Unwelcome Visitor

vervet monkeyOn one of our mission trips to Kenya, East Africa, my wife and I were staying in a ‘tented camp’. We were told emphatically to zip the tent flap all the way down always and cover the zipper pull with the heavy rug that was lying in front of the tent. Vervet Monkeys were numerous around the camp and would raid open tents looking for food.

Sue was still asleep when I slipped out for early morning coffee. I zipped the tent and covered the pull as instructed. When I returned, the rug had been moved and the zipper pulled up a few inches. I assumed Sue had been up and stepped outside. When I entered the tent, Sue was still asleep with her head covered with the blanket. The tent was a mess. Suitcases were standing open and the contents were scattered everywhere. Sue’s medicine case was emptied out on the floor.  Snack wrappers strewn about and crumbs told the woeful tale. Sue had heard some slight noise, but thought it was me returning. She never fully awoke. Unknown to Miss Sue, a Vervet Monkey had visited the tent. I’m still not sure how the monkey negotiated the rug and zipper, but he obviously had.

Sin can be like the Vervet Monkey. If we leave an opening, sin will slip in and leave our spiritual lives in a mess. There are precautions we can take.  Speaking to the Lord, the Psalmist notes, “Your word have I hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You” (Psalm 119:11, NKJ). The Message translation of Proverbs 4:23 provides good insight: “Keep vigilant watch over your heart; that’s where life starts. Don’t talk out of both sides of your mouth; avoid careless banter, white lies, and gossip. Keep your eyes straight ahead; ignore all sideshow distractions. Watch your step and the road will stretch out smooth before you. Look neither right or left; leave evil in the dust.” 

Sometimes, “your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8b, NKJ). There are other times, like the Vervet Monkey, the devil attempts to slip in undetected. He will try to catch you asleep so, “Be sober, be vigilant” (1 Peter 5:8a, NKJ). James advises, “Therefore submit to God, resist the devil and he will flee from you” (James 4:7, NKJ). Let the Lord help you keep the ‘monkey’ out of the tent.

Sound Advice: “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the ‘wiles’ of the devil” (Ephesians 6:11, NKJ).

~ Brother Roy


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