Across the years my wife and I have often chosen a cruise for our vacation venue. Once on board, you don’t have to think – all your meals are provided, your room is cleaned, your bed is made every day, a variety of activities and entertainment is available, and the ship moves you from location to location.
On our first cruise, I was up early to enjoy our initial port of call. I was excited to collect my breakfast and sit at a table on the open deck just outside the dining room. I thought this was a nearly perfect place for a great breakfast. It had the warm morning sun, beautiful scenery, and the graceful gulls circling just a few feet away. All of a sudden my idyllic breakfast repast was shattered. As quick as lightening, one of the gulls swooped down and snatched my bacon. Before I could react, another thieving gull had grabbed my toast. I had to beat a hasty retreat inside in the midst of a bunch of shrieking, winged opportunists.
There is an intriguing account in the Book of Genesis about a flock of feathered fowl that threatened to steal something much more important than a breakfast. In Genesis 15, Abram (Abraham) had prepared a sacrifice according to God’s directions. The sacrifice was to set a seal on a covenant between Abram and God concerning a promised son and a land of inheritance. Like the gulls mentioned above, opportunistic vultures swooped down to steal the sacrifice. “And when the vultures came down on the carcasses, Abram drove them away” (v.11).
There have been times in my life that I’ve placed things on the altar of my heart and promised faithfulness to God in those things. But, it seems the enemy of my soul, the Great Opportunist, comes to steal. We must not let the business of life distract us from our commitments to God. Satan will quickly move in to snatch those things away. Like Abram, we must take action to “drive them away”.
Conclusion: Allow me to paraphrase 1 Peter 5:8: “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil is an opportunist. He circles about seeking to steal those things we have committed to God.
“Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7)
~ Brother Roy