It seemed he was taunting me. Every time I looked out the window, the stealthy squirrel was making his way off the deck, clutching a round prize in his paws. I didn't see him snap the tomatoes off the vines - I merely witnessed the aftereffects. Although, once, he did stop on the stairs, grace me with his best profile and promptly take a bite of the stolen fruit.
Within two days, the squirrels had stripped my four plants of their ripening tomatoes. I was dumbfounded and at a loss as to how to prevent their aggravating thievery. Guns, traps, and cages came to mind - but there were no longer any tomatoes to protect.
Satan's tricks can be just as subtle as those of the bushy-tailed squirrels. As I read and listen to God's Word:
*a seed of truth takes root
*the Holy Spirit provides favorable conditions for the seed to sprout
*the sprout begins to grow
The enemy isn't pleased. Distractions come with the ability to stunt the growth that's taking place. Jesus warns us of the enemy's plan, "The sower soweth the word...And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word, and the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful," (Mark 4:14,18-19; KJV).
If I don't heed Jesus' counsel, my life can become as empty as my tomato plants - with no evidence that I'm a child of the King. So how do I protect the seeds of truth God has planted in my heart?
*submit myself to the Lord
*resist Satan's distractions
*confess my sin
*draw near to God
The apostle James, writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, put it this way, "Submit yourselves therefore unto God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded," (James 4:7-8).
Remember my tomato plants? My husband ended up moving them onto our front porch - where they get plenty of sunlight and the squirrels can't reach them. And I can say with a smile, more tomatoes are starting to grow.
Do you feel you've been distracted by the tricks of the enemy? What step will you take today to protect the precious seeds of biblical truth in your life?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for the warning given in Your Word about the tricks of the enemy. Help me to submit to Your will, resist the devil, confess my sin, and draw near to You. I desire to produce 'fruit' in my life that will bring You honor and glory. In Jesus' name, Amen.
*I'm hosting over at Living by Grace today. Come join in the discussion!