Know Your Enemy

By Linda Tancs

The first rule of warfare is to know your enemy. In the physical realm, you may view your enemy as someone whose interests, values, beliefs or actions are antagonistic to your own. According to Scripture, however, your true enemy is not a physical opponent—it’s the devil (Ephesians 6:12). And, unlike a physical opponent, this enemy is in constant warfare with you, every second of every day. Every time you become offended, hurt, angry, jealous, resentful, hateful, unforgiving or self-loathing (to name a few things), you are battling the devil, public enemy number one. He’ll never quit, and neither should you. Resist the bait (James 4:7). Be wise as a serpent and gentle as a dove (Matthew 10:16). Forgive others as you would have God forgive you (Matthew 6:14-15). As you obey God’s commands, you’ll have a peace that obstructs the wiles of your greatest enemy (Psalm 119:165).

Lessons from Wildlife

By Linda Tancs

The Bible is full of anecdotes concerning animals. Some of the best known examples are Jonah and the whale and Noah and his ark. It’s no secret that God loves animals. In Psalm 50, He reminds us that He knows and owns every animal in the field. That includes Sparky, Fido, Fluffy, you name it. We’re stewards of every animal on the earth and accountable to God for our treatment of them (Proverbs 12:10). Besides stewardship, animals teach us many lessons. For instance, God directs us to look to the ant for the principle of diligence and perseverance (Proverbs 6:6). He also tells us to be surefooted like deer (Habakkuk 3:19), gentle like doves (Matthew 10:16), confident as an eagle (Isaiah 40:31) and courageous like a lion (Proverbs 30:29-30). And maybe the ultimate lesson comes from sheep, the emblem of discipleship (John 10:4), because they need to be led.

As the poet William Wordsworth put it, let nature be your teacher.