I was really excited that evening because I actually had a fun dinner plan … which is not always the case. There was some grilled chicken left over from dinner the night before, so I decided to bust out my griddle and whip up some yummy grilled chicken quesadillas – a simple, yet very popular Smith-family delicacy. I know: it’s a crazy-easy make, but for some reason my kids think I’m a genius when quesadillas are on the menu. Go figure.
I grabbed a knife, a chopping board, and the leftover chicken from the fridge. Minutes later, the chicken was ready for it’s cheese and tortilla companions. While the griddle was heating up, I turned my attention to a few other family matters. I don’t even remember what those matters were. It might have been a buzzer noising from laundry room – alerting me of dry clothes that needed hung. I might have turned away to set the table or perhaps I had to intervene between my children who perpetually struggle to keep their hands to themselves. Whatever it was that drew my attention away from dinner prep was innocent – normal stuff – nothing out of the ordinary.
When I turned back to the business of quesadilla making, confusion gripped me as an empty cutting board glared at me. With an eyebrow raised quizzically, I asked my husband if he had moved my chicken.
“No Honey. I haven’t touched your chicken.” He replied, with a twinkle in his eye.
Hmmmmm. A chicken mystery. How odd.
I grew a bit anxious and quickly began to interview each of my children, “Did you take the chicken off the cutting board?”
“No, Mom. I didn’t touch the chicken,” they said one after another.
I wondered, “If I didn’t move the chicken and my family didn’t move the chicken, then where is my chicken?” I looked around the room once more just to be sure that I hadn’t simply placed the chicken somewhere else.
Then I saw it … a look of guilt. A look that screamed and pleaded, “Yes! I took your chicken, but please don’t be angry with me. It smelled so good and … and … I’m a big dog – I need my nourishment. Was it wrong? Okay. I know it was wrong. Please forgive me. I did it. I ate your chicken. I’m sorry. I’d like to go to my crate now…”
His ears lowered as my eyes met his. My brows furrowed. “Rocky! YOU ate my chicken! Bad dog!” I lamented in frustration as I began to make a new chickenless dinner plan…
Rocky’s just a dog. He’s not out to get me and he didn’t mean to mess up our dinner plans, but he did prey on our family meal that night. He came and took what wasn’t his because I had let my guard down. I wasn’t watching over my chicken.
As believers in Jesus Christ, you and I must guard our hearts and watch over our homes. The Bible warns Christians to keep watch. Beyond things seen, there are spiritual battles taking place around us continually. If you are a believer and follower of Jesus Christ, then you have an enemy and his name is Satan. If you live to listen to the voice of Jesus, the Good Shepherd, then strap on your battle gear, girlfriend, because your enemy has a mission to destroy you. Beware!
In the New Testament book of John, chapter 10, Jesus identified himself as the exclusive way to our salvation – as the Gate for the sheep of God – as the One who loves, leads and rescues us. In John 10:10, Jesus warns that though His plan for us is protection, love and help, the enemy … Satan, “…the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they might have life, and have it to the full.”
The Bible has a lot to say about this. It tells us time and time again to be alert to the schemes of Satan. To keep watch. “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…” (1 Peter 5:8-9a, NIV).
Though we have an enemy with a real plan to mess with our emotions, our health, our marriages, our children, our relationships, our jobs and our thoughts, we are not without help or hope. We have both. God’s power and protection are readily available to believers. 24/7. “But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one” (2 Thessalonians 3:3, NIV).
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 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. 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. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people” (Ephesians 6:10-18, NIV).
I was caught off guard the night that our dog, Rocky, took the chicken off the counter… and there have been times when I’ve been caught off guard in the midst of spiritual battles. As Christian women, let’s remember to keep watch – over our hearts, our minds, and our homes. Let’s purpose to proactively pray for protection, power and perseverance. May we always keep watch.
What came to your mind/heart as you read this devotion? Can you identify an area where you feel the enemy is attacking you?