Growing up in the Midwest, I had never seen a live coyote, but that changed when we moved near the foothills in southern California. The first time I looked at one, I thought I was looking at a thin, scraggly, long-legged dog. They could frequently be heard howling at night, and sometimes we would see some roaming through our neighborhood in the darkness. We did not mind them too much; they seemed to add a little color to our area. Well-meaning neighbors occasionally set dog food out to feed the coyotes.
However, the coyotes were not amusing for long. After a while, small pets began disappearing at night. Then our friends’ small dog was killed right by their front door. Finally, about two miles from our home, a little girl was attacked and killed by a coyote. These wild animals had adapted to city life so well that they had become unafraid of humans.
Our local newspaper published a rather long article to inform residents about coyotes. I was surprised to learn that in order to lure a small dog away from safety, a coyote will sometimes crouch and wag his tail as if he wants to play. Then, when the dog is lured away, the coyote pounces and kills it.
The devil, the enemy of our souls, uses the same tactics to lure people onto his territory, where he can hurt them. He does not always look frightening, and therefore we might underestimate the damage he can cause and be persuaded to follow him. For example, he sometimes makes worldly attractions seem appealing, despite the fact that they draw us away from our Savior’s side. Satan’s true intention is to destroy us.
Thank God that we have a defense against the one who would devour us! God has given us simple instructions for avoiding this kind of spiritual disaster. We must read His Word every day, take time to pray, and then take every question or doubt that we have to Him in prayer. We need to seek His guidance and remember His promise that if we lack wisdom, He will give it to us liberally when we ask. He will surely lead us in the right way. If our desire is to stay close to the Lord, He will protect and keep us!