Have you ever run out of gas? I did when I was in college. I was heading to campus (I was a commuter student) and my car ran out of gas on a four lane road. There were no houses or stores, let alone gas stations, for a few miles. Of course, it happened on a day I had a big presentation, so I was in a skirt and heels. The lawn crew had not mowed the grass along the roadside in a long time so my legs were being assaulted by tall, wet grass with every step. I was miserable.
A car pulled over and put the window down. The man inside looked familiar and he called me by name. “Hey Susan, did you run out of gas? Do you need a lift back home?” And then I did something totally stupid and uncharacteristic of me… I got in the car with him. As it turned out, the man played tennis with my brother and lived in our neighborhood, but I didn’t know that at the time. I was more concerned with the wet grass than I was using solid judgment. Fortunately, this man was harmless and drove me right to my doorstep safely, but it could have turned out differently.
We can never assume just because something looks familiar that it is safe. The enemy is always looking for an opportunity to kill, steal, and destroy believers [John 10:10]. We need to be on guard and make wise choices [2 Peter 3:17]. 1 Peter 5:8 says “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” We do not need to fear the enemy, but we do need to be alert and prepared. When he comes, and he will come, we’re told in James 4:7 to resist him and he will flee. We also need to remember “the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world” [1 John 4:4].
Psalm 34:17 reminds us “The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; He delivers them from all their troubles.”