To protect his sheep the shepherd must constantly be on the lookout for a small, brown snake called the adder that can pop up out of its hole, bite the sheep and kill them.  And that is what the Lord has done for us!  He has dealt with Satan, the old serpent, and has prepared for us ‘a table in the presence of our enemies’. He has done for us what He did for Peter after his infamous chapter of denial: invited us back into fellowship with Him. Three days after Jesus rose from the dead, the angel said, ‘Go, tell His disciples  and Peter, that He is going before you into Galilee’ (Mark 16:7 NKJV).  The biggest failure was the only one Jesus singled out by name.  When Peter reached the shore that morning beaten and weary, the fire was burning, the meal was prepared, and Jesus was saying, ‘Come and dine’ (John 21:12).  Have you failed badly?  Jesus invites you to come, be fed, be healed and restored to fellowship with Him.  But a word of caution: Peter didn’t think he would fail, but he did.  And so can you.

St Augustine said, ‘The devil is like a mad dog that’s chained up.  He is powerless to harm us when we are outside his reach, but once we enter his circle we expose ourselves again to injury or harm.’ You are no match for the enemy!  But God has given you a strategy for dealing with him: ‘Submit yourselves, then, to God.  Resist the devil, and he will flee from you’ (James 4:7 NIV).

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