Two weeks ago, we introduced you to a local conservation area that is on our list of favourites. Unfortunately for us, we had forgotten it existed; but our recent visit to this particular conservation area was full of powerful lessons…
It was late in the autumn season that this particular conservation area was brought back to our attention, and we visited it the very next day. Sure enough, even though the colourful reds of the local sugar maple trees were waning, the area was still absolutely stunning with vivid oranges, yellows and browns. Due to a recent rain and wind storm, however, the trees had already lost about half of their leaves, and the trails were carpeted with the colourful fallen leaves to the point that it was actually hard to know where the trails even were! Fortunately we had been here enough times in the past to be able to make our way through the area without getting lost.
The fallen leaves caused yet another, potentially more serious problem. They hid the root systems that tend to crisscross the trails of this conservation area. In the summer time it is easy enough to avoid tripping just by paying close attention to where you put your feet. It was almost impossible to avoid tripping that day, however. You can’t avoid what you can’t see!
And so it was that my wife held on to my arm as we hiked, and we caught each other when we tripped. Fortunately we didn’t ever trip on the same root! That could have been disastrous!
This reminds me of our walk through life. We have to be very careful to avoid falling into the devil’s multiple traps. This is why we are told multiple times to be on our guard: “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” (1 Peter 5:8-9 NIV); we are told to, “Resist the devil…” (James 4:7b NIV), and to, “we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (2 Cor. 10:5b NIV). We are even told that our enemy isn’t of this world: “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 6:12 NIV)
Why are we warned so many times of the devil’s schemes? Because just like the trails of the conservation area are crisscrossed with tree roots that make footing precarious, our paths through life are also always crisscrossed with temptation! Just like we always have to pay attention to not trip on those roots at this particular conservation area, we must always be on our guard against the schemes of the devil!
There are times, however, when, just like the autumn leaves hide the tree roots, those temptations become hidden. Then what do we do?
We pay even more attention! We are advised to not go through life without our armour: “Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.” (Ephesians 6:13 NIV). We dress ourselves in God’s Word, in His peace, in His Salvation and righteousness. We hold on to our faith and we let Jesus hold it all together for us (See Ephesians 6:10-20)! And we also do what my wife and I did that day in the conservation area. We lean on each other to hold each other up! “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” (Ephesians 4:12 NIV).
The paths of life are crisscrossed with the traps of the devil. Don’t walk them alone. Lean on other Christians and on the Lord. Be alert and sober-minded, always vigilantly watching for the devil’s traps, and dress yourself in God’s armour. Only then will you stand firm and victorious!
In His love,
Director, Answers2Prayer Ministries