; guard my teachings as the apple of your eye." ~ Proverbs 7:2 (NIV)

E - Earnestly seek God's strength to stay on track. "Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always." ~ 1 Chronicles 16:11 (NIV)

R - Remember God's Word for certain situations. "I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you." ~ Psalm 119:11 (NIV)

T - Trust God to help you withstand temptations. "No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it." ~ 1 Corinthians 10:13 (NIV)

The purpose of WFW is to share the Word of God through photo's and a verse. Amydeanne, over at The 160 Acre Woods, is our hostess. Be sure to link up and share your own, and drop her a thank you for hosting this wonderful meme each week. It always blesses my heart to read all the posts and see the photos and verses. This is a wonderful way to minister to others and to be ministered to by reading others posts. Please visit by clicking on the button below.



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27 comments:

Denise said...

Powerful WFW.

He And Me + 3 said...

Wow...that was a great post. Satan will use anything or anyone to try and destroy our walk with the Lord. Sometimes it is easy to let down our guard, but if we remember that scripture, it should make us more aware and to be on guard at all times. Great picture too.

Mary Moss said...

Great lesson and a wonderful photo to illustrate it!

Michele Williams said...

He is certainly roaming around these days... We need to pray, pray pray! Great post my dear friend. Thank you.

LAURIE said...

Wow that picture sure does give us a reminder of how the enemy is just prowling around, and even though that kitty looks cute...do not be deceived! Happy Wednesday! -Laurie

Melanie said...

Amen, Sister!

What wonderful and practical advice -- straight from God's Word! Love it!

Happy WFW!

Twinkle Mom @ Sunflower Faith said...

Wonderful and convicting post, Laurie! Always so great!!

Chelle said...

Go on and preach it! And, *ouch*, you are on my toes a bit :) Blessings.

Jennifer said...

Very, very powerful post, Laurie Ann!

You are exactly right on all points...the enemy of our soul will stop at nothing to trip us up and cause us to fall or at least, lose our focus. Our focus must stay on Jesus Christ, but the enemy wants us to look at it as the world sees things.

I love what you said about gossip...Here, let me help you keep that promise! Wow...I will definitely use that line the next time. Powerful!

Again, a wonderful post, full of knowledge and truth.

Have a blessed day, my friend!

Peggy said...

Bendiciones Laurie Ann...Feliz Miercoles Llenado con La Palabra!
The words were all there...you really can't trust the translators even Babel(I've used) with spiritual matters. Muy poderoso
as always! ALERT(alerta)almost the same & on guard! Great words of wisdom! But your sweet little lion cub looks harmless...but so can the enemy! I thought perhaps you were depicting how that "prowler" could be disarmed and appear as small as
this instead of the fierce one we need to deal with when we're in the battle, but you cleverly chose small "snares" that could trip us up!!! Bravo! Chisme is the one that bothers me the most and I walk away, no matter where it is...even church prayer groups can be a source of this! I guess I was kinda a "drama" queen in my day but all was very volatile & negative around me until I removed myself from it. This is a great reminder to accentuate the positive...and I totally thought indiscretion was something else! Idolatry is too easily overlooked by many and even some religions do, too! Thanks for keeping us A.L.E.R.T.! A=Anxious in nothing for us drama queens & worry warts! Great insights...looking forward to more! Thanks for your early visit...this gives me much to chew on today!

Joyfull said...

Very powerful and encouraging to be sober and alert. Thanks for sharing today!

Esthermay said...

Wonderful lesson.
We are studying lions, tigers, CATS! in Homeschool and I'm leaving your blog minimized on the second screen here for the kiddo's this afternoon.
Thanks, TEACHER!
Happy WFW!

Cheryl said...

Laurie Ann,

He is ready and waiting to pounce on us at all times.

Thanks for taking my poll. I understand the necklace bit totally.

Have a great day!

Did you get your At Home order, and are you pleased?

Love,
Cheryl

Marilyn - A Mixed Bouquet said...

Amen! The font is perfect for the WFW photo. Such a great reminder for us.

JesusRulzMe said...

Hello beautiful twin!

Well, I'm certainly more ALERT! ♥

This is beautiful and the Scripture-picture is a home-run!

Staying alert...always praying...always meditating on God's word...always listening to the Holy Spirit. Oh what wise counsel you've share today!

Thank you sister!

I love you so much!
Sunny

Esthermay said...

UPDATE:
2:00 p.m. CST
Kids loved the study. . .
So did the husband/pastor.
GREAT DEVOTIONAL Thoughts!
My husbands thinks you ought to write for a Christian textbook company
:-)

Joanne Sher said...

Incredibly powerful - the title got my imagination going, and the post was informative, convicting, and powerful. An important reminder. Thanks, Laurie Ann - and happy WFW!

Marsha said...

It's the accumulation of the little things that turns into the big things.

Case in point: 2 years ago when we were on safari in Kenya with our daughter and her family the driver strongly suggested I turn my shirt inside out because there was a little bit of shiny bling on it that could capture the attention of a lion should the sun be shining on it and we were near a lion. I thought to myself, what foolishness! This open sided hummer is much louder and more distracting then these 3 tiny little bling thingies. Besides, there was no place for me to modestly go and turn my top inside out. Sure enough. We saw a lion. She was laying down and he pulled up next to the lion (yes, next to - within about 6 feet of it! Pictures to prove it!). The noisy hummer didn't phase her. My husband turned to take a picture and snapped. Didn't phase her. I turned to take video footage and guess what? She turned her head and LOOKED at me! Scared me to death! Had she been hungry it would've been all over.

Small things definitely attract that ol' lion!

Toia said...

Love the photo. After reading this, I know that I have to be mindful of the little things. I realize now that little things can pile up to be a big thing. I am alert and ready to stand guard. Thanks so much for this post. Happy WFW!!

God Chaser said...

very good thanks for sharing have a wonderful WFW blessings, peace, joy, love

L2L said...

I like the A-L-E-R-T. Each year I go over with my kids the A-C-T-S way to pray. I think I will have to post this on our front door and teach them the verses as a way to govern our actions when we go out and when we come in. Thanks for sharing and stopping by!!!

Rebecca said...

So funny that the first thought to pop in my mind was "That little lion is too cute to devour anybody." And isn't that just how Satan works in our lives? He uses the seeminly benign things to get a foothold and take us down. Great post!

Alicia, The Snowflake said...

Great post! We definitely need to remember to be alert. It is so easy to get caught up in the enemy's schemes. We have to be on our guard at all times. Thanks for the reminder!

Happy WFW!

Sit-N-Chat said...

I started reading and decided to wait till later when I can sit still long enough because it deserves my unhurried attention. Great picture and important scripture. Most of the time, I set myself to get caught by this scoundrel.

Life's Journey said...

What an inspiring words of God thanks for this....

Amydeanne said...

very powerful! thanks for really spelling it out for us (hehe.. yes, i'm snickering.. but I do mean it!)

crittyjoy said...

wow...powerful. And a much needed reminder.

blessings.