“December 7, 1941, a date which will live in infamy” – Franklin D. Roosevelt. Just before 8 a.m. on that Sunday morning, hundreds of Japanese fighter planes launched a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor resulting in the destruction and damage of nearly 20 American naval vessels and over 300 airplanes. More than 2400 American died in the attack; another 1000 were wounded. Perhaps you’re wondering, as I am, how the US Military could be so taken by surprise. With all the military and intelligence capabilities, how could the US be so unprepared? Actually, no one believed that the Japanese would attack the distant islands of Hawaii. In fact, US intelligence officials were sure that any attack from the Japanese would take place in one of the colonies in the South Pacific. Clearly the US had underestimated their enemy; the naval facilities at Pearl Harbor were totally unprepared. To the Japanese, our country was an unexpectedly easy target.

It’s easy for us to look back on history and question the actions of the US military. But isn’t that how our enemy operates as well? Doesn’t Satan watch for our weakest moments, those times when we may be overwhelmed, exhausted or too distracted to be on the lookout for his wily tricks? Or how about when we are so wrapped up in enjoying life that we aren’t paying attention to the dangers lurking around the corner? Satan is waiting for us to let our guard down so he can launch a surprise attack, to catch us when we are our most vulnerable. We then become easy targets as well.

So how do we protect ourselves from unexpected attacks? First and foremost, we must create and maintain a strong defense. Ephesians 6:11-13 tells us to “Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies and tricks of the Devil. For we are not fighting against people made of flesh and blood, but against the evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world…..Use every piece of God’s armor to resist the enemy in the time of evil, so that after the battle you will still be standing firm.” (NLT) By doing this we will be armed with truth, righteousness, peace, faith, salvation and the Word of God to remain alert to the tricks of the Devil. We must consistently study God’s Word to build our arsenal against those that seek to destroy us. We must be faithful in prayer to maintain the strength and peace that comes only from our Father in heaven. Only then will we be prepared to stand firm against Satan.

Apply: Remember, Satan is always alert and waiting for us to let our guard down. 1 Peter 5:8 says “Be careful! Watch out for attacks from the Devil, your real enemy. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for some victim to devour.” Don’t underestimate Satan’s power to destroy. Be watchful and armed with God’s power to stand firm against his attacks. Don’t be an easy target.