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Knowing the Best Defense

In the United States, mountain lions are the animal regarded as the number one human predator. Author and naturalist Craig Childs was on foot doing research on the lions in Arizona's Blue Range Wilderness. As he approaches a water hole from downwind, he spots a mountain lion drinking water. The lion does not notice his presence. When it finishes drinking, it walks slowly away into a cluster of junipers.

After a few minutes, Childs walks to the water hole to identify tracks in the mud and record notes. Just before he bends down to look closer, he scans the perimeter, and there among the shadows of the junipers, 30 feet away, he sees a pair of eyes. He expects the lion to run away, but it walks into the sunlight toward him. Childs pulls his knife and stares into the eyes of the lion. He knows what he must do. More importantly, he knows what he must not do. He writes:

Mountain lions are known to take down animals six, seven, and eight times their size. Their method: attack from behind, clamp onto the spine at the base of the prey's skull, snap the spine. The top few vertebrae are the target, housing respiratory and motor skills that cease instantly when the cord is cut….Mountain lions have stalked people for miles. One woman survived an attack and escaped by foot on a road. The lion shortcut the road several miles farther and killed her from behind….
I hold firm to my ground and do not even intimate that I will back off. If I run, it is certain. I will have a mountain lion all over me. If I give it my back, I will only briefly feel its weight on me against the ground. The canine teeth will open my vertebrae without breaking a single bone….
The mountain lion begins to move to my left, and I turn, keeping my face on it, my knife at my right side. It paces to my right, trying to get around on my other side, to get behind me. I turn right, staring at it….My stare is about the only defense I have.

Childs maintains that defense as the mountain lion continues to try to provoke him to run, turning left, then right, back and forth again and again, now just ten feet away. Finally, the standoff ends. The lion turns and walks away—defeated by a man who knew what never to do in its presence.

Paul the apostle had a similar knowledge of his greatest adversaries, Satan and his demons. Because he knew Satan's methods, he knew how to defend himself.

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