Given March 2016
Before retiring for the third time, I worked for an Area Agency on Aging and directed a Foster Grandparent Program. We were grant-funded and placed eligible senior citizens in schools working with special needs children. One of the requirements of the program was to conduct monthly in-service training on topics relevant to the volunteers. One training was about senior safety and a topic that stood out to me was to always “be aware of your surroundings”. The trainer encouraged our participants to always look where they were going, observe the people around them, and watch for tripping hazards and such. We all want to be safe and I began thinking about Spiritual connotations this topic can have.
Think about it: Would we do the following without paying attention to our surroundings?
- Walking across the street
- Pulling out from a stop sign
- Changing lanes on the Interstate
- Walking down a crowded sidewalk in a strange city
- Going to your car at night in a parking lot
- Walking in the woods on an unstable path
Of course not! We’d be watching all around us to see if any danger was present before making our move or continuing on. My point is why are we not so cautious when dealing with the hazards the devil places in our way?
The Bible says, “The devil goes around like a roaring lion” (1 Peter 5:8), and it’s easy to avoid him when he’s roaring and we’re aware of his presence. (Although some people get in trouble even then.) But it also says in 2 Corinthians 7:14, “For Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.” If it looks good, if it seems harmless, if it is tempting, we may not realize we’re being deceived when we go there. Be aware of your surroundings. The devil is always placing things in our way to deceive us and draw us away from God and into his trap. We may even have been tricked in the past but still want to give in to the scam. Be aware!
I remember a vision I got years ago of a person walking down a city street and taking what they thought was a side street shortcut. They didn’t pay attention where they were going and ended up falling into a construction pit. Well, they got out but a few days later were going down the same street, decided to take the same shortcut thinking they’d be alright but ended up in the hole again. If you fell in the pit before, don’t go there! The devil will lie to you and say, “Oh, its OK. You’ll be alright. Go ahead.” Don’t listen to that. Be aware!
“Put on the whole armor of God that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” (Ephesians 6:11). God has given us this armor, He’s given us wisdom, power and authority to stand against the devil but we have to be aware of our surroundings. Don’t cast your eyes on that tempting image, don’t watch that questionable movie or TV program, don’t get into the office dirty joke or gossip fest, don’t think, “Oh, it’s just a little, it won’t hurt.”, don’t go to the place where you fell before! The devil knows our weaknesses and will surround you with temptations accordingly. Be aware of your surroundings and be safe!