“Submit yourselves therefore to 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
My ministry’s beautiful English coonhound perfectly healthy dog Esther whom I have tried to adopt out for several years unsuccessfully stood hunkered down like she would vomit, a little drool coming from her mouth, refusing to eat the food I had just brought her despite her usual way of gobbling everything up. I had been feeding the ministry’s dogs and knew I would now have to juggle cleaning up vomit while finishing the feeding. But something strange happened. She never vomited, and she became frozen in the hunkered down position for at least 10 minutes with a shocked, almost lifeless look on her face. She looked like she might die. I started frantically scrambling around to get my breakfast off the stove, take care of Esther, get Glory without eyes out of her diaper and outside (which I decided to skip), gather up the bowls, call my vet’s office in a frenzy, and keep checking on Esther whom I realized had begun to produce little droplets of blood on the floor rather than vomit. Clearly I needed to take her to the closest vet rather than drive the distance to mine.
By God’s grace, Esther was stable enough at the first vet’s to be moved to my usual vet where he determined she had probably been bitten in her mouth by a copperhead snake! As shocking as this was, I shouldn’t have been surprised. Months earlier I had found her with a large snake in her mouth joyfully flinging and slinging it around the yard, chasing after it, sticking it in her mouth again, tossing it again, until it lay in wiggling pieces around the yard until it died. It had been a summer of numerous snakes – ugh! Now here was my little snake wrangling dog Esther with her mouth wound. I realized there was a message in this for all of us.
This is what we do with sin and the devil, isn’t it? We know sin and the devil are poisonous, harmful, ultimately deadly. Yet we jam them into our mouths and fling them around like we’re playing a pleasurable, joyful game, convincing ourselves we’ll be perfectly fine or endure a little harm at most. How many warnings do we need before we realize taking sin and the devil into our mouths, hearts, and lives, and slinging and flinging it all around like it’s a game inevitably ends in danger, destruction, death, hell, and the lake of fire if we don’t repent and truly commit our hearts and lives to Christ forever. The “pleasure” of playing with sin and the devil has eternal consequences, not to mention causes us to miss out on the most amazing, awesome, phenomenal, beautiful, unsurpassed wonderful blessing we can have on earth – intimate fellowship with God now – and forever!
Quit playing games. Esther didn’t know better. We do!
PS Esther is still up for adoption if you’d like to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. She would do best in a single-dog home or with super submissive doggies while supervised, and no small animals she might mistake for lunch!