Sometimes I like to take a break from gardening or housework and sit in the swing under the grape arbor. Truly I plan to sit for only a few minutes! But Abby would seize the opportunity, jump into the swing beside me and start purring. Once that purring started I could not help but pet him, and he would creep closer, often placing one paw in my lap. Then he would look up with that sweet furry face, purring even louder. Do you know how relaxing it is to pet a purring cat? Before I knew it, he was in my lap, and a half hour had gone by, along with all my good intentions.
He also liked to pretend he was a lion. Our garden was the Serengeti. Whenever I went out to pick he would creep along, hidden in the pea and bean rows, stalking my feet. When he decided that the gazelles were least aware that he, the king of the beasts, was upon them, he would attack. The first time it happened, my instant reaction was to kick, and he landed about twenty feet away in the cucumbers. Talk about clueless; the look on his face was almost worth the blood he had drawn. After that he learned to be gentler in his play, but I also learned to keep an eye on the moving shadows among the beans.
This leads me to that other lion, who goes about seeking whom he may devour, 1 Pet 4:8. James tells us to resist the devil and he will flee from you, 4:7. Try booting him across the garden and see if he doesn’t leave you alone for awhile. If you are lucky he will land in the okra patch and itch so much for the next few days that you will be the last thing on his mind!
But watch out--just like my little lion, he will try a new tack and visit you again. There may come a time when you have to flee instead of fighting, 1 Cor 6:18; 2 Tim 2:22. Other times he will get you because he is so cute or handsome or personable or comfortable, and before you know it, you are doing something you had no intention of doing. Even Satan fashions himself as an angel of light. It is no great thing therefore if his ministers also fashion themselves as ministers of righteousness, 2 Cor 11:14,15. (Have you ever seen a really ugly false teacher?)
Our world likes to view Satan as a laughable boogey man made up by irrational fanatics. It is easy to forget he is real. He is out there. Like a hungry lion, he wants you!
Finally, brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of his might; put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Wherefore take up the whole armor of God that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Eph 6:10-13