PAY ATTENTION


For a number of years my brother-in-law has lived and worked in Central and South America, along with my wife’s youngest sister and three sons.  We had the opportunity to travel to Buenos Aries, Argentina to see them on a vacation visit. One of my strongest memories was seeing this historic and entertaining city of over 15 million people. Its name means fair winds and is the place where the Tango dance originated. It’s hard to imagine that Argentina is considered a 3rd world country.

When we arrived I noticed that the neighborhood they lived in was a typical neighborhood you would see in the States — ice cream shops, restaurants, schools, and business of all kinds. I remember turning down the street that led to their house and noticing something a little different —a guard house at the beginning of the block and the houses enclosed with iron spiked fences. I asked what they were for, and it was explained to me that they were there for their protection. Sitting in their car seeing all the beautiful sights it was hard to believe that there was anything around there from which we would need protection.

Sometimes, it is hard for me to picture or pay attention to the evil forces that the Bible talks about. It is easier to focus on God’s love and His provision than it is to think about the reality of Satan and the dark world that Paul talks about in Ephesians. 

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. 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. (Ephesians 6:10-12)

Often when I read the Bible, I am reminded again and again that Satan is the father of lies and the father of deceit. He is real and he is lurking in the shadows ready to pounce the second we let our guard down. And it seems like the easiest time to let our guard down is when things are going well, when life seems peaceful and we feel invincible.

Paul delivers a very strong message and I want to encourage you with it. We must be ready for the devil’s schemes. We must not ignore the fact of his real existence. At the same time, we do not need to be afraid. We simply must be on guard, be prepared, and most importantly, rely on the incredible power of God so that we too can stand firm when temptation and trouble comes our way.

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