The growling dog charged the moment I opened my car door. Quickly slamming it, I barely avoided his teeth sinking into my leg. He planted himself beside the car and snarled viciously, daring me to open the door. I froze, fearing what would happen if I breached the barrier that protected me from attack.
The racket drew the dog owner’s attention. After three attempts to call his canine to him, the four-legged menace finally turned and bounded toward his master.
“Wait here,” my husband commanded. “I’ll come around to open your door in case that mutt comes back.”
As soon as Jim reached my passenger door, the growling animal galloped around the corner of his house and charged toward my husband. Jim stood firm, took a step forward, and stomped his foot while yelling, “Get back, back.”
Baring his teeth, the dog retreated a few steps, but barked wildly. Jim lunged toward him again, “Back. Stop.” Jim lunged a third time. Still snarling, the dog stepped backwards, then suddenly bolted back to his yard.
The dog reminded me of the enemy, who attacks without warning. His strategy varies. He hurls hurtful words. Or taunts me with thoughts about my shortcomings. He tempts me where I’m weakest. Or intimidates me enough either to shrink away from a challenge or remain paralyzed with fear of failure.
I must remember, the enemy is all bark. Against God, he cannot bite. My best approach is that of Moses after leading the Israelites out of Egypt. Pharaoh’s army pursued God’s children into the desert, intending to capture and enslave them once more. The Israelites, spotting chariots in the distance, froze with terror. Yet, Moses, trusting God, encouraged the Israelites to stand firm and lunge forward in faith. God fought for them, parted the Red Sea and led them to safety.
As Easter approaches, I recall that God fought for me, too. He is already the victor. With Him on my side against any challenge, I cannot fail. As He promised the Israelites that day in the desert, “I will gain glory for myself…, and the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord.” (Exodus 14:4, NIV)
Question for the week: Where in your life do you need to stand firm against the enemy’s attack?
“Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” (Exodus 14:13-14, NIV)