The Sneak Attack
Helen Dowd

I Peter 5:8 "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:"

I don't know about roaring lions. I have seen lions only in a zoo. But I do know about cats, and so I can easily get the picture of a lion going about seeking prey. I have seen cats stalking birds or mice. They are very quiet about it. They crouch down, trying to look as inconspicuous and as innocent as possible, creeping inch-by-inch, closer to their victim. Then suddenly they pounce. It is then, they "roar". Cats don't actually roar, but they make a terrible growling noise just as they catch their victim. By then it is too late for the victim to escape. Had the cat made a noise previous to the pounce, the unsuspecting bird or mouse could have gotten away.

What Peter was saying when he warned us to be watchful was to be on the alert, to stand firm in your faith. Had the bird, or mouse been watchful, had they stood up to the cat and fled, they would not have been caught. The devil, like a cat, is very subtle. A cat will make small chattering noises as he creeps up on his prey. Satan does the same thing. He chatters. He chatters doubts into our minds, doubts about wrong decisions, about things we have said, about the way we have acted, about things in the past. And then he makes those doubts seem like convictions from the Lord. He pounces on us with these accusations, telling us how terrible we have been. He pummels us with guilt. Like a cat with its prey, he tosses us about, teasing us, and torturing us. His accusations are like jabs of a knife, or lashes of a whip. He holds a sin over our heads. He is called "the accuser of the brethren." Revelation 12:10

Don't let the devil deceive you into thinking that this is God's conviction. God, when He convicts, does not accuse, nor condemn. His convictions are gentle and quiet and persistent. He points out our sin, and then he tells us what to do about it. I John 1:9"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

Be on guard: Ephesians 6:13-14: "Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness...v. 18...Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance....."

The devil is more subtle and clever than we think. Although he can't make us sin, he and his demons are constantly looking for weaknesses that give him an inroad into our lives. Like the lion to his prey, or the cat to the mouse or bird, Satan is our enemy, always attempting to confuse us and neutralize us. He is on the lookout for vulnerable prey.

Sometimes he "chatters" us to sleep. He tells us that he is just a joke. Have you ever noticed how glibly people joke about the devil? Like the expression, "The devil made me do it." Well, it is not funny. The devil is real, and he is walking about with the express purpose of deceiving. He is not called "the deceiver" for nothing.

Some people even deny that there is a devil. But just look around at the havoc he creates with people's lives. *He is like a cougar amongst a flock of sheep, who terrorizes the sheep until they are numb; and then he pounces on them, ripping them apart. But the cougar itself is seldom seen doing the destruction. He is sneaky. And so is Satan.

So watch out. Stay close to the Savior. As in the illustration of the cougar amongst the sheep, it is those sheep who are wanderers, the ones who stray away from the regular flock who are the most vulnerable. Sometimes we as Christians, who wander from the protection of the rest of God's flock, find ourselves in difficulty. Sometimes, like with the sheep, the "attacker" (Satan) has terrorized us so much that we are stricken dumb. We have no voice to call out for help. And sometimes the devil just lulls us to sleep with his whispering (chattering), that we don't know we are in trouble. He has us in his grip.
c. Helen Dowd.

See: Watch out for the Sneak Attack

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