Covid-19 Devotionals

The Gogga

Walking can be very interesting. There is so much to see compared to when you drive a vehicle. Today, I saw a ‘bakkie’ (known outside South Africa as a truck or maybe utility vehicle) with the business name: Boom Gogga. The company does tree felling. I thought about the name “gogga” … translated into English, it would mean, “insect {bugs, fleas, lice}, creepy-crawlies, vermin {rats, mice and even despicable people} or bogy-man … as in to frighten the baby or as ugly as sin”. This business’ name, Boom Gogga, to me implies that they are like creepy-crawlies in trees as they trim or cut down. Maybe included in their thinking as they composed the business’ name could be the idea of ‘gogga’ meaning spider. As a child, Afrikaans people would refer to any spider or creepy-crawly as a gogga. As children growing up, we were scared of goggas (spiders) because of the way we were brain washed about their danger. The message enforced in our minds was that the gogga was to be avoided at all costs!

If you went walking in the bush in the morning, say at the Izapa Game and Bush Lodge, you will see many spider webs as the sun’s rays fall onto the trees. They stretch from one tree to another. Spiders (goggas) spin their webs so that they might catch flying insects for food. Once the insect touches the web, it is caught. The web tends to attach itself to the insect. You have seen this when cleaning a spider’s web from an outside wall. Touch it and it sticks to you. Having said all this, you can see why the term ‘gogga’ became used for a spider. It is dangerous. Get caught in the web and the insect is food. Another fact about spiders (goggas) is that they have patience. They wait their time. It’s almost as if they watch your movements and when you are not looking they move. When you look again they are in another place. If they are in the house, they tend to creep up on you when you are sleeping … and you wake with a spider bite. Their bites could be lethal!

The gogga (spider) is dangerous, sly, deceitful and extremely patient. So is the enemy of the soul. We refer to him as Satan or the devil. He is the enemy of God who deceitfully enticed our first mother into sin. Her husband, our first father, joined her, and together they fell into sin. There in the garden, the enemy appeared in the form of a snake or serpent. That seems so harmless until we read in Revelation:

Rev 12:9 The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.

He is the great, evil, dangerous gogga. He is both deceitful and cunning!

2 Cor 11:3 But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.

Too often, people, including people born by the Spirit, are naïve to the tactics of the spiritual gogga, who is a dangerous enemy of the soul. He uses every trick in the book to get us seduced … but it is subtle. He is so patient … he starts putting ideas, thoughts and desires into your mind. Then, he will present various suggestions before you … enticing you to think that a “little” sin is not a “big” sin. Then as you start to dabble in the little sins (Song of Solomon 2:15, “the little foxes that ruin the vineyards”), soon these little sins become bigger and bigger until they control you … and the enemy controls you.

This is why Peter says:

1Pe 5:8 Be self-controlled and alert. …

This is extremely important. Self-control requires the need to saturate yourself with prayer, because without God’s help we are powerless to control our self. Once empowered by God, you are able to exercise being alert … alert to the spiritual onslaughts of the enemy. Peter continues:

1Pe 5:8 … Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

His cunning is to persuade you that he is not harmful. His intention is to get you to let your guard down. He requires you to be unprotected so that he can devour you! You see that concept of prowling? He is evil, sinister and bent on evil. Consider the term “devour” … it means to destroy completely, to consume as through fire or to demolish as in collapsing a building. That is your enemy’s intent. He wants to hurt you. He wants you to dishonor the Lord Jesus. He wants to ruin your soul. His intent is that you be in hell with all its traumatic punishment one day! This is why Peter continues:

1 Pe 5:9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.

The whole Body of Christ goes through the same onslaught all the time. So how are you to resist the devil? By “standing firm in the faith”.

What does this mean, “standing firm in the faith”? It is far more than salvation. Standing firm in the faith means to remain true to the Gospel life. Salvation is believing the Gospel message, confessing your sins, living a repentant life and being saved. Standing firm in the faith means to live the Gospel life in your heart, mind, body, and soul. It means shaping your mind according to the wisdom that comes from knowing and doing the Will of God.

Beloved, this is a huge issue. The enemy is a dangerous spiritual gogga and is out to destroy you, collapse your faith, have you banished to be eternally consumed in the fires of hell. This is serious and this is the reason that we need to stand steadfast in the faith. The idea of horses wearing blinkers to keep them moving in a straight line is what we need to do. We need spiritual blinkers to keep us singularly focused as we move forward towards our eternity with Jesus. When we are totally surrendered to Him, we will be able to stand firm in the faith, protected from the enemy.

Dear God, too often I am weak and need your help. Thank You for Your promise that You are so faithful that when I am true to You. Thank you for Your promise that, when I am tempted, You will provide a way out so that I can stand firm in the faith. Amen.

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