Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. Matthew 7:15 (NIV)
I love walking around our property, looking at all of God's creations. I marvel at the tiniest flower growing on the end of a delicate stalk beside a slender blade of grass. I think that God loves the tiny insects, worms and birds. He makes flowers in just "their size". Taking these nature walks, I have increased my knowledge first hand of what not to touch, making me a little smarter than I was the day before.
One morning I discovered a two-leafed plant, shaped like perfect hearts facing one another. Not knowing what type of plant it was, I marked the spot with a twig and watched its daily growth. Finally, I recognized it. An alarm went off inside my head. POISON IVY! The leaves were like shiny fingers sticking out in three directions. I had often come in contact with similar plants in my youth. Its oily surface causes an unbearable itch and a red, angry rash culminating in watery blisters, which, when broken, causes more rash and itching.
The heart-shaped plant seemed to convey warmth and beauty. It was really a harmful plant waiting to become the antagonist. As Christians, we need to be alert to the fact that what one sees is not always what one gets. We must remain on guard to the dangers of the flesh as well as the spirit. One never knows when the ferocious "wolf" in sheep's attire will jump out and try to devour us spiritually.
Father, help us take hold of Your wisdom so that we may avoid the temptations that come in disguise from the world, the flesh and the devil. Amen
E. Bonnie Ryan