Stalker. . . Do you know how to protect yourself?

A recent news story described one of the most successful purse snatching operations to date. A thief would go into a busy downtown area, watch people walking by, and single out a young woman with a purse on her arm and a cell phone in her hand. 

When she, inevitably, would begin texting, he would run up behind her, snatch her purse, and be gone before she had time to look up.  He was successful most of the time, because the girls were looking at their phones and not aware of what was happening around them. They forgot the first rule of safety in public places -- always be aware of your surroundings.

I realized that whether we walk and text or not, we're all potential targets of a stalker. His name is the devil, and he wants to destroy our lives.

Luke 4 describes an encounter Jesus had with Satan. Three times Satan tempted Jesus. He offered Him power, riches, and a chance to act independently of the Father. Three times Jesus responded with the truth of Scripture.

What's most striking about this passage is its concluding line:

"Now when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from Him until an opportune time."

He wasn't finished tempting Jesus. He was simply content, like the purse snatcher, to wait until he saw a moment of vulnerability to strike again.

Satan hasn't changed his MO. While he can no longer tempt Christ, he can tempt us, and he's crafty enough to recognize that we all have moments of weakness that make us more vulnerable to temptation.

Like the law enforcement officials who eventually caught the purse snatcher by studying his mode of operation, we can thwart the devil as he attempts to steal from us. 

Here are three ways we can protect ourselves:

1. We must carefully consider our own vulnerability. We must ask ourselves the question, "When am I most likely to sin?"

Women often struggle with the sins of unkind words, lack of patience, irritability, and anger during times of hormonal fluctuations. Hormones are no justification for sin, they are just "opportune times" for sin. If you know you have a a tendency to struggle during these times, be on your guard, pray more, count to 10, speak less.

Men often struggle with purity during times when they are alone and unaccountable. Business trips that involve hotel stays, long hours on the computer while alone, or times of marital strife are all "opportune times" for Satan to send temptation their way.

2. Know satan's MO. Just like knowing the MO of the purse snatcher helped women to be aware and alert to his thieving ways, knowing the MO of the devil can help us be on guard against his attacks. Satan is real, he is powerful, and he wants to steal much more from you than your purse. He wants to steal your family, your marriage, your reputation, and your ministry. He wants to wreck your life.

3. Don't be lulled into inattentiveness. Like Jesus, arm yourself with the Word of God, be alert to your own times of weakness, and guard those things that are most precious to you from the thieving stalker of this world.

"Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour" (1 Peter 5:8).

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  1. Lori, this is really good as I'm come to expect from you. I really like the analogies you make to texting...fits 1 Peter 5:8 so well. Thanks for sharing on B&BB. I pray your week is blessed with fruitful ministry/writing as well as relaxation and refreshment.

  2. I didn't expect that turn from stalker to the Devil (as I was following the girl at the mall scenario) but how fitting! The Devil truly does prowl like a lion- ready to pounce at us. So true that we need to be on guard. Thank you for this good reminder.

    Working Kansas Homemaker (.com)

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  4. This is a great post, and full of great reminders about the need to be aware and protect ourselves spiritually. Thank you for linking up with us at
    Courtship Connection!

  5. Excellent analogy, I never text or talk on my cell when walking by myself, EVER.

  6. I really enjoyed your post. It was encouraging. I agree, prayer does make a huge difference during those down times.

    Visiting from the link up at Leaving a Legacy and following. :)

  7. I love it! Knowing Satan's MO is DEFINITELY a good strategy! And if we stop to think about it we know when he's going to strike even before it long as we are attentive!

  8. I love your analogy, Lori. After walking down a down-town street of a city recently, I appreciated this analogy of the dangers that can come about with a stalker, especially if the stalker is Satan.

    Thanks so much for linking up over at WholeHearted Home this week. I hope you have a great week.

  9. Finally hopping over from New Equus - Life in the comments link up (computer trouble yesterday). What an excellent post! I really like how you connected that news story with our spiritual life. These points are really great in helping us remains strong when the enemy attacks. Have a great weekend. Blessings from Croatia: A Little R & R: