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Becoming Prey

Becoming Prey

    There are a number of “nature” shows that reveal many horrors of the wild.  Folks go out and photograph, film and document the hunted and the hunter.    Often as we watch these shows we make comments such as: “That’s just nature.”  Perhaps we think: “That’s just how it is.”   How many of us stop and think that the hunted does not necessarily want to become prey?   I seriously doubt if the fleeing antelope thinks about the “circle of life” while being pursued by the hungry lion.  The truth is that the wild beasts of the field cannot “reason” and know nothing but the life they live and the instincts that were instilled in them at birth. 

     None of the creatures of the wild, whether of the jungle, desert or sea, choose the level they hold in the hierarchical structure of nature.  This means they cannot determine where they exist in the “food chain”.   Every creature is subordinate to the animal that is seeking him for their next meal.   The only one that doesn’t have this to worry about is the one at the very top of the food chain.   Of course, there is a lot of speculation as to which animal is at the top of this structure. 

     Humans on the other hand, have the capacity to reason and need not become prey to the one that desires to “devour” them. 1Peter 5:8-9 tells us we have a choice as to whether or not we are “eaten up” of the devil.    Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:  9  Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.   If indeed we choose to not be a victim, we have the means available to avoid the snares of Satan.  We are told in 2Corinthians 2:11 that we have no excuse if we find ourselves ensnared by the evil one.     He has many tricks and strategies to get the soul of a Christian to turn to him and do his bidding. Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.   We don’t have to fall prey to him. 

       Why then, do so many people become victims or fall prey to Satan?   Perhaps another look at nature and the animals that have “instinct” is in order.   How many animals go alone to the watering hole for a drink?   Christians that isolate themselves from other Christians and the fellowship we have in Christ often become attainable targets for the one that would claim their souls.  By instinct, the animals in the wild do what we are told to do in Galatians 6:2.  They look out for one another.   Christians are to: Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.  There is safety in numbers after all, so long as all in the group follow Christ and His Word.

     How many of these animals just rush right in for a drink and show no concern for the dangers that exist?   Those who do, often do not live to roam and drink another day.  Carelessness kills!  Christians who do not remain alert to the dangers Satan presents are destined to fall.   But Christians are warned and also told what to do to avoid becoming prey in 2Peter 1:5-10.   This passage also speaks of those who forgot they had been cleansed by Christ’s blood.   Those who do the things listed are not careless, but are making their calling and election sure, and won’t become prey to Satan.    And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; 7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. 8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. 10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall

      The animals in the wild, if given the chance, will be very diligent in trying not to become prey.  They are watchful, alert and cautious.  Some of this is “inborn”, but the rest is taught by their herds, packs, or whatever their particular group is called.  We ought to take a lesson from them on this as well.    Sometimes, the reason that many become prey to the “devil” and fall for his devices is because they have not been taught properly.    When an animal is not taught properly in the wild for any reason, death comes quickly.  When the Christian is not taught properly, they do not grow, and unfortunately, thy too may die, but their death is spiritual.  They have then become prey to the devil.  

      What do we think, or what is our comment when our brethren become prey to the devil?  Do we think “that’s just the way it goes?”   Do we not realize that a soul is being lost when one becomes prey to the devil?   2Peter 2:2 points out that this growth is to begin very early in our Christian life.  As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:    Let us, who have been born into the kingdom, not become prey.    Apply the latter part of 2Peter 3:17 and look forward to an eternal home with God.    Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.  It’s your soul – Don’t let Satan “devour” you.    Your eternal destination depends on it!         

                                              Dennis Strickland – Mooresville church of Christ

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