Satan throws his diabolical missiles at us to entangle our spiritual legs so that we trip over things, like losing our temper with a fellow believer or criticizing our wives for the very same weakness evident in our behavior. I’d like to think of those missiles as bolas, sets of cords with heavy balls at the end, used by cowboys to entangle the legs of cattle. Satan’s strategy is to concentrate on our weaknesses. He is not omnipresent, (Remember, he can’t be everywhere at one time) so he recruits his “cowboys” to attack our unguarded moments.
Remember Peter when he was accused by the girl of being a follower of the Christ. He denied knowing him three times, and, in an unguarded moment, he cursed to reinforce his denial. Satan’s cowboy caught him at a weak moment, his fear of being arrested; and the bola tripped Peter’s faithful balance into a vehement denial of his Messiah.
I’m reminded of a time I agreed to direct a musical for a community theater, which had hired a new director each year for the last eight years. The board’s president asked me to find another orchestra director because he felt the present one was not as competent as he wanted. I recruited one immediately; the board was pleased, but the cast was not. Satan’s cowboy used his bola to trip me when I, in an unguarded moment, was manipulated to axe their long-time friend.
Our constant prayer should echo the psalmist’s prayer: “Keep me, O Lord, from the [bolas] of the wicked; protect me from men of violence who plan to trip my feet.” Those men of violence are Satan’s cowboys, who hurl their bolas toward us in our vulnerable times: failing to hold constant conversations with God, neglecting to feed our minds from God’s Word, and ignoring his promise, “Call on me in trouble, and I will rescue you.” Satan is smarter than we are. When are we going to believe that?
So when we hear those swinging bolas chasing us, let’s cry out with the psalmist: “Protect me, O Lord, from [Satan’s cowboys] who plan to trip my feet.”
How convinced are we that Satan and his cowboys are always seeking our defeat?