The first part of this devotion focused on the single mindedness of the raccoons, in their pursuit of – what seemed to be – an easy reward. I’d like to take a different perspective today, and consider the single mindedness of the dog in her relentless commitment to chasing the invaders away.

Mia (the dog) is a gentle and affectionate doggy. She is a 50 pound Siberian Husky, who likes to think that she is a lap dog. Only a few times, have I ever seen her be aggressive or take a stand over something. Being on guard to protect our home from marauding raccoons is one of those times.

Luke 21:34

Be on guard, so that your hearts will not be weighted down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of life, and that day will not come on you suddenly like a trap;

When my husband falls asleep, he is out. A freight train could steam through our bedroom and he might roll over. The dog, on the other hand, once the raccoons started showing up, never seemed to really soundly sleep. She began to pace at night and moved from sleeping on the sofa to lying on the mat by the garden door. She was prepared to respond to any incursion.

1 Peter 5:8

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the Devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

The dog knew that no good could come from allowing the raccoons to nest in her world. I have a friend who told me one day that she had a cute little raccoon who was coming to share her bird feeder. The next week, she asked if she could borrow the dog, because now there were six raccoons!

Hebrews 12 encourages us to ‘lay aside’ the sin that ‘so easily entangles us’. In other words, to get rid of it. A little bit of sin will grow and grow until it consumes us.

I appreciate the English Standard Version of Galatians 5:9, where it reads that ‘a little leaven leavens the whole lump’. I am the lump. A little bit of sin is all it takes to fill me with unrighteousness. That one, cute little raccoon was all it took to invite a host of the invaders into my friend’s home.

Once the first raccoons came to our deck, we had a problem. They were tenacious and precocious and deliberate and sneaky and persistent. It took the dog weeks to convince the subsequent raccoons to stop coming back. It was a battle. They did not want to give up. What finally chased them away was the doggy’s unwavering refusal to let them invade her home. She knew that they didn’t belong and each and every time one came close, she chased it away. She allowed no foothold.

Ephesians 4:27

…and give no opportunity to the Devil…

She knew that they could not be allowed to take hold and she was willing and prepared to fight to keep them away. There were nights when they howled and hissed. Some of the raccoons tried to overcome her, but she fought to keep them at bay. She defended what she knew was right: raccoons (sin) did not belong in her life.

Exodus 23:33

They shall not live in your land, because they will make you sin against Me; for if you serve their gods, it will surely be a snare to you.

The raccoons could not stay, because they would harm Mia and her family. They had to go.

How unfailing are you in chasing away those raccoons that are trying to move in with you? Do you let them nest nearby? Are they multiplying in your life to the point that you don’t know how to escape them? At the first sign, rid yourselves of the masked bandits that would rob you of your peace and rest with the LORD.

Genesis 4:7

If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door, and its desire is for you, but you must master it.

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