We were awoken abruptly in the middle of the night with the sound of three gunshots nearby. Silence. Three more gunshots and I reached over and grabbed Casey’s arm in the dark. Silence. One more shot.
Unfortunately, it’s not completely abnormal to hear gunshots if you live in the community of Ocean View. Gangsterism is a part of life and we know many of the gangsters and their families who live near us. We don’t feel threatened by them and the gang violence is towards other gang members, not innocent bystanders. However, there are moments that sharply and aggressively remind you of the danger around you and the fragility of life.
We talked about the shots fired the next morning, how jolting it was, and how especially ominous the final and lone gunshot was. Casey remarked “that shot was the shoot to kill.” He was right. The other shots were aimed at another person to hurt them or stop them or wound them, but the final shot must have been at close range and was the shoot to kill. That was the shot to take someone out for good.
This really got me thinking in spiritual terms and how the enemy must have a ‘shoot to kill’ tactic for each of us too. The devil fires many different ‘shots’ trying to take us all down in many different ways. John 10:10 says “The enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy…” We don’t realize it but the enemy is always trying to attack us. It’s a part of our reality that we don’t like to think about, but ignoring it can be unwise. 1 John 5:19 says, “The whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one”. Going even further, 1 Peter 5:8 describes the enemy as “a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour…”
In contrast, Jesus Christ offers us so much more - “exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20). God wants an abundant and full life for us in Him; every single one of us. But we are under attack and to live not recognizing our spiritual reality it is blind ignorance. There is a death warrant on each of our heads. The enemy wants death in our relationships, death in our families, death in our emotional lives, death in our finances, and death in our relationship with God, just to name a few.
Thankfully we weren’t in danger the night of those nearby gunshots, we must live aware of the spiritual battle around us all. I pray we ask God to help us see our world in new ways.