"Be alert, stand firm in the faith, be brave and strong." — 1 Corinthians 16:13
Baseball immortal Ty Cobb, one of the greatest hitters of all time, was also a base- stealing “demon” during his playing days. In his autobiography, My Life in Baseball, the True Record, Cobb admitted that often he would use trickery to fool his opponents and steal a base.
Cobb relates that he had a hard time stealing on a certain catcher. He’d only been successful stealing on him a few times in six years, so Cobb decided to “try dividing his mind.” One game, while batting, Cobb leaned over to the catcher and said, “When I get on, and I will, I’m going down on the second ball pitched. Remember, I warned you.” Sure enough, Cobb reached first base and as he promised he broke for second on the second ball pitched. The throw was just off and Cobb was safe. The next day Cobb told the catcher he would steal again on the second pitch. Cobb went on the first pitch, and the catcher didn’t even attempt a throw. The catcher was so ready to throw out Cobb on the second pitch that he wasn’t alert; he wasn’t “on guard” for Cobb’s trickery.
Satan wants to steal more than a base from us with his lies, schemes, and deceptions. As coaches we try to prepare our teams for our next opponent. We scout our upcoming opposition in order to know their tendencies and how they might attack us. We want our teams to be prepared. As Christians, we need to be ready for our opponent, Satan. We have the greatest coach of all time in Jesus Christ. He’s given us our playbook and scouting report—the Bible. We need to be strong, rely on our coach and His instructions to “be on guard” so we won’t fall for Satan’s lies and trickery.
1. Satan knows your weaknesses and will tempt you to sin. What are your weaknesses?
2. What are some steps you can take to avoid giving in to temptation?
Extra Reading: Ephesians 6:11–18; Philippians 4:8; 1 Peter 5:8–9
Lord, help me to be on guard and alert for Satan’s temptations. Give me wisdom and discernment so I can recognize sin and walk away from it. Amen.