In the National Geographic special, the lions approach the herd of wildebeests quietly from the side. They stand and wait for the exact right moment. Their opportunity comes when one of the smaller animals walks unsuspectingly away from the group by itself. The lone beast is now vulnerable, and the lions attack from all sides and pull down the animal who no longer has the protection of the heard.
The Bible describes the devil as a roaring lion, seeking whom it can devour (1 Peter 5:8). He stands and waits for the right moment to attack. The best opportunity is when we are alone and separate from the protection of the herd.
In fact, I would suggest that evil will try everything to pull you into isolation so that you are vulnerable. He will use your TV, phone or computer to keep you from truly connecting with others. Your work can fill all of your time or maybe it is the project you desperately want to finish. If your calendar is completely packed, and you never have time to communicate with anyone on a personal level, you are moving toward the isolation that destroys.
This past weekend I forgot that I had been invited to a small gathering of people merely to spend time together. When I was reminded of the event, my mind went through all the reasons I could skip this one. I’m busy. There is no teaching going on, so what’s the point? I will catch the highlights through social media. I’m tired from being busy and teaching. There were at least a dozen legitimate reasons I could miss this small gathering with other believers. Finally, I remembered that wildebeest. He was all alone, and there was no longer the protection of the herd. The lion was ready to pounce. So I went, and I had a wonderful time.
Moments like this remind me of a simple summer project. When the weather is beautiful, and the kids are out of school, take time to connect. Spend time with other believers. Move away from isolation by using your porch and a grill, the park, a ballgame, a campfire or whatever resources you have at your disposal. Now is a great time to build relationships in your life that will help you to grow in your faith and push back the forces of evil that seek to devour you.