• Today's Daily Devotion
The Enemy Within
WORKING IN the sparsely populated mountains of the Northern I Corps zone along the DMZ, my troops seldom encountered civilians. That was not the case in many other areas, as ...

The Enemy Within

In the haphazardly laid out paddies below us, farmers and their families were working industriously in their fields, trying to produce a crop while seeming to ignore the war swirling around them. I had thought the country through which we moved would be vacant of people except those in groups barricaded in their villages. Instead, the Vietnamese were going about their everyday duties, singly or in groups, ignoring us as if we weren’t really there, and only taking notice when we passed too close for them to ignore.

The Vietnamese people, in spite of the war, tried to carry on with their lives—hoping not to alienate anyone. Unfortunately, the Viet Cong had established a presence in many areas and succeeded in recruiting locals into their ranks. They were then able to confiscate food and supplies, and intimidate others into acting as spies and lookouts. This made life extremely difficult for the American troops operating in these areas. To prevent harm to innocent civilians, the rules of engagement were strict. Before you could fire, you had to see weapons or be fired upon first. Friend and foe dressed alike and were practically indistinguishable.

We have the same problem in our spiritual lives with an enemy even more difficult to detect. Satan doesn’t wear a uniform, either. He puts ordinary people or attractions in our path that lead us in the wrong direction. He speaks to us through our acquaintances with the wrong advice. He even enters our minds surreptitiously to rationalize behavior we would normally know to be wrong. He is far too cunning for us to resist on our own. We need every resource of our faith to identify and defeat this enemy. We must enfold ourselves in the body of Christ and constantly seek understanding of right and wrong through prayer and the Holy Scripture.

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