February 9

Bible Reading: “Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.” (Psalm 91:3)

In one of his magnificent hymns, Isaac Watts writes:

“Satan, the fowler, who betrays

Unguarded souls a thousand ways.”

Truly, the snares of the devil are multitudinous. If he cannot ensnare us one way, he has countless others to resort to. Only the guarded soul is safe from Satan’s divers snares.

According to Proverbs 25:28, an undisciplined man is like an unwalled city. The walls around ancient cities protected them from enemies, thieves and wild beasts. It is discipline in the Christian life that protects us from our enemy (Ephesians 6:12; 1 Peter 5:8), from the thief (John 10:10), and from wild beasts (Matthew 7:15; Luke 10:19; 1 Peter 5:8). Any undisciplined area of our lives is unwalled and vulnerable to Satan who prowls the earth looking for easy prey.

As Nehemiah wept over Jerusalem’s vulnerability and broken down walls, we should weep over our vulnerability and broken down walls—lack of discipline (Nehemiah 1:3-4). We should also follow Nehemiah’s example when it comes to praying and fasting (Nehemiah 1:4), confessing our sins (Nehemiah 1:5-11), surveying the ruins (Nehemiah 2:11-16), rebuilding the walls (Nehemiah 2:17-6:16), and posting a guard (Nehemiah 7:1-3).

It’s not enough to discipline ourselves and drive the enemy out of our lives. Once the devil has been driven out, we must continuously guard the gates of our lives and keep him out.          

“When a Christian shuns fellowship with other Christians, the devil smiles. When he stops studying the Bible, the devil laughs. When he stops praying, the devil shouts for joy.” (Corrie ten Boom)