by Richard Mansel, managing editor
We turn the corner and a figure slips into the shadows. Footsteps on the pavement cease, as we turn our head. The phone rings and no one answers. Items frequently appear on our porch and we finally realize that someone is stalking us.
Stalking is a scary term. “Stalking is an extension of harassment elevated to a level where it is causing disruption or physical threat to the person being harassed.”/1
We do not want an unwanted person invading our lives. Yet, every day, we have a deadly foe, one with blood in his eyes, watching our every move and listening to our every thought.
The stalker is temptation and he is ubiquitous, because Satan is relentless.
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8).
We must remember that temptation is not a sin. An object of desire appears before us, stirring craving in our hearts. Where we go next, is the challenge. Shakespeare said, “Tis one thing to be tempted, another thing to fall.”/2
The problem is that most succumb, without a fight. Mark Twain said, “I deal with temptation by yielding to it.”/3 Can we imagine doing that with a human stalker?
Surrendering to temptation is ostensibly dying every day. We give Satan control over our existence and he uses us against others. We become soldiers in his army, waving his banner and wearing his colors, while denying we are in his employ.
Satan has an individualized plan for each person, because we each have our own weaknesses. For one it is greed, another lust. Satan has a tested battle plan for each of us.
Sadly, we are amateurs facing the legendary pro. Without Christ, we will quickly succumb. “Without faith, it is impossible to please [God]” (Hebrews 11:6, NKJV). We must be certain he is the one to cling to when danger looms. The Lord is a “shelter for His people” (Joel 3:16).
James wrote that we are “drawn away by [our] own desire and enticed” (James 1:14).
Guy N. Woods wrote:
“It is vitally important to observe that the first step to sin consists in being drawn away from our place of safety. He must call us forth from our shelter of safety before he can seduce us to sin.”/4
Solomon tells the story of a woman using her wares to lure a young man from his shelter into the depths of hell (Proverbs 7:6-27). By the seductions of an evil woman, “A man is reduced to a crust of bread” (Proverbs 6:26).
Our stalker is brilliant and ruthless. Without the protection of our Savior, our defenses are worthless (Ephesians 6:10-13). If we will remain within our Lord’s arms, our stalker will be helpless against us, because no one can steal us away from God (John 10:28).
Moreover, “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit” (Romans 8:1).
Stay with Christ and our spiritual stalker’s labors are futile (James 4:7).
4/ Guy N. Woods, James, Commentary in Gospel Advocate Series, page 59-60.