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CATS…are purported to have nine lives. No one knows where this originated. There are as many or more speculations than cats supposedly have lives. One theory goes back to ancient Egypt where cats were regarded as sacred and nine was one of the Egyptians’ favorite and mystical numbers. In a few cultures the number is seven. Some would say it stems from their surprising ability to survive adversity. They are known for their dexterity and agility.

William Shakespeare refers to the nine lives in his play, Romeo and Juliet. There is also an ancient proverb that claims; a cat has nine lives. For three he plays, for three he strays and for the last three he stays. Over time, people witness cats survive in situations that surely would have severely injured other animals. Many people likely began to believe that cats must have multiple lives. Maybe it is simply because they seem to always land on their feet. I buy in to the last one. Simon, our Siamese, was incredibly gifted at doing just that!

Recently, I was driving to the Union Gospel Mission

to teach. It was heavy traffic on a six-lane divided street. In front and to the left of me was a red truck. The wind was very gusty and debris was blowing along the street. Suddenly from under the truck came what appeared to be a gray sheet of paper or cloth swirling and flying through the air. It fell to the pavement and to my surprise, instead of paper or cloth there appeared a cute gray and white cat landing on its feet. It scurried away and disappeared. I have not gotten that image out of my mind.

It made me think of the many close calls I have had over my 76 years. Well more than nine times I should not have escaped major injury or with my life. Why was I spared in every instance while others were not? How about you? Any close calls over your lifetime when you simply should not have been spared? On the surface, it makes no sense. Human error or outside influences are always at work. Jesus said in John 10:10 that “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and destroy.” Our lives are precious. If it were not so, why would Jesus have finished the verse this way? “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”


You and I are targets for Satan, and sin has opened the door for him to attack us in every possible way. Even our flesh misdirects us. Each of us falls into the category of Isaiah 53:6.“All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, everyone, to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.”


David hits the nail square on. Most of the time we don’t have a clue what we are doing to put us in harm’s way. “Who can understand his errors? Cleanse me from secret faults. Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me” (Psa. 19:13a).

We’re like that cat darting into heavy traffic without a clue about the dangers that are confronting us. Without some wisdom and means of protection, we are sitting or (like the cat) moving targets. God has a plan for our lives, but we can foul up the works by constantly playing in traffic.

So, what is the answer? It’s for sure not going it alone! What we must afford ourselves is a source of protection, brought about through a power and presence greater than ourselves and our enemy. “Because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (I Jn. 4:4).

But how does one avail oneself of His power and protection? He told us through Paul in his letter to the Ephesians. “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil” (vss. 6:10-11). That cat was tossed and turned in the air but was able to stand, land on his feet. Unlike cats, since our real battle is spiritual, we must avail ourselves of the spiritual armor, or else we will be squashed in the traffic of life. What are they? Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, salvation, word. Brought about by dressing oneself properly and daily with a belt, breastplate, shod feet, shield, helmet and sword! (See vss. 14-17).

The enemy, the Devil, loves to catch you and me playing in traffic improperly dressed and without supervision. Paul says we must be prayerful in the Spirit and watchful (vs. 18). This armor only works when we take advantage of it. In golf, you will see the pros ‘visualizing’ the shot before making the swing. We must ‘prayerfully visualize’ the armor, for ourselves, our families, and/or others for whom we are praying. Don’t, I mean DO NOT, go out into the world each day and ‘play’ without the right uniform. You wouldn’t go to the tennis courts wearing a football uniform!

The armor has been made available through the shed blood of our Savior, Jesus the Christ. It is a gift of grace while we are here on earth traversing the heavy traffic of life! Like a loving parent would say while trying to get their child to wear a raincoat to school in a heavy downpourPUT IT ON!!!

Copyright 2014

Bill C. Dotson



Scripture taken from the New King James Version

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